Review of Fulbright Specialists Applications
CIES is responsible for coordinating and
conducting the initial screening of Fulbright
applications through peer review. A hallmark
of the Fulbright Specialist Program,
peer review assures that applicants will be
evaluated on academic, scholarly and professional
In collaboration with institutions of higher
education, professional associations and CIES
board members, CIES develops committees that
represent academia's disciplinary, geographic
and institutional diversity. The American
Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Social
Science Research Council (SSRC) and the National
Academy of Sciences (NAS) evaluate those interested
in committee membership. The peer review committee
membership policies are outlined below.
To consider applications
in the context of the basic objectives of
the Fulbright Specialist Program
To assess the appropriateness
of the applicant's background, experience
and achievements for a short-term international
To consider the expected
benefits of the applicant's ability to promote
mutual understanding, to benefit host countries
and, upon the grantee's return to the United
States, to benefit home institutions and/or
networks of professional colleagues.
- Review by discipline peer review committees
to screen applicants and recommend candidates
for placement on the Fulbright Specialists
- Review and official selection of CIES-recommended
candidates for the Fulbright Specialists
Roster by the J. William Fulbright Foreign
Scholarship Board, which is composed of 12
educational and public leaders appointed by
the President of the United States
- Review of Fulbright Specialists
Candidates by Fulbright binational Commissions
or Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies,
together with prospective host institutions,
for final consideration in matching pre-approved
candidates with specific project requests
The Fulbright Specialist Program
accepts applications on a rolling basis, and
complete applications are reviewed in cycles
scheduled throughout the year according to
the calendar below. A complete application
includes the submitted application
form and both references. Applications
that are submitted but are not complete will
be deferred for review in a later cycle. Submitted
but incomplete applications remain active
in the CIES system for one year after they
Applicants will be notified via e-mail when
their applications are complete and ready
for review. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you believe that your application is complete
and have not received a confirmation e-mail.
Peer Review Calendar >
A prospective host institution abroad may
contact an individual regarding his/her interest
in participating in a particular grant opportunity.
If this individual is not already on the Fulbright
Specialists Program Candidate Roster,
he/she must be admitted to it before being
considered for the grant opportunity. No
applicant is eligible for final consideration
for a grant until his/her application has
been reviewed and approved for entry to the
All applicants to the Fulbright Specialists
Roster will be notified of their final status
via e-mail, according to the schedule above.
Applicants who are admitted to the Roster
may remain eligible candidates for up to five
(5) years, subject to continuation of the
Specialists Program. Please note
that admission to the Roster does not guarantee
eventual receipt of a grant.
When conducting the peer review of applicants
to the Fulbright Specialists Candidate
Roster, CIES operates in conformity with the
policies of the J. William Fulbright Foreign
Scholarship Board, the presidentially appointed
body that has statutory authority over Fulbright
programs. The policy on selection and nonselection
stipulates: "It is the policy of the
Board not to give to individual applicants,
to others inquiring on their behalf, or to
the public generally, the specific reasons
for selection or nonselection of applicants
for awards under the program." (From
the "Policy Statements of the J. William
Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board,"
The Fulbright Specialists discipline peer review committees will evaluate applications based on basic objectives of the Fulbright Specialist Program, specific discipline criteria and the following guidelines:
- Education, training, professional standing and position
- International, national, and/or regional reputation as a scholar, artist or professional
- Quality of professional accomplishments, as evidenced through publications, research grants, awards, work experience, exhibition records and papers delivered at conferences, seminars and workshops
- Teaching ability, as evidenced by references, teaching awards, courses taught, pedagogical approach, participation in innovative teaching, professional training or curriculum projects
- Demonstrated currency in the selected field of expertise
- Administrative/leadership experience
Suitability for Specialists Grant Activity
- Match of academic, professional or artistic expertise to the Specialists program
- Quality of the motivational statement
- Feasibility to successfully engage in eligible grant activities, at post-secondary, degree granting institutions overseas, based on credentials presented
Previous International/Intercultural experience
- The short-term nature of the Fulbright Specialists international exchange activity requires demonstrated cultural sensitivity and adaptability. Evidence of strong international experience and cultural adaptability is therefore preferred. In the absence of international experience, consideration may be given to applicants who demonstrate significant evidence of cultural adaptability through their regional and national experiences.
Expected benefit to scholarly and professional networks
- Applicant's potential to contribute to a host institution abroad
- Applicant's potential to contribute to the home institution, or to other U.S. scholarly and professional networks, upon return
- Collegiality, adaptability, cultural sensitivity and ability to serve as a cultural ambassador
- Other factors being equal, and to the extent possible, applicants are chosen to represent a broad U.S. geographic distribution, by both home state and type of institution
Fulbright Specialist Program Discipline
Discipline review committees consist of individuals
with specialized expertise who evaluate applications
and recommend applicants for further consideration
to binational Fulbright Commissions and U.S.
