U.S. Scholars


Which Award is Right for Me?

A smiling woman scholar

Fulbright Scholar Awards

Fulbright Scholar Awards comprise the bulk of awards offered and include opportunities for professionals, artists, and scholars at all career-levels. Location and eligibility vary across all awards, and some awards may be restricted to certain career levels or types of scholars. This information is outlined in the award description.

Please see here for three unique opportunities within the U.S. Scholar program:

Two scholars in a conversation

Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Awards

Distinguished Scholar awards are viewed as the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Awards are open to scholars who have more than seven years of experience in their discipline or area of expertise, though some awards may further restrict eligibility. Distinguished Scholars are expected to actively engage host institutions in a spirit of promoting mutual understanding and sharing knowledge.

Smiling scholar on a hill side.

Fulbright Postdoctoral Awards

Postdoctoral Awards provide recently graduate scholars an opportunity to conduct research and receive professional training abroad. Awards may involve limited teaching. Postdocs are open to scholars who will have received a doctoral degree (Ph.D., J.D., M.D., Ed.D., etc.) within five years of the fellowship start date. Degree conferment before the start of the award is mandatory. Institutional affiliation in the U.S. is not required.

Scholars in discussion

Fulbright International Education Administrator Awards

This award provides international education professionals and senior higher education officials an opportunity to engage in a two-week intensive seminar to learn about the host country’s education system and establish networks of U.S. and international colleagues.


Which Activity is Right for me?


Teaching includes classroom teaching, as well as giving guest lectures, workshops, and seminars, and engaging in other related activities. Classroom teaching is typically at the undergraduate and graduate level, and courses may be designed by the scholar or prescribed by the host institution and may be taught or co-taught by the scholar. The teaching load varies by award, as well as the host institution. Scholars may also consult on building research capacity, advise graduate students, and assist with thesis advising.


Research includes activities involving scientific research, qualitative research, quantitative research, and practice-based research, including artistic research. Research can take place in locations such as the laboratory, the field, the archives, or an artist residency. It can be experimental, clinical, or applied. It can include examining policies, systems, theories, methods, interactions, and works of art and music, with the objective to evaluate or develop new knowledge or works. Quantifiable (tangible) outcomes can include publications (books, journal articles, scripts, etc.), conference presentations, artistic and musical compositions, exhibitions, performances, films, and patents.


Many awards allow participants to conduct both research and teaching as defined above. Some awards will indicate the percentage that should be devoted to teaching compared to research while other awards allow the candidates to select their own percentage breakdown.

Professional Project

The Professional Project activity type provides professionals and artists in various fields the opportunity to interact with relevant organizations abroad to further their career goals. Professional Projects may include visits to organizations in the applicant's field, practical experience in day-to-day operations, public lectures, artist residencies, or other appropriate professional activities.

How long are Fulbright opportunities?

Fulbright opportunities range from a few months to a full year and many of our awards offer flexible durations. Each award outlines the duration and potential start dates. Many awards offer a Flex option which is designed for Scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. This option allows grants to be conducted over short segments, preferably during the fall and/or spring semesters. Applicants should clearly indicate plans for Flex in their project statement and include a project timeline.

Click here for a list of awards that allow for a Flex option.



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

Graphic showing eligibility essentials

U.S. Citizenship Icon

U.S. citizenship

Applicants must hold U.S. citizenship at the time of application. Permanent residence is not sufficient.

Residency Abroad icon

Residency abroad

Applicants who have resided abroad for five or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the application deadline are ineligible. A period of nine months or more during a calendar year constitutes a full year.

Degree Experience icon

Degree and/or Experience

Award descriptions specify where a Ph.D., other terminal degree, or comparable professional qualifications are required. (Please refer to this list of common terminal degrees.) Current faculty, administrators, and experienced professionals are encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to apply for postdoctoral awards. However, graduate or doctoral students seeking funding to complete their degrees are ineligible. Recent college graduates with limited professional experience are ineligible and should instead apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Prior Fulbright icon

Prior Fulbright Scholar Awards

Recipients of a Fulbright Scholar award are eligible to apply for another award two years after the date of completion of the previous award. Recipients of a Fulbright Specialist Program grant are not required to adhere to the two-year waiting period before applying for a Fulbright Scholar award. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received a Scholar award. This does not include recipients of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant who started their grant during the 2019-20 academic year, and were not able to complete their grants due to COVID-19.

