Public Policy Fellowship

Justine Davis, Cote dIoire, 2012-13, FPPF
Justine Davis, Cote d'Ivoire, Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. early and mid-career professionals and practitioners to serve in placements in a foreign government ministry or institution around the world. Fulbright Public Policy Fellows build mutual understanding and contribute to strengthening the public sector while cultivating public policy experience in their area of expertise. The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship also includes an independent research component that focuses on an issue related to the Fellow's in-country work.

The Fellows will have an opportunity to build their knowledge and skills, provide support to partner-country institutions, and promote long-term ties between the U.S. and the partner country.


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Participating Countries and Eligible Disciplines

Applications will be accepted in any public policy applicable area. The fields and focus areas listed below are of specific interest to the participating countries, but applications in all related public policy fields are encouraged.


Fields: Combatting gender-based violence, social inclusion, anti-corruption, equality, integration, sustainability, dialogue and reconciliation, identity and diversity

Potential Host Ministries/Focus Areas: Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, Ministry of Production, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Housing and Construction, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Mesa de Concertación de Lucha contra la Pobreza (a multiparty group that works on policies to fight poverty), and the National Council for Science, Technology, and Technical Innovation (CONCYTEC), among others

Language: Advanced (superior) Spanish is required.


Although the Fulbright Public Policy Program in Burma is currently closed, it is accepting applications for the 2022-23 academic year.  Because of the unique placements of Fulbright Public Policy Fellows in government ministries, placing Fellows in Burma is not possible at this time. Applicants should keep in mind that unless the in-country situation improves, the program in Burma will remain closed. Interested applicants should check back on the Catalog of Awards as we continue to monitor the situation in country.

Fields: Economics, Economic Development, Public Administration, Public/Health, Education, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, Political Science, Agriculture, Energy, Drug Issues, Policy on Rehabilitation of Drug Users, Cyber Crimes & Cyber Security, Media

Potential Host Ministries: Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Parliament

Language: Fulbright Public Policy Fellows for Burma do not need language proficiency skills, though they are helpful.  Fellows communicating in English are strongly encouraged to use simple, clear English spoken slowly with counterparts until their facility with English is clear.


Fields: Ministry of Security sector reform, environment and sustainable development, customs reorganization, justice and human rights, construction and urban planning, commerce and industry, and entrepreneurship

Potential Host Ministries: Ministry of Water and Forests, National Security Council, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Justice/Human Rights, Ministry of Construction, Housing & Urbanization, Administration of Territory and Decentralization, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Private Sector Promotion

Language: French proficiency is required.


Potential Host Ministries/Focus Areas: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Social Policy; Ministry of Education; Ministry of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; Ministry for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine

Language:  Level of Ukrainian depends on ministry.  Preferred: basic level of Ukrainian or Russian language skills for some specific ministries; others work in English on a regular basis.

  • Fellows will work with ministry officials as “technical specialists”, immersing themselves in ongoing assignments and new initiatives, at the direction and under the supervision of host government officials. They will have the opportunity to work on issues related to their sector and contribute to public policy-related projects that benefit the host country. In addition, Fellows will undertake an independent research project related to their area of expertise.
  • Fellows will be hosted by their relevant ministry and spend approximately 80% of their time carrying out ministry-directed projects.  Approximately 20% of their time will be dedicated to their independent research project. Fellows must work with their ministry supervisors to agree upon a schedule, which will be determined on an individualized basis and will take different forms depending on the country and the placement.
  • The research project is expected to be an independent project proposed during the application phase, but should be focused on a field or sector related to the ministry placement and be adaptable to the work done in the ministry.

Grant Details

Grant Length:
The minimum length of the total grant is four months and the maximum is nine months. Eight to nine-month grants are preferred. Grants for the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship have a flexible start date and also flexible timeframe of a semester or academic year (4-9 months), with sufficient time to carry out the goals of the project. Earliest start date is July 2022; latest start date is March 2023. For Ukraine placements, preference is for grants that begin in September 2022.

Number of Awards Available:
Approximately 10 globally (expected at least two per country), depending on individual grant lengths and overall global budget

Other Required Activities:
Pre-Departure Orientation Fellows will participate in an in-person pre-departure orientation (approximately 1.5 days) in July 2022.


Grant Duration

The minimum length of the total grant is four months and the maximum is nine months. See Catalog of Awards for more information.

Deadline Description

September 15, 2021


  • Webinar - Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship Info Session (May 16, 2019 - 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT)

Begin Your Fulbright Public Policy Fellowships Application

[email protected]


For questions about eligibility for the Fulbright Scholar Program, visit our Eligibility page.


Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for a grant through the core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. If you live abroad and are not a citizen of the United States, and would like to apply for a grant to visit the U.S., please visit the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.

For more detailed information go to the application requirements page.
To begin the process, go to the application.

