Information for U.S. Applicants’ Referees


Close All | Open All

What an Applicant Referee Does

If a Fulbright Specialist Roster applicant has listed you in their application as a Referee, you play a very important role in providing the peer review committee in the applicant’s discipline with information about the applicant’s background, skills, and expertise.

Roster applicants are required to list two referees in their online application – an internal referee from their home institution, and an external referee from outside of their home institution.

If you were listed by an applicant as a Referee, you should have received an email from with instructions on how to login to the online system to submit your reference.  If you have not received this email, please send a message to including your name and the name of the applicant.

Information about the Fulbright Specialist Program

The Fulbright Specialist Program awards grants for a period of two- to six-weeks to qualified U.S. faculty and professionals in select disciplines. Applicants to the Specialist Program must demonstrate a strong record of scholarship, leadership, practical experience, and a desire to build linkages with universities overseas. Those recommended by independent specialist peer review committees and approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) become candidates for Fulbright Specialist awards. 

Roster Candidates may then be matched with approved Fulbright Specialist project requests. Project activities focus on the strengthening and development of overseas higher education institutions. For more program details, please visit the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Required reference questions

Below please find the six required reference questions you will be asked to complete in the online application system. We recommend that you prepare your responses before logging on to submit your recommendation.  Please be thorough in your responses, as the information submitted will accompany the applicant’s own application materials to the peer review committee in his or her discipline.
  1. In what capacity and for how long have you known the applicant? (1,500 character limit, including spaces)
  2. Evaluate the depth and breadth of the applicant's impact as a scholar or professional in his/her field and institution. (1,500 character limit, including spaces)
  3. What is your assessment of the candidate's ability to communicate individually and in groups with persons from diverse backgrounds and other cultures? (1,500 character limit, including spaces)
  4. Please describe a situation or situations in which the applicant was required to quickly adapt to new circumstances or identify solutions to challenges. Please include information demonstrating the applicant’s cultural sensitivity, ability to be resourceful, flexible or to problem-solve efficiently. (1,500 character limit, including spaces)
  5. If possible, provide evidence of the way in which the applicant establishes working relationships with colleagues and partners and the skills he/she uses to do so. (1,500 character limit, including spaces)
  6. Please add any other comments that would help reviewers reach a decision. (1,500 character limit, including spaces)

Helpful tips on completing your recommendation in the Online System

TIME OUT FEATURE – As a security feature, the system is designed to time out after 20 minutes of inactivity. Save your information every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that your responses are not lost, or prepare your recommendation in another document and copy and paste them into the online application form.

CHARACTER LIMITS – Please be aware that there is a limit of 1,500 characters (including spaces) for each referee response.  The online system will not accept responses that exceed the character limit.

ASTERISK – Fields marked with an asterisk “*” are required fields.

MAGNIFYING GLASS ICON ( - Fields marked with the magnifying glass icon require that you type the first 3 to 4 letters of word, and then select it from the resulting drop-down list of auto-generated content.

The system will support the following browsers:
Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher
Firefox 3.4 or higher
Netscape and Safari cannot be supported at this time.

If you are attempting to submit a reference for an applicant and are experiencing problems with the online system, please feel free to complete your reference in the MS Word version of the referee form and email the completed form to

Online System Login

To access and complete your recommendation, please log in with the user ID and password information sent to you via email from at the Login below:

If you did not receive an initial referee email, are experiencing problems with the online reference system, or have any other questions, please email or call 202-686-6235.