Immediate Family icon

Department of State employees and their immediate family

Employees and their immediate families (i.e. spouses and dependent children) of the U.S. Department of State, 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 award until one year after termination of such employment.


For more detailed information, please review the additional eligibility factors



Review Eligibility

Find an Award

Download and Review

Begin Application

Submit Application


For information on completing the application, download the application instructions (PDF).

The application components may vary depending on the type of activity you apply for. Teaching, research, teaching/research combination, or professional project. Please see below for details on each component and whether it applies to your application.

Project Statement – required for all applicants

The project statement is your opportunity to explain your proposed project and specific strengths as an applicant to reviewers and potential hosts․ It must be clear and compelling to audiences both inside and outside your discipline․ It should be well-organized and developed, and realistic in scope.

View our Project Statement Guidance Video.

View Sample Project Statement Excerpts.

Format: 3-5 pages, single spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins

The Project Statement should include, but is not limited to, discussion of the following points:

  • What you propose to do
    • Teaching: describe what courses you propose to teach, do you plan on other teaching activities (e.g. seminars, curriculum/program development, public lectures, etc.
    • Research: describe objectives and nature of research (qualitative vs. quantitative), the academic and professional context of the project, your relevant experience
  • How you propose to do it
    • Teaching: What have you taught, how do you teach, your involvement in curriculum planning, thesis advising, or administrative responsibilities?
    • Research: How do you expect to use the experience upon your return? (Such as institutional collaboration, student and faculty exchange) How feasible is your project in terms of resources and amount of time allocated? What research facilities and resources are found in the host country? How could local political/cultural issues impact your work?
    • Be sure to discuss how you are uniquely qualified to conduct the project.
  • Why the project is important
    • Teaching: What you hope to contribute and gain from the experience.
    • Research: Why does it need to be done? What significance does it hold for your discipline, your development, the host country’s benefit? How do you expect to use the experience upon your return? (Such as institutional collaboration, student and faculty exchange)
  • What benefits the project will produce for your host, your discipline, you, and your home institution (employer)
    • Teaching: What impact do you expect on your teaching and professional work? How do you expect to use the experience upon your return? (Such as institutional collaboration, student and faculty exchange)
    • Research: How will results be disseminated (publications, conferences, presentations, joint collaborations, exhibitions, etc.)
  • Additional considerations:
    • Teaching/Research: Address teaching/research ratio as indicated in the award description; if the award description does not specify the ratio, speak to the teaching/research components equally using the above guidelines.
    • Flex and Multi-Country: indicate clear plans and justification for each Flex segment/country visit and clearly indicate a project timeline.

CV/Resume – required for all applicants

All applications require a curriculum vitae or resume. It should be clearly organized and tailored to the award to which you are applying.

Format Requirements:

  • Up to 6 pages. For Distinguished Scholar awards: up to 8 pages.
  • Single spaced, 12-point 1-inch margins.
  • Use headers and/or bullets to organize and convey key elements, and page numbers.
  • File type: Adobe PDF (recommended) or Word document. Note: If any non-English characters, images, tables, equations, etc. are used, you must upload your document as an Adobe PDF.

Letters of Recommendation – required for all applicants

The application requires two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendations evaluate your professional work, including the abilities and expertise you bring to your project; your ability to adapt; the merits of the project; and, as applicable, your teaching or research  effectiveness. You are encouraged to provide your recommenders with a copy of your project statement.

