Fulbright Scholar Program
Deadline: September 15, 2023
The traditional Fulbright Scholar Program sends more than 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. Awardees lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Applications for program participation must be submitted online by September 15.
Because of the variation in duration and financial support, applicants should work closely with their department chair and dean’s office to develop a plan that fits the particular situation. Eligibility for these awards is limited to tenured and tenure-track faculty.
Fulbright Specialist Program
The Fulbright Specialist Program is designed to provide short-term academic opportunities (2 to 6 weeks) for U.S. faculty and professionals. These shorter grant lengths give specialists greater flexibility to pursue a grant that works best with their current academic or professional commitments. Applications for the Fulbright Specialist Program are accepted on a rolling basis, and peer reviews of applications are conducted eight times per year. Applicants apply throughout the calendar year to obtain candidacy on the Fulbright Specialist Roster. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) builds lists of qualified Specialist candidates for each eligible discipline and matches Senior Specialist candidates with project requests. Applicants who are recommended by specialist peer review committees and approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board become candidates for Fulbright Senior Specialist projects.
Visit the Fulbright Specialist Program website to learn more about eligible disciplines and to obtain an application.
Leave and Compensation Matters
Fulbright Core Scholar Awards typically will require a leave from the UI during the academic year, so faculty need to discuss their leave, teaching responsibilities, and compensation matters with their DEO and College.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ stipend supplement policy, employed for several other fellowships, cannot be applied to Fulbright Awards, due to the varying award amounts and manner in which those awards are paid out to the Scholar. Leave and compensation for CLAS faculty members who receive Fulbright Awards will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Dean’s Office. While preparing the application, please contact Ann Knudson, who will work with CLAS Associate Deans to determine how each award would be handled.
Common misperceptions: Read about common misperceptions about the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Fulbright program officers: To contact the appropriate Fulbright program officers for more information about specific programs, visit the U.S. Scholar Program website.
Upcoming Events: Webinars sponsored by the Fulbright Scholar Program: Please click here for a list of upcoming webinars.
Application Assistance: For assistance in preparing applications, contact applicant's departmental/collegiate grants administrator or:
Fulbright Scholar Liaison
Advice to Applicants
Professor, UI School of Social Work; Director, Aging & Longevity Studies Program
Fulbright-García Robles U.S. Studies Professorship/Chair Teaching and Research Award (2019-2020), Mexico City, Mexico
How did your Fulbright experience contribute to your professional development?
This is an amazing opportunity to learn about how higher education works in a country other than the USA. I see strengths of the Mexican system that I would like to incorporate and I see ways in which we do things at Iowa that could be considered here. One big change is that most of the graduate students I am teaching here at the University of Guadalajara in the gerontology department receive generous financial support that allows them (actually requires them) to devote full attention to their graduate work. Being a graduate student is their full-time job. The caliber of the work accomplished by these graduate students in two short years is impressive. In terms of my own professional development I have learned that I need to consider scholarly literature beyond the US only, because there are good ideas everywhere!
What advice would you have for other faculty members interested in applying for Fulbright?
Some Fulbright awards require language competency and others do not, so choose accordingly. Consider whether you are interested in conducting research in another country, teaching, or a combination. That may depend on how much time you want to be away from the UI. If you are applying for a two-semester Fulbright, that would allow more time for research (although faculty have been successful doing a one-semester research Fulbright). Fulbright is about building connections across national borders. Apply with the attitude that you want to learn about scholarship and higher education in another country. It is also about being part of a network of scholars from various fields who are all assigned to the same country. I have met amazing scholars from all over the US who are also doing a Fulbright here in Mexico. The opportunity to interact with these scholars through orientation sessions has been an unexpected delight. Fulbright is an extended network, extended throughout the US and throughout the world. It is an opportunity to share what you have learned with others and to learn—and live—another culture, which can enrich your own scholarship and teaching when you return to the University of Iowa. What a privilege!
Note: different UI colleges deal with Fulbright awards in different ways. Strive to get a clear understanding and commitment from your college (in writing) before you accept the Fulbright. Also, and this is very important, work closely with the UI staff in International Programs, they are knowledgeable, resourceful and extremely supportive. I would not be here in Mexico without the support of UI International Programs; they helped de-mystify the process for me and provided guidance at every step of the way.