Fulbright Specialist Program
The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP), part of the larger Fulbright Program, was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is a field-driven initiative in which foreign host institutions conceptualise and design projects of interest within an eligible discipline that represent a priority for their respective organisations. These projects are then paired with a highly qualified U.S. academic or professional, who shares their expertise and assists with strengthening linkages between U.S. and foreign host institutions. Participating foreign host institutions benefit by:
- Gaining global perspectives from experienced U.S. academics and professionals;
- Executing projects that require a rapid response or flexible timeline through short-term, year-round exchanges; and
- Building sustained relationships with individuals and institutions in the U.S.
Eligibility Requirements for Host Institutions
Institutions that may be eligible to request a Fulbright Specialist include, but are not limited to:
- Institutions of Higher Education;
- Government Institutions (ministries or agencies, courts, parliamentary or congressional bodies);
- Cultural Institutions (conservatories, museums, etc.);
- Non-Governmental Organisations including issue-centred institutions and think tanks; and
- Medical Institutions (public health organisations, teaching hospitals, etc.).
Fulbright Specialist Program Activities
The Fulbright Specialist Program encourages host institutions to tailor projects to their own needs. However, all projects should have an education or training focus. Due to the short-term nature of the exchange, projects should have concrete objectives that can be achieved over the course of the Specialist’s visit. Past Specialists have supported host institutions by conducting activities such as:
- Delivering a seminar or workshop
- Consulting on faculty or workforce development
- Developing academic or training curricula and materials
- Lecturing at the graduate or undergraduate level
- Conducting needs assessments or evaluations for a program or institution
Note: Personal research projects, including clinical medical research or projects involving patient contact, are not eligible for funding under the Fulbright Specialist Program.
- All exchanges must range from 14 to 42 days in length, including weekends, holidays and travel days.
- Projects are restricted to one country, and all project activities must take place in the country requesting the project.
- Each project is limited to only one Fulbright Specialist grantee.
- In any given year, no more than one grant can be awarded per institution.
Multi-Visit (Serial Projects)
- If a host institution would benefit by having the Fulbright Specialist visit the host institution more than once, host institutions may apply for their project to be Multi-Visit. Please note that the majority of approved projects are not Multi-Visit, and host institutions will need to provide a strong justification for why this approach would strengthen project outcomes. Please find below some general program parameters for Multi-Visit projects.
- Multi-Visit projects cannot include more than a total of three trips.
- All trips must be completed within a one-year period by the same Fulbright Specialist. The one-year period is calculated by adding 12 months from the initial start date of the first visit through the end date of the final visit.
- Each visit must be a minimum of 14 days, and the total number of days across all visits cannot exceed six weeks (42 days).
Identifying Fulbright Specialists
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 the Australian-American 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 click here.
Program Funding and Cost Share
The U.S. Department of State typically covers round trip, economy class international airfare, enrolment in a limited health benefits program, and a daily honorarium for participating Fulbright Specialists. In general, 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.
How to Apply for an FSP Grant
Prospective host institutions should direct all questions to Dr Pablo Jiménez.
Applications open 1 July and close 30 September each year.
Australian institutions must submit their application via World Learning’s online portal (click here). Each application will have a primary contact from the applicant institution.
The Australian-American Fulbright Commission will only review proposals that are completed in their entirety and submitted during the application period. Applications from Australian institutions are assessed in October by a selection panel and recommended by the Commission for approval in November from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
A limited number of FSP grants for Australia are on offer each year depending on funding. Awards are announced in December. Specialists visits can take place between January and December of the following year.
Projects designed by prospective host institutions should focus on one of the below eligible disciplines:
- American Studies
- Biology Education
- Business Administration
- Chemistry Education
- Communications and Journalism
- Computer Science and Information Technology
- Engineering Education
- Environmental Science
- Library Science
- Math Education
- Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies
- Physics Education
- Political Science
- Public Administration
- Public/Global Health
- Social Work
- Urban Planning
Individuals Interested in Serving as a Fulbright 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 click here.
U.S. academics and professionals interested in applying to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster, should direct all questions to World Learning.