  • Applicants must register their recommenders in the online application and are responsible for ensuring their letters are submitted by their recommenders via the online system by the application deadline. Recommenders cannot submit their letters outside the online system
  • Applicants can track the status of the letters of recommendations on their online application and can send reminders to recommenders to submit their letters of recommendations by the application deadline.
  • Letters of recommendations can be submitted by your recommenders before or after you submit the application but must be submitted by the application deadline.
  • All recommendation letters must be in English.

Who may serve as a recommender?

Letters should be from those who know you and your work well and can address the points below, as listed under the “For Recommenders” section:

  • One letter from a colleague or supervisor at your current place of employment. If your institution or employer recently changed, one of the letters should be from someone at your previous institution or employer.
  • One letter from a colleague within your discipline. This can be can be someone outside of your current place of employment and can include colleagues with whom you have collaborated on research in the last several years in the U.S. or abroad.

If you have selected Teaching or Teaching/Research for your grant activity:

  • One letter should be from an individual responsible for evaluating your teaching.

If you are currently finishing your doctoral (or equivalent terminal) degree:

  • If you are applying before your final degree requirements are complete, one of your letters must come from your committee chair. Their letter should also address your degree progress and expected date of conferral. Note that your degree must be conferred prior to your grant start date. Additional documentation may be requested later.

Who cannot serve as a recommender?

  • Relatives; representatives of U.S. Embassy posts or Fulbright Commissions in the country of application; Representatives of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State; Representatives of the Institute of International Education
  • Anyone who serves as a recommender may not also provide the applicant with an invitation letter
  • Anyone who serves as a recommender may not also provide the applicant with a language evaluation.

For Recommenders

Format Requirements

  • Up to 3 pages
  • On letterhead and signed (recommended)
  • Only Roman characters are allowed.
  • File type: Adobe PDF (recommended) or Word document

Please retain an electronic copy of your submitted recommendation. 

Short Essays – required for all applicants

Country Selection (up to 3,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation) 

  • Why have you selected this country (countries)?
  • What experiences have prepared you to undertake your project in this country (countries)?
  • Please describe your prior experiences in the host country/countries (if any).

Career Trajectory (up to 2,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation)

  • What is the trajectory you have followed, and what are your plans for the future?
  • How does this Fulbright award fit into your career path and future goals?
  • This is separate from the facts presented elsewhere in the application and may address your personal history, background, development and the opportunities to which you have, or have not been exposed.

Cultural Preparation (up to 2,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation)

  • What challenges do you expect to face as a foreign national in the host country?
  • How will you adapt, address, or manage them?
  • Provide examples of your familiarity with the culture, your ability to be adaptable, culturally sensitive, collegial, and how you may serve as a cultural ambassador for the U.S.

Teaching Preparation (only required if your award activity includes teaching) (up to 2,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation)

  • How you will make your teaching relevant to the culture(s) and language(s) of the host country?
  • How will you adapt your materials and pedagogy to a different teaching environment in which your students’ first language may not be English?

Bibliography – required for Research or Teaching/Research activities

A bibliography is required for applications to research and teaching/research awards, regardless of discipline.

  • The bibliography contains sources reflecting the current state of research or work on the proposed topic in the discipline and related disciplines. You should include critical theory related to their project, which may include (but is not limited to) journal articles, books, newspaper articles, works or exhibitions by other artists, conference proceedings, reports, films or videos, collection articles, court cases, microforms, websites, and digital images.
  • You may choose the format; it can be a list of sources, annotated or explanatory, etc.
  • You may choose the citation style to be used consistently throughout the bibliography
  • The bibliography is not a biography nor should it consist solely of your publications

Format Requirements:

  • Up to 3 pages
  • Single spaced, 12-point font size; 1-inch margins
  • Use headers and/or bullets to organize and convey key elements, and page numbers
  • Only Latin alphabet characters are allowed (i.e., do not include any words or phrases that contain non-English characters)
  • File type: Adobe PDF (recommended) or Word document

Syllabi – required for Teaching or Teaching/Research activities

Syllabi or sample course outlines are required for applications to teaching, teaching/research, and professional project/teaching awards.

