Programs and Grants
The Fulbright Program works in two ways: eligible U.S. citizens receive funding to go to foreign countries through the U.S. Student Program, US Scholar Program, and Teacher Exchange Program; and eligible non-U.S. citizens receive funding to go to the U.S. via the Foreign Student Program, Visiting Scholar Program, or Teacher Exchange Program .
Recommended candidates for Fulbright grants should have high academic achievement, a compelling project proposal, demonstrable leadership potential, and the flexibility and adaptability required for successful interaction with the target foreign host community . Fulbright grants are offered in almost all academic disciplines: fine arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural and physical sciences, and professional and applied sciences. Grants do not cover clinical medical research involving patient contact [47, 49].
The U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating seniors, graduate students, young professionals, and artists to research, study, or teach English abroad for one academic year. Similarly, the Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from outside the US to conduct research and study in the United States. Some scholarships are renewed after the initial year of study .
The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. It provides grants for individually designed study/research projects, English Teaching Assistant Programs, or Fulbright-mtvU musical Fellowships.
The study/research grant category includes projects in both the academic and arts fields. Applicants for these grants design their own projects and typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. The International Fulbright Science and Technology Award is intended to support doctoral study at leading U.S. institutions in science, technology, engineering, or related fields for outstanding foreign students.
The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program provides opportunities for young English teachers from overseas to develop and polish their teaching skills and expand their knowledge of American culture and society while enriching the quality of instruction of foreign languages at U.S. colleges and universities. U.S. grantees are also placed in overseas schools to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in classrooms .
The Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships award up to four U.S. students the opportunity to study the power of music as a cultural force abroad and to conduct research for one academic year on projects of their own design. The projects should concern a chosen aspect of international musical culture and focus on contemporary or popular music as a cultural force for expression .
Travel grants are designed to supplement an award from any source that does not provide for international travel or to supplement students' own funds for study/ research.
Fulbright helps faculty and administrators build a “multiplier effect” by infusing cross-cultural perspectives into curricula, revitalizing teaching methods, and opening doors for international colleagues and students. The Fulbright Scholar Program includes the U.S. Scholar Program, the U.S. Specialist Program, the Visiting Scholar Program, the Scholar-in-Residence Program, and the Regional Network for Applied Research Program [47, 51, 52].
The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) is responsible for conducting international exchange programs for scholars and university administrators [49–53]. The CIES maintains strong ties with the higher education community in the U.S. and worldwide and collaborates with a network of bi-national Fulbright Commissions in 50 countries and 90 U.S. diplomatic posts around the world. To date, CIES has placed close to 50,000 scholars in over 140 countries and more than 45,000 overseas scholars have visited U.S. colleges, universities, and research institutions through programs for U.S. scholars, visiting scholars, and
The U.S. Scholar Program offers American faculty members, scholars, and professionals fellowships to go abroad to lecture and/or conduct research for up to a year . The program attracts approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals annually to more than 140 countries to lecture, teach, and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Scholars contribute not only to their host institutions, but also to their home universities and colleges.
The program also includes the U.S. Distinguished Chairs Program which comprises approximately 40 distinguished lecturing, distinguished research, and distinguished lecturing/research awards for 3to 12-month periods [47, 52]. These awards are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Candidates should be outstanding scholars with significant publications to their name and outstanding teaching records [51–53].
The U.S. Specialist Program promotes linkages between U.S. faculty and professionals with their counterparts at host institutions overseas by serving as expert consultants on curriculum or faculty development, institutional planning, and related subjects at overseas academic institutions [47, 51]. The program awards grants for short-term collaborative projects in over 140 countries and 24 academic disciplines.
The International Education Administrator (IEA) Seminars is a 2-week program open to experienced U.S. international education administrators and other senior higher education officials to engage in a comparative study of the society, culture, and higher education systems of France, Germany, India, Japan, or South Korea .
There are other U.S. scholar programs such as the Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar Awards for U.S. scholars who have recently completed their doctoral degree (or other terminal degree), and the Fulbright-Fogarty U.S. Scholar Grants intended to promote post-doctoral research in public health in resource-limited settings [47, 51].
The Visiting Scholar Programs provide American colleges, universities, and research institutions a key resource to support their internationalization by bringing foreign scholars to lecture and/or conduct post-doctoral or advanced research for up to a year at U.S. colleges and universities . Approximately 850 faculty and professionals from more than 155 countries receive Fulbright grants each year. The program links campuses around the world and introduces new ideas and contacts to students, faculty, and administrators .
The Visiting Scholar Enrichment Programs offer a variety of enrichment activities in different locations throughout the academic year to enable visiting scholars to better experience America and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries [51, 52].
The Scholar-in-Residence (S-I-R) Program brings foreign scholars to U.S. colleges and universities for up to a year to assist in the internationalization of U.S. campuses, curriculum, and communities, to teach in their areas of expertise, and to provide a cross-cultural or international perspective to promote curriculum and program development [47, 51, 52].
The Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF) provides funding for campuses to host Fulbright Visiting Scholars who are already in the United States for short-term engagements to give lectures and discuss and exchange ideas.
The Regional Network of Scholars Program brings together a network of junior scholars, professionals, and mid-career applied researchers from the United States, Brazil, Canada, and other Western Hemisphere nations for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience in a year-long program that includes multidisciplinary, team-based research. The program fosters collaborative and multidisciplinary research to address challenging regional issues and produce tangible results [47, 51].
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative Program for scholars, professionals, and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden consists of a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience.
A portion of the Fulbright Program is a Congressional appropriation to the United States Department of Education (USDE) for the Fulbright-Hays Program. These grants are awarded to individual U.S. pre-teachers, teachers and administrators, pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral faculty, as well as to U.S. institutions and organizations. Funding supports research and overseas training efforts, which focus on non-Western foreign languages and area studies [47, 54].
The Teacher Exchange Program supports one-to-one exchanges of teachers from secondary schools and a small number of post-secondary institutions abroad for a semester to pursue individual projects, conduct research, and lead master classes or seminars .
The Hubert H. Humphrey Program for Professionals brings outstanding midcareer professionals from the developing world and societies in transition to the
U.S. for one year. Fellows participate in a non-degree program of academic study and gain professional experience.
Benefits of the Program
It is worth repeating, as was previously stated, that the program was established to promote peace and mutual understanding between individuals, institutions, and future leaders, wherever they may be, through the educational exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, thereby increasing the likelihood of nations finally learning to live and coexist in peace and harmony .
The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis by enabling individuals to meet, work, live with, and learn from the host country's inhabitants, sharing daily cultural experiences. Through engagement in the community, individuals interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, which invariably and inevitably aids in the promotion of mutual cultural understanding. It also assists in the internationalization of campuses, curriculum, and communities.
Fulbright alumni have occupied, and are currently occupying, key roles in government, academia, and industry, and are therefore in positions where they are able to influence national and international relations and polices. There have been 10 program alumni elected to the U.S. Congress, 18 have served as heads of state or government, and one has served as United Nations Secretary General . The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 53 program alumni and 78 have received the Pulitzer Prize . More Nobel Prizes have been awarded to former Fulbright recipients than to recipients of any other award program.