Fulbright Specialist Program

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.

And the program scholarship covers:

  • All Transportation Costs: International airfare and domestic travel
  • Living and Meals Accommodations: Participants are provided housing and modest meals and incidental expenses allowance;
  • Health Insurance: Participants are provided with accident and sickness benefit for the duration of their program;
  • Visa Costs: Visa payment is waived for all U.S. Government sponsored scholarship participants;
  • Travel Allowance: Participants are provided with small allowance for luggage and other travel-related expenses.

*Please note that the Fulbright Specialist program does not allow dependents to accompany participants. The program will not provide any visa or financial support to any family members. Applicants therefore must not plan to bring any family members along while they participate in the program.

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.

Matching a Specialist with a Project: 

Specialists can be matched with projects through an open process, or they may be named by the host institution, post or commission.  In order to be eligible to carry out a FSP project, Specialists must first be admitted to the Fulbright Specialist Roster (Roster).  Admission to the Roster is based on favorable review by a peer review committee – an independent panel of scholars and professionals, which reviews applications approximately six times per year.  This is the same general review process as the Fulbright Scholar Program, of which the FSP is a component.  Following approval by the peer review committee, individuals are placed on the Specialist Roster, which makes them eligible to be matched with Specialist projects.  Final approval of candidates’ eligibility to receive a FSP grant is made by the FFSB following the matching of a candidate with a specific project.  Full eligibility information and requirements are available at https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/eligibility-specialists/.

Individuals interested in serving as a Fulbright Specialist must meet all eligibility requirements including:

  • Be a U.S. citizen; and
  • Have significant experience in one of the eligible disciplines, as demonstrated by professional, academic, or artistic achievements.

For a complete list of eligibility requirements and information on how to apply to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster, please visit https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/.

U.S. academics and professionals interested in applying to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster should direct all questions to World Learning at fulbrightspecialist@worldlearning.org.

For U.S. academics and professionals to become eligible to serve as a Fulbright Specialist, they must first be approved to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster. In order to join the Roster, interested candidates submit a full application (including CV and three references) via the online portal. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Upon receipt of an application, World Learning conducts a review of the candidate’s full dossier to ensure that they meet all eligibility requirements. All eligible applicants are then reviewed by a Peer Review Panel, consisting of three panelists of the same general field as the applicant who have demonstrated professional experience and have been chosen for their knowledge and expertise.

Peer Review Panels evaluate applications to join the Fulbright Specialist Program every eight weeks. For Specialist application evaluation criteria and deadlines, visit fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/the-peer-review-process/.

Prospective Specialists and host institutions participate in a competitive selection and matching process.

Step One: Host institution develops project proposal and seeks approval.
Step Two: Interested individuals apply to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster.
Step Three: Eligible individuals on the Fulbright Specialist Roster matched to host institution projects.
Step Four: Final approval by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Step Five: Fulbright specialist implements project abroad with host institution.

To learn more about how Fulbright Specialist projects are administered, click here.

For additional information please:

– Visit the Fulbright Specialist website for a general program overview and highlights:  https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/

– Contact our implementing partner World Learning at Fulbrightspecialist@worldlearning.org for assistance with the project portal and application procedures, or for program materials.