  • Submit two or three course syllabi or sample course outlines relevant to the planned grant activity
  • They should be designed by you and expressive of your teaching philosophy
  • Indicate whether they have been used previously or have been developed for this application

Format Requirements:

  • Up to 10 pages, total (not per syllabus or outline)
  • Single spaced, 12-point or larger font size; 1-inch margins
  • Use headers and/or bullets to organize and convey key elements, and page numbers
  • Only Latin alphabet characters are allowed (i.e., do not include any words or phrases that contain non-English characters)
  • File type: Adobe PDF (recommended) or Word document

Letter of Invitation – may be required

Also known as the invitation, this is a letter provided by the proposed host institution expressing their interest in hosting you and your proposed project.

Applicants are responsible for obtaining and uploading the letter of invitation to their Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program application if required by the award.

View our Letter of Invitation Guidance Video

Should you submit a Letter of Invitation?

Consult the award and/or country program description in the Catalog of Awards in the Award Requirements tab for details regarding letters of invitation.

If "A letter of invitation is required":

  • You must submit a letter of invitation. If it is not included with your application or submitted by October 1, 2021, your application will become ineligible and will not proceed in the review and selection process.

If "A letter of invitation is preferred":

  • Applicants are encouraged to obtain and submit a letter of invitation.

If "A letter of invitation is optional":

  • Applicants may submit a letter of invitation.

If "A letter of invitation should not be sought":

  • Applicants should not seek a letter of invitation.


An application will not be considered eligible until a letter of invitation is submitted. If an invitation letter is not provided by the deadline, your application will not proceed in the review process.


Applicants are encouraged to obtain and submit a letter of invitation.


Applicants may submit a letter of invitation.

Should not be sought

Applicants should not seek a letter of invitation.


Letter(s) of invitation will be accepted until 10/1/2021.

  • For awards where the invitation is required: If your letter(s) are not submitted by this extended deadline, your application will become ineligible and will not proceed in the review and selection process.
  • For all other awards: If a letter is not required, your application will proceed in the review process with or without an invitation.

If your invitation is expected to arrive after the September 15 application deadline, you should submit your application by September 15 without the letter, and email the letter to IIE program staff for your award so that they can upload it to your application.

How to request an invitation letter:

Identify an appropriate host institution (see below) and individual in the country of interest and email them. Introduce yourself and the activities you are interested in proposing; you may wish to include a copy of your curriculum vitae/resume. If they are interested in potentially hosting you and your project, you can then request a letter of invitation from them. (Letters are typically provided on university letterhead.) As this process can take time, start early.

Note: An institution can provide invitations to multiple candidates. An invitation is not a legally binding pledge. Having one does not guarantee an applicant will be recommended in the peer review process nor selected for an award.

Invitation requirements

The letter should be addressed to you, and should include:

  • The activities for which you are being invited by the host (i.e., research at an institution, special lecturing needs, etc.)
  • The period for which you are invited
  • A description of the host’s interest in your project and how it will benefit their institution

Invitation letters should be in English. If the letter is not in English, you must include an English translation with it in your application.

The potential host (the person who provides the letter) cannot also be registered in your application as a recommender or foreign language evaluator.

File type: Adobe PDF (recommended) or Word document. If you have more than one letter of invitation, they must be combined and uploaded to your application as a single file.

How to Develop Contacts Abroad

The award description may list host institutions or specific people to contact. If so, you can start there.

You can also use the resources on your home campus, in your discipline, and your community to network, including:

  • The international office on your campus
  • International students and faculty, area studies faculty, and faculty in your discipline may have contacts at institutions in the country or countries of interest
  • Colleagues who have gone abroad
  • Current and former Fulbright Scholars
  • The international division of your professional organization may have information about the status of your discipline and the educational system in other countries, as well as people who can serve as contacts or can connect you with others.

Language Proficiency – may be required

Many awards do not require applicants to have proficiency in a language other than English. Others require proficiency for teaching and/or research, while some suggest it may be useful.

Consult the award description in the Catalog of Awards for guidance regarding language proficiency. 

