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 should submit an application via the online portal. Applications are accepted 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 approximately 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 references. Individuals who are listed as references in an application will automatically receive a customized link via email to the online reference 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 reference 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 candidate.
  • Cross-Cultural Communication Skills and Adaptability

    • Quality of the candidate's 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

    • Candidate’s potential to contribute to a host institution abroad.
    • Candidate’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 are now eligible to be matched to a project. During your three-year Roster tenure, you will have access to a customized Fulbright Specialist Portal for Roster Candidates.

Within the Portal, you can view and express interest in any available open projects and view any approved projects to which you have been matched. If you are selected as a final candidate for an open project, World Learning will contact you to re-verify your availability and interest.

Next Steps for Not Approved 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 met all eligibility requirements, you may apply to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster twice every 12 months. If you were not approved with your first application, you may reapply immediately and be included in the next peer review panel cycle. If you were 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.

Questions About the Application Process

For general questions about the application process, please contact World Learning at

For questions about the peer review process, please contact World Learning at