Application Requirements

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.

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 address your degree progress and expected date of conferral, which must be on or before February 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted in the award description. 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

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) 

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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

A letter of invitation is an expression of interest from a host institution outside of the United States. Applicants include the letter of invitation with their application to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Some awards require letters of invitation; others prefer such letters; while some specifically ask that no contact be made with potential hosts. Consult the award and/or country program description in the Catalog of Awards for special instructions regarding letters of invitation and any other special instructions as to format, etc.

An explanation of the language in the Catalog of Awards:

  • "A letter of invitation is required" – An application will not be considered eligible until a letter of invitation is submitted. If an invitation letter is not provided by the application deadline, your application may not proceed in the review process.
  • "A letter of invitation is preferred" – Applicants are encouraged to obtain and submit a letter of invitation. Those without a letter may be at a disadvantage during peer review.
  • "A letter of invitation is optional" – Applicants are able to submit a letter of invitation. The letter of invitation or absence of a letter of invitation will have no impact during the peer review process.
  • "A letter of invitation should not be sought" – Applicants should not seek a letter of invitation

How to request an invitation letter:
Once a host is identified, write to him/her directly. Include a copy of your curriculum vitae and a description of the activities you will want to pursue.

If the contact agrees that there is a match between you and the host institution, you may request a letter of invitation from your contact. Be aware that anyone who provides an applicant an invitation letter cannot be a referee for the same applicant.

Note: A single institution is free to send letters of invitation to multiple candidates, so be aware that a letter is not a legally binding pledge, nor does it guarantee an applicant an award.

Invitation requirements

There are no specific requirements for such letters, unless specified in the award description. The letter might include:

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

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

  • File type: Adobe PDF (recommended) or Word document

If your invitation is expected to arrive after the application deadline, consult the IIE program staff for your award.

Developing Contacts Abroad
If you do not have contacts in your country of interest, IIE has some recommendations:

  • Use the resources on your home campus:
    • The international office on your campus or its library
    • International students and faculty, as well as area studies faculty, on your campus who may know people in your discipline in other countries
    • Colleagues who have gone abroad
    • Current and former Fulbright Scholars.
  • The award description may list host institutions or even specific people to contact at the host institution. IIE program officers may have leads; contact the appropriate program officer for the country that interests you.
  • 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 names of
    people who could serve as contacts or direct you to others who could.
  • Area Studies Research Centers funded by Title VI of the Department of Education Professional journals in your field. Look for authors from the country you are interested in. 

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.

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:

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:
      • Instructions (PDF)
      • Application walk-through webinar (pending)
    • 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.