U.S. Scholar Program


Suzanna Braeuer, Fulbright Scholar to Finland
Search 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards Catalog

Deadline Approaching (September 16, 2019)

The U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program offers nearly 470 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. In addition to several new program models designed to meet the changing needs of U.S. academics and professionals, Fulbright is offering more opportunities for flexible, multi-country grants.

Find an Award:

Application deadline is approaching for the academic year 2020-2021. Please register your interest at My Fulbright to receive the latest program updates and announcements.

Build your Application:

Find out how to submit a competitive application by joining one of our upcoming webinars or virtual advising sessions, viewing a previously recorded webinar, and browsing helpful resources:

For information on other Fulbright Scholar Programs, visit the Programs page.

Grant/Program Dates or Duration:

Two to 12 months

Deadline:
September 16, 2019

Contact:
scholars@iie.org

Program Policy

The complete Fulbright policies for U.S. Lecturers and Research Scholars are available here (Chapter 600)

  • The Fulbright Program is governed by policy and procedures established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB), the 12-member board appointed by the President of the United States.
  • Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Eligibility Essentials

Applicants must meet all of the following requirements at the time of application unless specific exemptions apply.

  • U.S. citizenship - permanent residence is not sufficient. If you are not a citizen of the United States, and would like to apply for a grant to visit the U.S., please visit the Visiting Fulbright Scholar Program.
  • Recipients of a Fulbright Scholar grant are eligible to apply for another Fulbright Scholar grant two years after the date of completion of the previous grant. (For serial or Flex grants, the two-year period begins at the end of the final grant in the series.) See below for additional guidelines.
  • Candidates who have resided abroad for five or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the date of application are ineligible. In this case, a period of nine months or more during a calendar year is considered to constitute a full year abroad.
  • Recent college graduates with limited professional experience are ineligible for consideration under the Fulbright Scholar Program. Instead, such applicants can visit the Fulbright Student Program.
  • Graduate or doctoral students seeking funding to complete their degrees are ineligible for consideration under the Fulbright Scholar Program. Instead, such applicants can visit the Fulbright Student Program.
  • Sound physical and mental health: selected candidates are required to submit a Medical History and Examination Report before their grants can be finalized.
  • Grants shall not authorize engagement in pastoral, missionary, or other professional religious activities.
  • Grants shall not authorize engagement in activities for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required.
  • Applicants are required to disclose any prior convictions of a felony or a misdemeanor, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), but excluding minor traffic violations. Applicants must promptly notify IIE in writing if they are arrested for, indicted for, charged with or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (excluding minor traffic violations) after submitting the application․ FFSB regulations can be found here (Chapter 600/Section 626 Ineligibility Factors.)
  • Employees and their immediate families (i.e. spouses and dependent children) of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development and of public or private organizations under contract to the U.S. Department of State are ineligible to apply for a Fulbright grant until one year after termination of such employment.

    Please note: Candidates who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States will be given preference, provided their qualifications are approximately equivalent to those of other candidates.

Award-specific Requirements

Please reference individual award descriptions for additional eligibility information.

  • Degree requirements: Individual award descriptions specify where a Ph.D. or equivalent professional/terminal degree (including a master’s degree, depending on the field) is required.
  • Early career and postdoctoral candidates: Where an award is open to these candidates, they may apply if they will complete the requirements for their doctoral (or equivalent) degree by February 1 in the year following the application deadline, unless otherwise specified in the award description. If not complete at the time of application, applicants must address when they expect to complete their degree in the application.
  • Teaching experience: All teaching awards are at the postsecondary level and may vary in experience or discipline requirements, as specified in the award description. Applicants are expected to have teaching experience relevant to the proposed course topic(s).
  • Language requirements: Foreign language proficiency may be required depending on the country, type of grant activity (teaching or research), and the nature of the proposed projects.  (Note: In many world areas, English is sufficient for teaching activities.)