There are two parts to this evaluation:

  • Self-evaluation: Once you select the award to which you are applying, the application will state whether the self-evaluation is optional, recommended, or required. For applications where proficiency in multiple languages may be necessary, the application will allow for up to three languages to be included in the self-evaluation.
  • External evaluation: Once you select the award to which you are applying, the application will state whether the external evaluation is optional, recommended, or required. If the evaluation is recommended or required, you must register a foreign language evaluator in the “Recommendations & Language Evaluators” section of the online application. This person should be an instructor in the language or otherwise qualified to evaluate language proficiency. For applications where proficiency in multiple languages may be necessary, the application will allow for up to two external language evaluations to be submitted. Anyone who serves as a language evaluator for your application cannot also provide a recommendation letter for your application.

Should you complete the evaluation(s)?

If language proficiency is required for the proposed grant activity(ies) and/or is recommended or required by the award description:

  • You must complete the self-evaluation, and
  • You must complete the external language evaluation requirement

If language proficiency is not required for the proposed grant activity(ies):

  • You may complete the self-evaluation, and
  • You may complete the external language evaluation requirement

If you are a native speaker of the language: 

  • You may complete the self-evaluation, and
  • You should not complete the external language evaluation requirement

 Please see these instructions for those providing the foreign language evaluation.

Portfolio – required for Arts disciplines

For projects in the disciplines listed below, a digital portfolio is submitted to aid in the evaluation of the application. The portfolio should demonstrate your technical skills, ability in the genre(s), and your artistic direction. The portfolio should be a well-edited, representative collection of your work/research and should support the nature of your proposed project.  Files must be uploaded directly to the application; do not direct reviewers to a website.

Disciplines commonly requiring a portfolio: 

This list reflects the disciplines as they appear in the application. If your discipline or specialization does not appear, check this indexed, searchable list containing all of the disciplines and specializations available in the application.

  • Architecture
  • Arts
  • Communication
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dance
  • Design
  • Drama/Theater Arts
  • Fashion
  • Film/Cinema Studies (including film directing and production, and screenwriting)
  • Fine Arts
  • Journalism
  • Museum Studies
  • Music (including composition, conducting, and performance)
  • Writing (including creative fiction and non-fiction, playwriting, poetry, screenwriting and other)

Note: Applicants proposing projects with a focus on translation, history, or the broader study of the subject (such as film studies) should not submit a portfolio.

Portfolios may consist of the following:

  • Writing samples
  • Graphic designs
  • Prints
  • Maps
  • Drawings/sketches
  • Photographs
  • Sculpture
  • Artwork
  • Audio recordings
  • Videos

Important: You must provide relevant and appropriate details for each work, including titles, nature, dimensions, authorship, and dates of execution/production for each work.

Anything submitted that is not entirely your own work must be clearly identified as such (e.g., filmmakers must indicate the role they played, such as directing, editing, etc.), including your percentage of effort.

For images, pictures, and graphics: up to 10 images. Images with descriptive notes (e.g., dimensions, date of execution, materials used, etc.) are preferred over PowerPoint presentations.

For audio and video files: up to 30 minutes in total for all edited segments (not per segment)

For writing samples: up to 15 pages 

Accepted file formats (no larger than 5 GB):

Audio: .aac, .aif, .aiff, .iff, .fla, .m4a, .mpa, .mp3, .ra, .wav, .wma 

Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd 

Image: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff

Video: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv                                                                                                              Apple ProRes is not currently supported. If uploading a .mov, please use an alternate codec.


    If you applied for 2021-2022, to reapply or submit an updated application for the 2022-2023 competition: 

    • Login to your Slate application using your existing login and password. You will land on the Application Management page where you can view your prior application and start a new application.
    • To download a PDF copy of your 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 application, click on the respective Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program application to open it. Then click on Preview Application Proof to open a downloadable copy of your application.
    • To start your 2022-2023 application, click on Start New Application. Some of the basic personal information fields will automatically populate based on the information you provided last year, though you should double check them in case any updates are needed.