Application Components


Fulbright Public Policy Fellows will be hosted by ministry officials as “technical specialists” and spend approximately 80% of their time carrying out ministry-directed projects.  Approximately 20% of their time will be dedicated to their independent research project.

All Fulbright Public Policy applicants will be required to complete short essay questions to explain your specific strengths as a candidate and motivation for participating in the Fellowship to reviewers and potential hosts. You will be asked to address your experience and skills, what you are proposing to do, why it is important, why you, and what impact you hope to have. It must be clear and compelling to audiences both inside and outside your field. Additional guidelines regarding the contents of the essay questions are below:

Experience and Skills:

·    What knowledge and experience do you bring to this fellowship, including specific strengths, academic training, and relevant work experience, and how will they be transferable and beneficial to your potential host ministry?

·    Describe how you have supported and assisted policy related projects.  Be specific about the public policy challenge you addressed, the outcome, and how you worked with others to address it.

This response has a 3,000 character limit, including spaces and punctuation.

Career Trajectory:

·    What is the trajectory you have followed, and what are your plans for the future? How does the Public Policy Fellowship 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.

This response has a 2,000 character limit, including spaces and punctuation.

Country Selection and Preparation:

·    Why have you selected this country?

·    What experiences have prepared you to work in this country? Include any prior experience(s) living or working in a foreign culture or culture different from your own.

·    What challenges do you expect to face as a foreign national working in the host country government? How will you adapt, address, or manage them? Provide examples of your familiarity with the culture and chief public policy challenges of the country/region for which you are applying.

This response has a 3,000 character limit, including spaces and punctuation.

Research Project:

·    What do you propose to do? State clearly your methodology and the nature of your research (quantitative/qualitative/mixed methods).

·    What significance does it hold for your discipline, your development, the host country’s benefit, and how will the results be disseminated?

·    What research facilities and resources do you plan to utilize in the host country?

·    What specific challenges might you encounter while carrying out your research, and how will you address them?

This response has a 3,000 character limit, including spaces and punctuation.


Upload: Resume

All applicants must include their resume which details their relevant professional experience.

Format Requirements:

·    Up to 5 pages, single spaced, 12-point or larger font size; 1-inch margins

·    Headers and/or bullets to organize and convey key elements

·    File type: Adobe PDF or Word document

·    File size cannot exceed 10MB

·    Include page numbers

·    Only Latin alphabet characters are allowed (i.e., do not include any words or phrases that contain non-English characters)

Content Guidelines:

·    List employment history, including relevant public policy and other professional experience.

·    If including publications, use full citations.

·    List items chronologically, starting with the most recent

·    Refereed publications should be listed separately from non-refereed publications

Review Criteria

Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship Review Criteria

As reviewers take into account the basic objectives of the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship, they apply the following criteria:

  • Suitability of the applicant: Professional record in a relevant public policy sector as evidenced by the previous three to five years of work experience.  Relevant and appropriate expertise to complete the proposed activities successfully.
  • Quality of the project: project’s significance; feasibility in terms of resources available and time allocated to the project; for the research project, originality of topic, clear methodology.
  • Need for residence in host country to accomplish the project.
  • Potential impact: ability to identify and address the needs and interests of the host ministry and host country; potential benefit to the host country, applicant, and their discipline; potential for outreach to the public in host and home country, and to establish lasting connections and ties with the host country; ability to carry out the project and impact your sector/specialty area.
  • Record of service to the field and/ or the home institution.
  • Ability to serve as an unofficial cultural ambassador for the United States, including, but not limited to personal attributes of collegiality, cultural adaptability and sensitivity, a strong service orientation and high degree of versatility, resourcefulness, and creativity.
  • Foreign language proficiency as specified in the award description for the relevant proposed host country, or commensurate with the requirements of the proposed project.
  • Preference will be given to early or mid-career academics, applied researchers and/or professionals with research experience in the public, non-profit, or private sectors.

February 2021

September 15, 2021

November/December 2021

December 2021



February/March 2022

July 2022

July 2022 to March 2023

Launch of Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship competition. Application opens

Application Deadline

Peer Review Committee reviews applications and makes recommendations for further consideration by U.S. Embassies or binational Fulbright Commissions in the host country

U.S. Embassies or binational Fulbright Commissions overseas review recommended applications, interview candidates (virtually), and consult with host government ministries on candidates. Successful candidates are nominated for selection

Recommended candidates reviewed by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for approval

Scholar selections announced, following U.S. Embassy host ministry placement negotiations