Eligibility Guidelines for Previous Fulbright Grantees

  • Candidates who previously held a Fulbright Scholar grant should be aware that, as a general matter, preference will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Scholar grant. Therefore, previous Fulbright Scholar grantees are expected to make a strong justification in their application for a repeat Fulbright grant. For further guidance, please refer to the relevant section in the Application Requirements and Review Criteria.
  • Recipients of a Fulbright Scholar grant are eligible to apply for another Fulbright Scholar grant two years after the date of completion of the previous grant. (For serial or Flex grants, the two-year period begins at the end of the final grant in the series.)

Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for a grant through the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program. If you are not a citizen of the United States, and would like to apply for a grant to visit the U.S., please visit the Visiting Fulbright Scholar Program. If you are a recent college graduate, or graduate student or doctoral candidate with limited professional experience, please visit the Fulbright Student Program.

Application

It is essential that all required application components for the 2020-21 U.S. Scholar Program be complete and submitted by the application deadline: Monday, September 16, 2019.

Check your eligibility and the award description for any specific requirements that must be met. Only complete, eligible applications will be forwarded for consideration.

Application

Required for all applicants

Required depending on grant activity selected for award

Research, Professional Project

Teaching

Combination: Teaching/Research, Professional Project/Teaching

Consult award description to determine whether the following are required

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Review Criteria

The Fulbright Scholar Program supports activities and projects that recognize and promote the critical relationship between educational exchange and international understanding, in addition to the intellectual merit of the proposals. Applications with broad multiplier effects are particularly welcome, as are projects that are conducive to candidates sharing their experiences and knowledge with colleagues, students and, ideally, with the general public in their host country and, upon return, in the United States.

Review Criteria

Reviewers consider the basic objectives of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, evaluating applications on the following criteria:

Applicant training, background, experience

  • Applicant possesses the training, credentials, active professional standing, as appropriate for their project, discipline, and career path
  • Applicant meets the language proficiency requirements necessary for the project, or adequately addresses alternative(s)
  • Applicant maintains an appropriate record of service to their academic/professional community and home institution/employer

Quality of project

  • The project is feasible, original, well-designed, innovative, and sophisticated, with sufficient resources and time allocated, and can be adapted if needed. In addition, the project can be understood by individuals outside of the applicant’s discipline.  
     

    Teaching:

    • Syllabi represent the applicant’s experience teaching the subject(s), reflect innovative and effective pedagogical approaches, and are sufficiently developed

    Research:

    • Research is clearly designed, and methodology considered sound in the discipline
    • Bibliography reflects likelihood of project to contribute to the existing body of work on the topic 
  • The applicant demonstrates the need for the project to be undertaken in the specified location
  • The applicant’s project shows considerable engagement with the host institution and community

Project’s potential impact, outcomes, and benefits

  • Application demonstrates relevance and currency of project to the discipline 
  • Applicant clearly describes plans to feasibly disseminate results
  • Applicant’s project exhibits potential for impact, which is significant, broad, and sustainable in discipline, at their home institution and community, and to the applicant’s professional development

Personal qualities

  • Applicant displays ability to be adaptable, culturally sensitive, collegial, and can serve as a cultural ambassador for the U.S.

Previous Fulbright Awards

  • Applicant provides compelling justification for prior Fulbright grant: Where there is competition for grants, preference will be given to candidates who have not had previous Fulbright grants, especially within the past ten years. View the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board’s policies on previous Fulbright Scholar grants here.

Veteran status

  • Preference is given to veterans of the U.S. armed forces when other factors are equivalent

Diversity and geographic distribution

  • The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State strives to ensure that its efforts reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. The Bureau seeks and encourages the involvement of people from traditionally underrepresented audiences in all its grants, programs and other activities and in its workforce and workplace. Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Bureau is committed to fairness, equity and inclusion.

In conducting the peer review of applications for Fulbright Scholar awards, IIE/CIES conforms 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," Sec. 145)

DEADLINE: Monday, September 16


February

Program competition opens.