    • You will need to reupload the supporting documents (Project Statement and CV, and Bibliography, Syllabi/Course Outlines, and Portfolio, if applicable). We encourage you to review them as well to make sure that your materials fit a 2022-2023 project. Be sure to carefully review the award description, as it may have been updated. The below resources offer guidance on completing the application:
    • You will need to register two recommenders and any foreign language evaluators (if applicable). Your recommenders must upload their letter to your 2022-2023 application. If they need a copy of the letter they uploaded last year, your reference(s) are welcome to email [email protected] for assistance.
    • If a letter of invitation is required for the award, you can submit the previous one; if you obtain a new one, it must be submitted to IIE by October 1, 2021. 
    • If you applied for an earlier competition, you will need to create a new application account in the Slate application system; please refer to the Instructions (PDF) and webinar linked above.
      Review Criteria

      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. To learn more, view a short video about the Review and Selection Process.

      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, and meets all stated requirements for the award, including 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.  


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


      • Research is clearly designed, and methodology is considered sound for the discipline
      • Bibliography reflects likelihood of project to contribute to the existing body of work on the topic 

      Project’s potential impact, outcomes, and benefits

      Application demonstrates relevance and currency of project to the discipline 

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

      The applicant demonstrates the need for the project to be undertaken in the specified location and shows considerable engagement with the host institution and community.

      Cultural Preparation

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

      Previous Fulbright Scholar Awards

      Applicant provides compelling justification for prior Fulbright grant(s). Preference will be given to candidates who have not had previous Fulbright Scholar awards, especially within the past ten years. View the 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 conforms with the policies of the 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 Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board," Sec. 145)

      To learn more, view a short video about the Review and Selection Process.



      Program competition opens.




      IIE 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.



      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).



      Applicants are notified by email whether or not their application has been recommended for further consideration in the host country. Please let IIE 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 Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for approval.  
      IIE notifies candidates whether they have been selected to receive a Fulbright award. This notification is also emailed. Please let IIE 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.




      When does the competition open?
      The competition opens in early February and closes in mid-September, with the exception of some of the International Education Administrator (IEA) awards. For Scholar and Postdoctoral awards, please see the detailed timeline. For IEA awards, please see the country-specific timelines. Applications are submitted for opportunities in the following academic year. 

      How can I start an application?
      Applications are submitted online, and the application portal opens with the start of the new competition in early February. Please read the application guidelines (for the IEA awards, please consult the IEA application guidelines) before beginning your application. Begin or return to your application here.

      Who can I contact at my institution for assistance?
      Over 1,400 academic institutions and professional associations across the United States have Fulbright Scholar Liaisons, a network of faculty and administrators who can guide you. We encourage you to connect with the Liaison at your institution for assistance with your application and your institution’s process for participating in the Fulbright program.

      Can I apply to more than one country or award?
      Applicants may apply only for one award per application cycle.

      If I already had a Fulbright, can I receive another one?
      Preference for Fulbright Scholar opportunities will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright Scholar award. Recipients of a Fulbright Scholar award are eligible to apply for another Fulbright Scholar award two years after the date of completion of the previous award. This includes the higher education administrator seminars. (For flex awards, the two-year period begins at the end of the final grant portion.) Additional Fulbright policies are available here.

      Can I apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program if I am on the Fulbright Specialist Roster?
      You are eligible 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 or receiving a Fulbright Specialist Program grant.

      What are the financial benefits of Fulbright awards?
      Benefits vary by country and type of award. Generally speaking, Fulbright awards 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. For IEA awards, benefits vary by country but generally include round-trip travel, lodging, and a per diem that includes meals. Each award description details these benefits.

      What are the safety and security protocols in place for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program?
      Please see our safety, health and security page for more information.

      What health benefits do Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grantees receive while on their grant?
      As a U.S. government funded exchange participant, Fulbright grantees qualify to receive Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE), a limited health care benefit plan designed by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Seven Corners, Inc. It is not intended to cover long-term healthcare and has limitations in coverage. We encourage grantees to maintain their own private insurance.

