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 two letters of reference) 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. Please note that the Specialist application deadline listed below is the deadline to receive both the Specialist application as well as two completed letters of reference. Individuals who are listed as references in an application will automatically receive a customized link via email to the online recommendation form after an application has been submitted. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their references have received this email and completed the recommendation form prior to the peer review cycle deadline.

Evaluation Criteria

Peer Review Panels assess candidates based upon the following areas:

  • Professional Qualifications

    • Quality and breadth of the candidate’s academic, professional or artistic excellence, as evidenced by professional standing and other achievements listed in the applicant’s dossier.

    • Demonstrated capacity for leadership within their field.

  • Suitability for Specialist Grant Activity

    • Alignment of candidate’s background and skills with their objectives for the program outlined in the candidate’s application essays.

    • Feasibility of the candidate to successfully engage in eligible grant activities.

    • Quality of the References given on behalf of the Applicant.

  • Cross-Cultural Communication Skills and Adaptability

    • Quality of their previous international/intercultural experience.

    • If the candidate possesses no international experience, demonstration of dynamism and flexibility necessary for active involvement in a host culture.

  • Overall Benefit to Stakeholders

    • Applicant’s potential to contribute to a host institution abroad.

    • Applicant’s potential benefit to their home institution/organization in the United States.

    • Potential for advancement of knowledge in the applicant’s field of study.

  • Personal Qualities

    • Applicant possesses the professionalism, temperament, and adaptability to successfully complete a project designed by a host institution abroad and to serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States.

Next Steps for Accepted Applicants

Congratulations on your acceptance to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster. Your acceptance to the Roster does not mean that you are now a Fulbright Specialist; rather, it places you among a pool of candidates who may be matched to a host institution project at some point during your three-year tenure.

Should your profile match the needs of a host institution, World Learning will contact you to verify your availability and interest in the project.

Next Steps for Denied Applicants

If you did not meet all of the eligibility requirements, and subsequently, were not advanced to the peer review stage, you may reapply as soon as you meet all eligibility requirements.

For those candidates that meet all eligibility requirements, you may apply to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster twice every 12 months. If you are not approved with your first application, you may reapply to be reviewed as soon as the next peer review panel cycle. If you are not approved with your second application, you will be eligible to reapply 12 months after receiving notification that your second application was not approved. It is strongly advised that denied applicants review their CV and essay responses against the above Evaluation Criteria and provide updated information to strengthen their application before resubmitting.

Should you have any questions about the peer review process, please contact World Learning at