Pre-departure Orientation (PDO) takes place

Scholars depart for host countries


Meet the 2019-2020 Fulbright Public Policy Fellows

Gerald Autler Gerald Autler
Home Institution: Boston Planning and Development Agency
Host Country: Peru
Host Ministry: AATE, Autonomous Authority of the Massive Transit System of Lima and Callao (autonomous organization under the Ministry of Transport and Communications)
Project Title: Building Peru's Innovation Ecosystem
Mary Bailey Mary Bailey
Home Institution: Indiana University Public Policy Institute
Host Country: Peru
Host Ministry: National Commission for Life and Development without Drugs (DEVIDA)
Project Title: Ministry Utilization of Evidence in Social Policy


Nadira Branch Nadira Branch
Home Institution: Administrative Associates
Host Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Host Ministry: Ministry of Women, Family and Children
Project Title: Exploring Ways to Strengthen Economic Diplomacy in Cote d'Ivoire
Wenyue Chen Wenyue Chen
Home Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York, Inc.
Host Country: Ukraine
Host Ministry: Ministry of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories, and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine
Project Title: (Re)integration of Ukraine’
s IDPs: Enhancing Coordination and Strategic Communication


Ann Drobnik Ann Drobnik
Home Institution: New York City Department of Social Services (DSS)
Host Country: Peru
Host Ministry: Ministry of Women
Project Title: The Use of Mobile Technology in Addressing Domestic Violence in Peru
Rachel Dungan Rachel Dungan
Home Institution: AcademyHealth
Host Country: Cote d’Ivoire
Host Ministry: Ministry of Health
Project Title: Analyzing the Role of Stakeholder Engagement in Participatory Health Policymaking: Creating Cote d'Ivoire's Plan National de Developpement Sanitaire (PNDS)


Melanie Graham Melanie Graham
Home Institution: Peace Corps
Host Country: Ukraine
Host Ministry: Ministry of Youth and Sports
Project Title: Academic Integrity in Ukraine: Education and Rules vs. Infractions and Consequences
Markian Kuzmowycz Markian Kuzmowycz
Home Institution: Tufts University Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy
Host Country: Ukraine
Host Ministry: Ministry of European Integration
Project Title: Communicating Decentralization Reform


Robert O’Connor Robert O’Connor
Home Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Host Country: Burma
Host Ministry: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation
Project Title: Using Organizational Network Analysis to Facilitate Coordination in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Emily Rothenberg Emily Rothenberg
Home Institution: Independent Consultant
Host Country: Burma
Host Ministry: Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC)
Project Title: Recovering Resources for Sustainable Development in Burma


Vanessa Victoria Soto Vanessa Victoria Soto
Home Institution: PAHO/WHO
Host Country: Burma
Host Ministry: International Relations Division, Ministry of Health and Sports
Project Title: Examine and support the Government's coordination and engagement with key partners in strengthening Myanmar's International Health Cooperation




Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

For general questions about the Fulbright Scholar Program, visit our FAQs page.

How do I apply?
The application is available online. Please read the application guidelines before beginning your application.

What is meant by early career?  Is there a profile of a candidate that is the target of the application?
Early to mid-career entrepreneurial and self-starter professionals with a graduate degree in a public-policy related field (e.g., JD, MPA, MPH) and a minimum of three to five years of full-time work experience. Postdoctoral candidates and practitioners active in the public or private sectors with a record of experience and accomplishment in a public policy related area are encouraged to apply. Candidates with field-specific background applicable to public policy (e.g., Energy, Agriculture, Engineering) are preferred.

Do I have to know a foreign language?

  • Peru- Advanced (Superior) Spanish is required. 
  • Burma - Burmese language fluency is not required but helpful.
  • Cote d’Ivoire - Proficiency in French is required.
  • Ukraine – Basic level of Ukrainian or Russian language skills for some specific ministries is preferred; others work in English on a regular basis 

Fulbright Public Policy Fellows will be required to carry out a position in a foreign government ministry effectively and seamlessly. Meeting the language requirements is critical for completing the daily requirements of the professional placement. For research grant activity, language fluency sufficient to complete the research project is required. For applicants without local language proficiency, feasibility of conducting research must be demonstrated in both the project statement and the language self-evaluation form of the Fulbright application. Non-native speakers who have local language abilities will be asked to also register an external evaluator within the application.

What type of research project will be accepted? 
Research projects should be an independent, public policy focused proposal that identifies and addresses the needs and interests of the host ministry and host country; demonstrates potential to advance knowledge, and to establish lasting connections and ties with the host country.  A smaller component of the Fellowship 20% of total time), the independent research project must be carried out in consultation with the ministry, on a schedule that meets the ministry project timeline/goals/etc. for your specific assignment. 

Examples of successful past projects and placements include:

  • Examining opportunities to strengthen inter-ministry collaboration for public health
  • Implementing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms
  • Supporting corruption prevention practices
  • Assisting with trade negotiation preparations
  • Examining intercultural-bilingual education quality
  • Streamlining renewable energy policies related to geothermal law
  • Conducting census mapping of community health workers