Find a Specialist Project Opportunity

Fulbright Specialist Roster applicants recommended by peer review committees and approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) become Roster candidates for Fulbright Specialist projects for a five-year term.  During their Specialist Roster tenure, Roster candidates are matched with short-term collaborative project requests submitted by non-U.S. institutions.

The program aims to enable a larger and more varied group of U.S. scholars and professionals to undertake a Fulbright award through the use of the Fulbright Specialist Roster. We are able to offer a high-quality Roster of well-qualified candidates in each discipline due to active recruitment and a rigorous review process.  Fulbright commissions, U.S. embassy public affairs sections, and selected host institutions are to use the Roster for the purpose of selecting scholars or professionals specifically for Fulbright Specialist projects. The Roster is not available to the public and no other use is authorized.

If you are a Roster candidate, you will be considered a potential match for program requests that require someone in your field with your expertise.  If an appropriate candidate cannot be found on the Roster for a project, CIES will undertake a specific search, on behalf of the Fulbright commission or U.S. embassy, for a qualified scholar or professional if given a reasonable amount of lead time.  Please be reminded that candidacy on the Roster is not an assurance of a grant.

CIES strongly encourages Roster candidates to be proactive in finding project opportunities.  We can assist Roster candidates in reaching out to non-U.S. institutions to discuss developing a project that meets the institution’s needs in a particular area.  If the non-U.S. institution agrees to submit a project request, they can specifically request a particular Roster candidate by name.  Please note that Roster candidates cannot directly submit a project request and should not correspond directly with Fulbright commissions or U.S. embassy public affairs sections overseas.  There is also no guarantee that a project request will be approved by the local Fulbright commission or U.S. embassy; CIES has no oversight of the project approval process.

For more information on finding a Specialist project opportunity, please read through the sections below.

Making contacts with non-U.S. Institutions

There are many ways that U.S. Roster candidates can identify new contacts at institutions overseas.  These might include:


  • Colleagues at your department, the international office on your campus, or other sources within your home institution.
  • Networking with foreign faculty through conferences or other academic forums

  • Fulbright Scholar Directories available on the CIES website include both U.S. and Visiting Scholar lists. You may use the directories to reach out to scholars who have travelled to or from countries of interest, as well as to find non-U.S. institutions that have participated in Fulbright programs across various disciplines.
  • Fulbright Core Scholar Catalog of Awards to see which non-U.S. institutions are active hosts in the Fulbright Core Scholar Program.
  • Fulbright campus representatives: campus representatives are crucial to the promotion of the Fulbright Program to the U.S. higher education community.
  • Professional journals in your field (to find authors or institutions from particular countries).
  • Area Studies Research Centers funded by Title VI of the Department of Education.
  • Online search engines such as Braintrack ( and 4 International Higher Education directory and search engine (
  • Fellows of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program.

U.S. Roster candidates can send an introductory letter with details about the Fulbright Specialist Program to potential contacts at non-U.S. institutions in order to introduce themselves and the program.

Helpful Tips

If you have made contact with a colleague at a non-U.S. institution that wishes to develop and submit a Specialist project request, please see the project request submission and approval process.

Below is a general checklist of aspects the requesting institution should note when completing a project request form, proposing a potential project opportunity for a preferred Specialist.

The host institution:

  • Is a non-U.S., post-secondary academic institution or an education-focused organization.
  • Has documented its willingness to provide housing or a housing allowance for the Specialist for the specific dates of the project.
  • Has documented its willingness to provide meals or a per diem allowance for the Specialist for the duration of the project.
  • Has documented its willingness to pay for and arrange all in-country grant-related travel for the duration of the project.
  • Has documented its willingness to arrange for the Specialist’s arrival and pickup from the airport. 

The proposed project:

  • Has a grant length of 14 to 42 days, including estimated round trip travel days to the host institution, weekends, and public holidays.
  • Entails that the Specialist’s role will adhere to those listed in the ‘Sample Fulbright Specialist Activities’ section of the Specialist website.
  • Clearly matches the expertise of a Named Request’s discipline and specializations as indicated on his/her curriculum vitae for this program.

The proposed specialist:

  • Has successfully applied for and been accepted onto the Fulbright Specialist Roster.
  • Is currently residing in the United States and will return to the United States upon completion of the grant.
  • Is eligible to receive a Specialist grant for the proposed start date, (according to current J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board policies).

If you have any questions about working with non-U.S. institutions to assist them in developing and submitting Specialist project requests, please contact us at