I received a letter stating that I was approved for candidacy on the Fulbright Specialists Roster. What does this mean?
As a Fulbright Specialists Roster candidate, you are eligible for consideration and selection for two to six-week grant opportunities through the Specialists Program. As CIES receives requests from host institutions overseas seeking Specialists, we contact those candidates on the Roster with the most relevant professional experience to ascertain their interest and availability for the grant opportunity. CIES then sends the applications of interested candidates to the overseas Fulbright offices for consideration and final selection.
- Now that I’m on the Roster, am I a Fulbright Specialist?
A Fulbright Specialist is a grantee of the program. Until you have received a grant, you are a Fulbright Specialist Roster candidate. A list of Fulbright Specialists (grantees) can be found here.
- As a candidate on the Roster, am I guaranteed a grant?
No, it is possible that not all candidates will receive a grant. Whether you do depends greatly on the specific kinds of requests that CIES receives from host institutions overseas. CIES will certainly contact you when we receive requests that match your expertise, and we will try to match as many candidates as possible with grant opportunities. Additionally, this may be an opportunity for Specialist candidates to explore collaborations with existing overseas contacts and further develop institutional linkages. More information about the project request process can be found on the Roster Candidate web page at www.cies.org/specialists/FSP_Candidates/.
- I know of an institution that would like to make a request for my expertise. How do they do this? Host institutions interested in requesting a Fulbright Specialist must make their request through their local Fulbright Commission or the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy. Each local Fulbright office has its own internal review process, so all requests need to be first sent to them for review. If the local Fulbright office and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State approve the project request, it is then forwarded to CIES to administer the grant.
To find out whether the program is being utilized in a specific country, host institutions should contact their local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section. Please also refer to the institutions in the “Request a Specialist” section of the FSP Web page to learn more about the project request process.
- I have been contacted by an overseas institution regarding a potential opportunity, what happens next?
If the Specialist’s project request has already been approved, your application, along with those of other qualified candidates, will be forwarded to the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy overseas. The Fulbright office in that country, in cooperation with the host academic institution, will make the final selection of the grantee.
- Can a host institution submit a project request to CIES?
No, CIES does not receive project requests directly. CIES processes project requests that have received final approval from the U.S. Department of State. Upon final approval of the request, CIES facilitates the matching of approved projects with qualified candidates. Once a grantee is selected, CIES administers the grant on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.
- Does CIES have suggestions on how to find a potential host institution overseas and develop a project?
Yes, information about the how to develop a project request, as well as suggestions for finding an interested host institution, can be found on the Roster Candidate Web page at
- Is the Fulbright Specialists Roster available to Fulbright Commissions or U.S. Embassies?
Yes, the Fulbright Commissions and U.S. Embassies have access to the Roster through a secure Web site.
- Is the Fulbright Specialists Roster available for public viewing?
No, only Fulbright Specialist Program staff and Fulbright offices overseas have access to the online Roster through a secure Web site.
- Do I need to reside in the United States in order to receive a Specialist Grant?
Yes, to ensure that there is an impact of the Fulbright experience in the United States (e.g. through the Specialist’s interaction with colleagues, students and communities) as well as to promote U.S. and non-U.S. institutional affiliations, Specialist grant candidates must reside in the United States at the time of grant approval and must intend to return to the United States after completing the grant.
- Since I’m on the Roster for up to 5 years, will it be possible for me to get more than one grant?
It is possible to receive more than one grant in the five-year period. However, in matching candidates with incoming requests for specialists, preference will be given to those candidates on the Roster with the most relevant professional experience who have not yet received a Fulbright Specialists grant.
- If I have successfully completed one Specialist grant, when am I eligible for another Specialist opportunity?
Qualified candidates should be aware there are mandatory waiting periods between Fulbright grants for U.S. Scholars when exploring all Fulbright opportunities. Fulbright Specialist grantees are eligible for another Specialist grant only if two years will have elapsed between the end date of one Specialist grant and the anticipated start date of the new Specialist opportunity. This two-year rule also applies when considering applying for a different U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant following your Fulbright Specialist opportunity.
- Will I receive a certificate of participation?
After completion of a Fulbright Specialists grant, CIES will mail you a certificate. Certificates are sent out once each year in early summer.
- When my five year Roster tenure expires will I be able to return to the Roster?
Subject to continued funding of the program and no subsequent policy changes, there is a three year waiting period before a Specialist may return to the Roster. If you qualify to participate in the program after the three year waiting period, please email Specialists Program staff at email@example.com for more information. You will not need to submit a new application. For information on eligibility, please click here.