What is Fulbright Specialist Program?
The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) provides highly qualified U.S. academics and U.S. professionals whose credentials and experience are at the faculty or full professional level with an opportunity to share their expertise by carrying out projects requested by host institutions abroad. Specialists are frequently academics; however, professionals such as attorneys, journalists, scientists, economists, security experts, and experts in eligible fields (such as business, communications, public health, and public administration) often take part in the program as well. Specialists exchange knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the United States and overseas. The FSP provides U.S. expertise and leadership to overseas hosts and promotes long-term collaboration between U.S. and host country institutions through projects that align with U.S. Department of State goals and the priorities of foreign host institutions. Fulbright Specialist projects must be carried out in-person. In addition to the in-person project, supplemental virtual activities, while not required, are encouraged to expand the impact and build or deepen long-term collaborations.
The U.S. Department of State typically covers roundtrip, economy class international airfare, enrollment in a limited health benefits program, and a daily honorarium for participating Fulbright Specialists.
Host institutions should be prepared to provide the Specialist with lodging, meals, and in-country transportation, either through monetary or in-kind contributions, throughout their full stay in country. The stipend for in-country transportation should allow the Specialist to travel to and from their lodging and project activity site as well as allow the Specialist to conduct local activities such as grocery shopping or visiting a local market, pharmacy, etc.
Fulbright Specialist Program Components
Through FSP projects, hosts invite U.S. academics and professionals to apply their knowledge and expertise to activities designed by a host university, local nonprofit, government office, or other eligible host institution. Project activities may include but are not limited to: teaching or training; developing curricula or teaching/educational materials; institutional planning; building capacity of faculty, administrators, or staff; delivering seminars or academic courses; and conducting needs assessments for programs or institutions. Stories of successful projects can be found on the Fulbright Specialist Program website here: https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/making-an-impact.
The length of a Fulbright Specialist project must be a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 42 days, including travel days and weekends.
Additionally, host institutions are requested to:
- Follow country-specific processes or competition requirements and develop a project that fits the parameters of FSP.
- While Open Projects are preferred, if submitting a Named Project, work with the Embassy or commission to identify a Specialist and review Specialist candidates.
- Provide secure, safe, and comfortable housing for the Specialist. Typical accommodations are hotels, university housing at the faculty/professional level, and (if set up in consultation with the Specialist candidate and approved by them) approved homestays with host institution staff or faculty.
- Organize and provide funding or in-kind assistance for pick-up/drop-off at the airport at the beginning and end of the project.
- Provide funding or in-kind support for all meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all days in-country (including weekends). Typical options include stipends to provide opportunities for Specialists to go to local restaurants or shop for groceries, university cafeterias, have meals at a homestay, etc. The funding must be calculated in USD and should not exceed USG per diem rates.
- Notify posts or commissions of any problems or concerns while the Specialist is carrying out his or her project.
- Complete the final report.
- Report to the Embassy or commission regarding a project’s impact and media coverage.
In general, all projects designed by host institutions must adhere to the below eligibility requirements.
– One country per project: With the exception of projects falling under a trilateral grant initiative, Fulbright Specialist projects are restricted to one country. All project activities must take place in the country requesting the project. If the project requests the Specialist to be in multiple locations, all locations must fall in the same country.
– One Specialist per project: A Fulbright Specialist project is restricted to one Specialist grantee.
– Length of project: The length of a Fulbright Specialist project must be a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 42 days, including travel days and weekends.
Matching a Specialist with a Project
Host institutions are not required to identify U.S. academics or professionals to serve as their project’s Fulbright Specialist prior to submitting their project proposal. On the contrary, if a host institution’s project is approved, the program’s implementing partner, World Learning, will identify candidates on the Fulbright Specialist Roster whose professional experience, academic credentials and foreign language skills match the knowledge and skills articulated by the host institution in its project proposal as being critical to the project’s successful implementation.
If a host institution has identified a candidate that it would like to serve as the Fulbright Specialist, please note that the following conditions must be met:
– The individual must be approved by [Insert Name of Post/Fulbright Commission];
– The individual must be approved to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster; and
– The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board must approve that individual to be matched with the host institution’s specific project.
For more information on the Specialist matching process and the Fulbright Specialist Roster, please visit http://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org.
Institutions that may be eligible to request a Fulbright Specialist include, but are not limited to:
Reputable academic institutions (universities, colleges, research institutions, vocational/technical educational institutions); government institutions (ministries); cultural institutions (museums, libraries, conservatories, theaters); non-governmental organizations (NGOs, think tanks), and public health-related institutions (public health organizations, teaching hospitals).
Eligible fields include, but are not limited to:
Agriculture, American (U.S.) Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology Education, Business Administration, Chemistry Education, Communications and Journalism, Economics, Education, Engineering Education, Environmental Science, Computer Science and Information Technology, Law, Library Science, Mathematics, Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies, Physics Education, Political Science, Public Administration, Public/Global Health, Social Work, Sociology, and Urban Planning.
Institutions may be ineligible if they are:
U.S. or U.S.-based institutions as well as for-profit companies and organizations such as businesses and corporations are ineligible to host Fulbright Specialists. Projects with activities focused on English as a foreign language such as designing curricula, or conducting needs assessments, teacher training, or high-level educational consultations in that field, are not eligible for the FSP but are eligible for ECA support under the English Language Specialist Program.
How to Apply
Selection Process and Timeline
After a project proposal is received, it will be reviewed by the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Only project proposals that are completed in their entirety will be reviewed. Please note that the Embassy typically receives more project proposals from prospective host institutions than it is able to support with limited funding. Therefore, not all proposals submitted will be approved.
If your project proposal is approved by the Embassy it must then be approved by multiple offices within the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
This is a rolling application and can be submited at any time.