      If I am selected, can I take my family with me on my grant?
      This depends on the award and host country. Most Scholar and Postdoctoral 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 of the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship. For International Education Administrator seminars, no financial benefits for dependents are provided. Dependents may join before or after the seminar at the grantee’s own expense. A dependent is either (1) a spouse, or (2) a relative (child, grandchild, parent, sibling) who is financially dependent on the grantee. Accompanying dependents are those who spend at least 80% of the grant period with the grantee abroad.

      Who should write my reference letters?
      While it is useful to have someone with a known reputation in the field, the best person to provide a recommendation 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 Scholar and Postdoctoral 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.

      For International Education Administrator awards, the best person to provide a recommendation is someone who knows your work and character extensively. In addition, they should be able to address the impact your participation would have on your institution and its commitment to internationalization. You may wish to mix internal and external referees. One letter must be written by your supervisor or someone to whom you report; the other one must be from a colleague and speak to your skills and successes, interest in international education, and personal qualities. Please see the IEA application guidelines for more information.

      Review and Selection

      Who reviews applications?
      Peer review committees are organized by discipline and are comprised of U.S. academics and professionals with relevant expertise.

      For IEA applications: U.S. international education administrators with experience in the selected country review applications.

      How is my application reviewed?
      All submitted applications are reviewed initially for program eligibility and technical completeness.

      All complete, eligible applications are then reviewed by a peer review committee to determine whether they are recommended for further consideration by the host country (review criteria). Peer review committees are organized by discipline and are comprised of U.S. academics and professionals with relevant expertise. For IEA applications: committees are comprised of U.S. international education administrators with relevant country experience (review criteria).

      Applications recommended for further consideration in peer review are then forwarded to Fulbright Commissions and U.S. Embassies 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.

      How will I be notified?
      All notifications are sent via email. If your email address has changed since you submitted your application, please update your application with your new address.

      When will I be notified?
      Following the conclusion of the peer review, applicants are notified of the status of their application, recommended or not recommended.

      For recommended applications: Each host country has their own in-country review timeline. At the same time, the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) and the Department of State also review the applications. Approvals are needed from all three (host country/countries, FFSB, Department of State) before candidates can be notified. Most U.S. Scholar applicants are informed of the decisions in the spring.

      While IIE cannot predict when a country’s outcomes will be available, applicants will be notified of the final outcome as soon as possible.

      Please see the notification timeline for more details. For IEA applications: please consult the individual country timeline.

      I’ve submitted my application. When should I be in touch with my proposed host institution?
      The Program appreciates the enthusiasm shared by applicants and host institutions to engage and collaborate on your proposed project. Please note that applications must first go through the peer review process. Those that are recommended for further consideration are then forwarded to the host country, U.S. Department of State, and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for review and selection. Some host countries work with host institutions in this process (typically awards where the host institution is specified in the award title). You are welcome to let your proposed host know if your application was recommended following peer review. But, to help maintain the integrity of the review process, if your application was recommended for further consideration after peer review, you are advised to not contact the host country or proposed host for updates on the status of your application.

      Can I receive feedback from the review process?  
      IIE, which administers the program, operates in conformity with the policies of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). According to FFSB policy, IIE cannot give applicants the specific reasons for selection or non-selection. If you are interested in reapplying, you are encouraged to contact the relevant Fulbright regional program officer, who can provide general guidance on reapplying.

      How can I make my application more successful?
      There is no single "formula" for a successful proposal. An application should be about the candidate, how the award period 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.

      For IEA awards, desired professional profiles and specific qualifications vary across the awards, so you are encouraged to apply to the award that best fits your background and experience. Please see our application guidelines for information on the application components. Also, you can discuss your application and fit for the program with the staff contact listed in the award description.

      Can I reapply?
      Yes. Applications are reviewed individually, on their own merit each year. While IIE cannot disclose specific reasons as to why applicants are (not) recommended or not selected, we can connect with you to help you identify an appropriate Fulbright award and to strengthen your application, including walking through the review criteria and the application guidelines. Some applicants choose to revise and strengthen their prior proposal; others opt to propose an entirely new project and/or change countries.