September

IIE/CIES reviews applications for program eligibility and technical completeness. Applicants will be notified if any required application component is missing, and asked to provide additional documentation as needed. Only complete applications will be forwarded to the peer reviewers.


October-November

Peer Review Committees evaluate applications, meeting in Washington, D.C. to review and determine whether or not applications are recommended for further consideration in the host country. Peer Review committees are primarily structured by discipline whereby a group of peers in your discipline will read and assess your application to determine if it meets the review criteria (See Review Criteria).


December

Applicants are notified by email whether or not their application has been recommended for further consideration in the host country. Please let IIE/CIES know if your email address changed since you submitted your application.


December - May

Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies (Posts) or binational Fulbright Commissions overseas review recommended applications and nominate candidates for selection.


January - June

All recommended candidates are forwarded to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for approval.  
IIE/CIES notifies candidates whether they have been selected to receive a Fulbright award. This notification is also emailed. Please let IIE/CIES know if your email address changed since you submitted your application.


June - Onward

Grant details are finalized and grants may begin per start dates listed in the Catalog of Awards. For some countries, an orientation may be scheduled for applicants selected for grants.

Discipline Highlights

There are nearly 470 awards being offered in 46 disciplines, in addition to many All Discipline awards that welcome teaching and/or research proposals in any area of study, including interdisciplinary projects.

Read More >

Regional Highlights

The Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers teaching and/or research awards to U.S. faculty and experienced professionals in over 125 countries worldwide.

Read More >

 

FAQs | U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program

  1. How can I get an application?
  2. Do I have to know a foreign language?
  3. Do I have to have an invitation letter?
  4. I need an invitation letter, how do I get one?
  5. Are there summer awards available?
  6. If I am selected, can I bring my family with me on my grant?
  7. If I already had a Fulbright, can I get another one?
  8. Can I apply to more than one country?
  9. Can I apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program if I am on the Fulbright Specialist Roster?
  10. How can I make my application more successful?
  11. Who should write my reference letters?
  12. How is my application reviewed and how am I notified
  13. What are the financial benefits of Fulbright awards?
  14. Can I apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program to fund MA/PhD research?
  15. I am a retired academic or professional, can I still go on a Fulbright grant?
  16. I applied last year and was unsuccessful. How can I find out why I wasn’t selected so I can improve my application for the current competition?

  1. How can I get an application?
    We only accept online applications. Please read the application guidelines before beginning your application. Begin or return to your application here.
     
  2. Do I have to know a foreign language?
    Most lecturers teach in English, with some exceptions in Latin America and Africa.
    If you are applying for a research award, your foreign language ability must meet the needs of the project. Be certain to indicate in your methodology discussion how you will need to use the language, since activities vary and reviewers should not have to make assumptions.
     
  3. Do I need to have an invitation letter?
    This depends on the award. Some countries require an invitation letter, especially for open “All Disciplines” awards. Other countries encourage but do not require a letter of invitation, while others still specifically request that you do not contact potential host institutions. The preference is clearly spelled out in the award description. If it is not clear, contact the program officer responsible for that country.
     
  4. I need an invitation letter. How do I get one?
    If you do not have a contact, your goal is to determine the name of an appropriate faculty member for a specific discipline or subfield within the discipline. Once you have determined possible hosts, write that faculty member a description of who you are (an attached C.V. can be helpful) and what you want to do while in that country. Note that you plan to apply for a Fulbright grant and that the application requires a letter of invitation. There may be several communications before a letter is forthcoming, but this method often works.
     
  5. Are there summer awards available?
    Each country establishes the time period for its grants, so you should check the timeframe indicated for each program as well as for particular awards. For the most part, grant periods follow the academic calendar in the host country for lecturing awards. So, if universities are in session from May to August, then an award in the summer may be possible. For research awards, there is a fair amount of latitude on the starting date, but the proposed schedule must fit within the parameters established by the country.
     
