If your question is not answered below, please contact your local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy. To locate the contact information for the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country, visit Participating Countries.
About the Fulbright Specialist Program
What is the Fulbright Specialist Program?
- For more information on the Fulbright Specialist Program, including details of the program application, selection, and implementation process, please see the pages listed under the About tab in the navigation bar at the top of this page.
How is the Fulbright Specialist Program different from other Fulbright programs?
- The Fulbright Specialist Program is a field-driven initiative in which host institutions abroad conceptualize and design projects of interest that represent a priority for their respective organizations. For program details, visit the About the Fulbright Specialist Program page.
What costs are host institutions responsible for?
- Please consult the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country for country-specific information on host institution costs. 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. However, if your institution is unable to cover these costs, in certain countries, there may be limited funding available to support these expenses, so please contact your Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy for more information.
Eligibility and the Application Process
I am interested in hosting a Fulbright Specialist at my institution. What should I do first?
- All potential host institutions should first contact their country’s Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy to learn more about country-specific regulations, deadlines, and application procedures.
Is my institution eligible to host a Specialist?
- The Fulbright Specialist Program is open to a variety of institutions including, but not limited to, universities, government bodies, cultural centers, medical facilities, and non-governmental organizations. Institutions that are ineligible to host a Fulbright Specialist include for-profit organizations and businesses, partisan organizations, and international governmental organizations such as those that are UN-affiliated or sponsored by USAID.
- If your institution is interested in hosting a Fulbright Specialist, please contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country for country-specific eligibility requirements, as these can vary. For more information, see Eligibility Requirements for Host Institutions.
How do I access the application?
- Please consult with your local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy for country-specific application deadlines and for access to the online application portal. You can find their website through our list of participating countries.
What information and documents are required to complete the application?
- Please have the following information available before beginning your application:
- Contact information for the project’s main point of contact
- Details about the proposed project, including objectives, specific program activities, and timeline
- Desired professional and/or academic qualifications for the individual who will serve as the project’s Fulbright Specialist
- Information about in-country expenses (lodging, meals, and in-country transportation for the Specialist)
- Some countries have additional application requirements that are not part of the online application for hosts. Thus, prospective host institutions must contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in their country to verify that they have submitted all required documents and information. Applications that do not include all materials requested by the country's Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy will be deemed ineligible.
- Please have the following information available before beginning your application:
When are applications due?
- Please note that each country determines its own selection process including application deadlines and review timelines. Therefore, all prospective host institutions must consult with the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in their country for country-specific application procedures and deadlines. In some cases, Fulbright Commissions and U.S. Embassies may issue a call for applications during a specified period of time and will not review materials submitted during other times of the year, while other countries may accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year. If your country accepts applications throughout the year, World Learning recommends allowing a minimum of 90 days between application submission and your anticipated start date.
How long will it take for my institution’s project proposal to be reviewed by the Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs?
- Contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country for details on their project review timeline; there is no standard across countries. If the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country approves your project, the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will typically review projects within three weeks from the date that it receives the project proposal. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs may request additional information from the host institution through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy, which may result in delays to the approval timeline.
What types of projects are allowed under the Fulbright Specialist Program?
- 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
- Conducting needs assessments or evaluations for a program or institution
- Lecturing at the graduate or undergraduate level
- Developing academic or training curricula and materials
Please note that personal research projects, including clinical medical projects, are not eligible for funding under the Fulbright Specialist Program.
What date should I list on my institution’s proposal as the anticipated start date?
- In most cases, World Learning recommends that host institutions submit their project proposal to their local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy at least 90 days prior to the anticipated start date of the project. Rapid response projects with anticipated start dates less than 90 days from their submission date may be considered, but host institutions should plan for alternate start dates.
- Please also note that the selection process in some countries can be longer than 90 days, and may take place only during certain times of year. For specific information about the recruitment and selection process for your country, please consult your local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy.
What are the Project Guidelines?
- 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.
- Time between projects for Specialists: A Specialist candidate will not be approved for a second Fulbright grant unless two years have passed from the date of completion of the previous Fulbright grant.