      Please see the Application Requirements for instructions on how to reapply.

      Teaching/Research/Professional Project

      What type of teaching and/or research can I propose?
      Award descriptions indicate which type of project is acceptable. Some awards accept only teaching only research, a combination of teaching and/or research. Each activity has unique submission requirements.

      Do I need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to apply to an award?
      IRB approval is not required at the time of application; however, applicants must abide by all ethical requirements before commencing their research on human and/or animal subjects through a Fulbright award.

      Are there opportunities to conduct a project during the summer?
      The timeframe is indicated in each award description, and while most awards follow the academic calendar in the host country, some awards may allow projects in the summer months, especially if no teaching is involved.

      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.

      I am a retired academic or professional. Can I still receive a Fulbright award?
      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 award to you (professionally and personally), to the United States (how will you share your experience when you return?), and to your host institution.

      Do I have to know a foreign language?
      Most award recipients teach in English in the host country, 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.

      Do I need to have an invitation letter?
      This depends on the award. Some countries require an invitation letter, especially for “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 you have questions, please contact the program officer responsible for that country.

      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 propose to do while in that country. Note that you plan to apply for a Fulbright award and that the application requires a letter of invitation. There may be several communications before a letter is forthcoming, but this method often works. It may also be helpful to contact past Fulbright alumni to your country of interest by searching the Fulbright Scholar Directory

      Professional Project

      What kinds of activities are considered Professional Projects?  
      Permissible activities may include visits to organizations in the applicant's professional field, practical experience in day-to-day operations, public lectures, artist residencies, or other appropriate professional experiences. However, details vary according to the specific award.  If you are uncertain whether your project falls under the Professional Project activity type, please contact the IIE staff member listed in the award description.

      How does the Professional Project activity type differ from the Research activity type?
      The Research activity type comprises traditional academic research, such as laboratory observation, field interviews, or statistical models. The Professional Project activity type, however, encompasses undertakings that fall outside traditional academic research.

      Can for-profit organizations serve as hosts for Professional Projects?   
      For-profit organizations may not serve as hosts for Professional Projects. Appropriate hosts might include a non-profit organization, artist residency, studio collective, governmental agency, museum, professional association, cultural organization, K-12 institution, university, college, language institute, research institute, laboratory, think tank or foundation. If you are uncertain whether your host is appropriate, please contact IIE staff listed in the award description.

      Can workshops/conferences/trainings serve as a host for Professional Projects?   
      Generally, no, though details about acceptable host institutions vary according to each country or award. Projects must be original and designed by the applicant, with the exception of artist residencies. If you are uncertain whether your host is appropriate, please check the award description in the Catalog of Awards or contact IIE staff.

      Does a host institution need to be local, or can we partner with American organizations that work overseas?   
      Local organizations operated by citizens of the host country are preferred. However, in some cases, international organizations have been approved as hosts. Please check the award description in the Catalog of Awards or contact IIE staff to inquire whether your host is permissible.

      Can medical professionals apply for a grant under the Professional Project activity type?
      The grant is meant for professionals in all fields. However, proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care or patient contact are not eligible. Medical professionals should propose projects that do not involve these kinds of activities. Fulbright policies do not authorize activity for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required.

      International Education Administrator Seminars

      Do I have to know a foreign language?
      No. The seminars are conducted in English.

      Can I propose a project of my own design for the seminar? Can separate briefings be arranged for me?
      No. Each country arranges an itinerary of meetings, briefings, and campus visits. There is little time available for individual projects or appointments.

      Where do I upload the institutional statement, and do I need a bibliography or syllabi?
      Please upload the institutional statement to the online application form. A bibliography and syllabus should not be submitted.

      Are there new IEA seminars offered every year?
      Currently, we have agreements with France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and Taiwan, and the Catalog of Awards shows what awards are currently offered along with their application deadlines.