  6. If I am selected, can I take my family with me on my grant?
    This depends on the award and host country. Most awards have no restrictions on accompanying dependents; however, some awards do have restrictions. Check the award description and/or consult the program staff responsible for that award. Many grantees bring their families and report that the time abroad benefited all family members. No additional financial benefits for dependents are awarded for the Fulbright Global Scholar Award.
     
  7. If I already had a Fulbright, can I get another one?.
    Preference for Fulbright Scholar opportunities will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright Scholar grant.  Recipients of a Fulbright Scholar grant are eligible to apply for another Fulbright Scholar grant two years after the date of completion of the previous grant. (For serial grants, the two-year period begins at the end of the final grant in the series.) Additional Fulbright policies are available here.
     
  8. Can I apply to more than one country?
    Only through the Global Scholar Award or multi-country awards may applicants include more than one country (within a region or outside a region) in their application. For all other awards, applicants may apply for only one country or regional program per academic year. Please consult the Catalog of Awards for the most up to date award offerings.
     
  9. Can I apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program if I am on the Fulbright Specialist Roster?
    You are allowed to apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program while on the Fulbright Specialist roster. Recipients of a Fulbright Specialist Program grant are not required to adhere to the two-year waiting period before applying for a Fulbright Scholar grant.  Likewise, recipients of a Fulbright Scholar grant are not required to adhere to the two-year waiting period before applying for a Fulbright Specialist Program grant.

  10. How can I make my application more successful?
    There is no "formula" for a successful grant. Each individual's application should be about the candidate, how the grant time will be spent, and what outcomes can be reasonably expected. What is successful for one applicant may not be effective for another applicant. The responsible program officer is a good point of contact for discussions of how to shape a competitive application. Also, see our application guidelines for tips on making your application more competitive.
     
  11. Who should write my reference letters?
    While it is useful to have someone with a known reputation in the field, the best criteria for recommendations is someone who knows your work and character extensively. We also advise mixing internal and external letters to demonstrate the breadth of your contacts. You may also contact a professional reference who knows you well. For teaching or teaching/research awards, one letter should be written by the head of your department or dean of your school. Please see our application guidelines and developing contacts abroad for additional information.
     
  12. How is my application reviewed and how am I notified?
    Your application will initially be reviewed for program eligibility and technical completeness. All complete, eligible applications are then reviewed by a peer review committee. These committees determine whether applications are recommended for further consideration by the host country (review criteria). These committees are organized by discipline and are comprised of U.S. academics and professionals with relevant expertise.

    Applications for recommended candidates are simultaneously forwarded to our counterparts abroad, as well as to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the Department of State (Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs) for final decisions and confirmation. Grantees are informed of the decisions sometime in the spring. (Notification Timeline).

  13. What are the financial benefits of Fulbright awards?Grant benefits vary by country and type of award. Generally speaking, Fulbright grants are budgeted to cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and their accompanying dependents. Check the award description in the catalog of awards and/or consult program staff responsible for the particular award you are interested in.
     
  14. Can I apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program to fund MA/PhD research?
    The Fulbright Scholar Program does not support research activities for obtaining an MA/PhD, however you may wish to review the opportunities provided by the Fulbright Student Program.
     
  15. I am a retired academic or professional, can I still go on a Fulbright grant?
    Yes, the Fulbright Scholar Program welcomes scholars and professionals at all stages of their careers. As is required of all applicants, the project statement should address the expected benefits of the Fulbright grant to you (professionally and personally), to the United States (how will you share your experience when you return?), and to your host institution.
     
  16. I applied last year and was unsuccessful. How can I find out why I wasn’t selected so I can improve my application for the current competition?
    Final selections are based on feedback from the U.S. peer review committees as well as posts and commissions abroad. CIES operates in conformity with the policies of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). According to FFSB policy, CIES cannot give applicants the specific reasons for selection or non-selection. If you are interested in reapplying, you are encouraged to contact the CIES country or regional lead, who can provide general guidance on reapplying.