- Multi-Visit (Serial) projects: A Multi-Visit project is one in which a Specialist conducts more than one visit to the host institution for the purpose of necessary program evaluation or follow-up. If a project is approved to be Multi-Visit, all visits must occur within a one-year period, which is calculated by adding 12 months from the initial start date of the first visit through the end date of the final visit.
- A Multi-Visit project cannot include more than three visits in total, and all visits must not exceed six weeks (42 days) in total. In addition, each visit must be a minimum of 14 days.
- Please note that the majority of approved projects are not Multi-Visit, and project proposals should provide a strong justification for why more than one visit is necessary to achieve project outcomes.
How many project proposals can I submit?
- Contact your local Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy to determine if there are limitations to the number of applications you can submit. Please note that some institutions have internal competitions for proposal submission, so consult with the administration at your institution or Fulbright Coordinator (for academic institutions) to determine if this applies.
- Further, each country has a limited number of Fulbright Specialist grants allocated per fiscal year (October 1 through September 30). The Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country may limit the number of awards to one Fulbright Specialist project per year to each host institution in order to increase access to Fulbright programs.
If a project proposal is not approved, can it be submitted for reconsideration?
- Depending on the recruitment and selection process determined by the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country, you may be permitted to make modifications to your original project proposal.
My institution has been approached by a Specialist Candidate about collaborating on a project. Should we collaborate with the Candidate to develop a project?
- The Fulbright Specialist Program is unique among programs in the Fulbright portfolio in that host institutions lead the project development process. This ensures that any outside expertise requested through the Fulbright Specialist Program meets a need that the institution has self-identified as a critical area for its growth and development.
- While host institutions are permitted to explore collaborations with potential Specialists, they are under no obligation to consider unsolicited requests from Specialist Candidates. Host institutions that ultimately elect to name a particular Specialist Candidate on their project proposal must include a strong justification for the need to work with this Candidate and for all proposed activities.
- Before beginning a proposal, host institutions should contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in their country to confirm that the project aligns with Fulbright goals and to learn about application procedures. Named projects will not receive preference in the review or approval process from the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy of the host country, or from the U.S. Department of State. Any match between a Specialist candidate and a host institution must still be approved, regardless of if the candidate was specifically named by the host institution or if the Candidate is on the Fulbright Specialist Roster.
Identifying a Specialist For Your Project
How is our project matched with a Specialist? How long does the matching process take?
- Once a project proposal is submitted, it will be reviewed by your country’s Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy according to that country’s processes for reviewing project proposals. If your project proposal is approved, it is then reviewed by multiple offices within the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. If your project is fully approved by all parties, World Learning will identify up to five qualified individuals who have been admitted to the Fulbright Specialist Roster. Your institution will then be able to choose from amongst those individuals according to whose expertise most closely matches your needs. For more information, see Program Timeline.
Can we choose our own Specialist? Do we need to name a Specialist when submitting our application?
- Host institutions are not required to submit the name of a Specialist with their application; should the project be approved, World Learning will send a list of up to five Fulbright Specialist Roster candidates whose experience matches the needs of the project.
- If desired, host institutions do have the option of naming a Specialist in their application. Should your institution choose to name a candidate who is not on the Fulbright Specialist Roster, the candidate must complete the full application process and be approved to join the Roster before they are eligible to participate, regardless of whether they were requested by a host institution.
- If your institution has named a candidate who is currently on the Roster and eligible to participate in an exchange, this match must still be approved by the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country and the U.S. Department of State before the candidate can participate.
- Once a match between a Specialist candidate and a project has been made and approved by the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your country and the United States Department of State, the named Specialist is subject to approval by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB), regardless of whether they were designated in the project proposal.
Can I view the Fulbright Specialist Roster in order to identify a potential Specialist for my project?
- Host institutions interested in viewing the Fulbright Specialist Roster to identify possible candidates should contact their Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy for further guidance.
If a Specialist candidate’s tenure on the Fulbright Specialist Roster is set to expire soon, can my institution still name them on a project request?
- Host institutions should use discretion in naming candidates who are nearing the end of their time on the Roster. Any approved project should be completed before the candidate’s Roster tenure ends.