Embassies in more than 100 countries around
the world. The presidentially appointed J.
William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
makes the final selection of Fulbright
The streamlined application consists of a
brief application form, four essays, an abbreviated
curriculum vitae, and two recommendations.
CIES has implemented an online review process,
so committee members do not have to travel
to Washington to participate on a committee.
Reviewers must, however, be willing to complete
application evaluations on the Web.
There are two committees per discipline,
and they alternate review cycles. Over the
course of the review year, committees will
evaluate no more than 15 applications during
each of four cycles. Occasionally, committees
may be asked to review individual applications
between review cycles. Every effort is made
to keep this practice to a minimum and to
ensure that review does not occur at the traditionally
busy times of the academic year. A two- to
three-week period is allotted for evaluating
applications and submitting them to CIES.
Members of committees are appointed by CIES
on the authority of the Conference Board of
Associated Research Councils. Prospective
members are identified based on recommendations
from CIES board members, CIES staff, current
committee members and individual self-nomination.
Disciplinary, geographic, age and gender balance
is taken into consideration in determining
the final composition of the review committees.
Committee membership is typically one year
with the possibility for renewal depending
on each year's committee needs. Committee
makeup is determined by a needs analysis conducted
annually to discern the overall pool of applications
in relation to the awards available and to
ensure committee membership that is broadly
representative of the applicant pool. If there
are no applications in a given field for a
particular year, a member's term may be extended
for an additional year.
- CIES Fulbright Specialists Discipline Reviewers, who are not currently active Fulbright Specialists candidates, may not submit an application for a Fulbright Specialists award until one year following completion of their service. Note: Membership on the Fulbright Specialists Discipline Review Committee does not preclude submission of an application for the core Fulbright Scholar Program or other CIES administered Fulbright grants.
- CIES Fulbright Specialists Program discipline reviewers may not serve on the peer review committees for Fulbright Scholar Program or other Fulbright grants while simultaneously completing their year of service as a reviewer for the Specialists Program.
- CIES reviewers may not write a letter of reference for an applicant being reviewed by the committee on which they serve until the academic year following completion of service or resignation from the committee.
- Reviewers will recuse themselves from evaluation, discussion and final recommendations regarding applications submitted by an immediate family member or domestic partner.
- Reviewers should consider there to be a potential conflict of interest when an applicant is a person with whom the reviewer has some other significant personal or professional relationship (members of the same department, co-authors, research collaborators, etc.) which could bias his/her judgment about the applicant or the application. Reviewers should determine whether such relationships involve a conflict of interest for them and, if so, recuse themselves from evaluation, discussion and final recommendation regarding the applicant.
- Applications should be treated in a confidential manner. Reviewers may consult colleagues on issues in an application but should not identify the applicant. Comments from someone other than the reviewer should be acknowledged in the reviewer's evaluative remarks. Reviewers are asked to strictly observe the confidential nature of committee deliberations, decisions, ratings, and comments on specific individuals.
- Reviewers should not share the outcome of the review with anyone. When considering personal and professional information on applicants, reviewers should base their evaluation solely on the information provided in the applications (reviewers should not consult any outside resource for supplemental personal or professional applicant information).
Provisions of the Mutual Educational and
Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended
Applicants shall be considered
without regard to race, color, religion,
national origin, sex or age.
Although the physical and
mental health of candidates must be adequate
to allow them to fulfill the terms of their
grant, no qualified disabled candidate will
be subjected to discrimination on the basis
Preference shall be given
to those who have served in the Armed Forces
of the United States.
Due consideration shall
be given to applicants from all geographical
areas of the United States.
Under the Privacy Act (Public Law 93-579),
any individual who is requested by or on behalf
of a federal agency to provide information
about himself or herself must be informed
of the authority, purpose and uses to which
the information provided is intended to be
In conformity with this legislation, persons
interested in Fulbright grants are informed
of the following:
The solicitation of the information requested
in application forms is authorized under the
Fulbright-Hays Act; the information is intended
to be used in screening and selecting grantees
and in the administration of the grants; it
may be released to appropriate U.S. governmental
agencies, the J. William Fulbright Foreign
Scholarship Board, binational Fulbright commissions,
foreign host institutions, Congress, the news
media, and relatives of the grantee trying
to reach the individual for bona fide personal
If you are interested in serving as a Review
Committee Member for the Fulbright
Specialists Program please contact us at:
202.686.7858 or email@example.com