Fulbright Senior Specialist Program

The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) promotes linkages between U.S. academics and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas. The program is designed to award grants to qualified U.S. faculty and professionals, in select disciplines, to engage in short-term collaborative 2 to 6 week projects at host institutions in over 100 countries worldwide. International travel costs and a stipend are funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating host institutions cover grantee in-country expenses or provide in-kind services.

Project activities focus on strengthening and supporting the development needs of host institutions abroad and do not fund personal or clinical medical research and related projects involving patient contact. Eligible activities include short-term lecturing, conducting seminars, teacher training, special conferences or workshops, as well as collaborating on curriculum planning, institutional and/or faculty development.

U.S. faculty and professionals apply to join a Roster of Specialists for a 5 year term.  Roster candidates are reviewed by peers in the same discipline, and by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB).

Eligible institutions wanting to host a Fulbright Specialist submit project applications through the Fulbright Commissions or U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Sections in their home countries.  Projects must be reviewed and approved by the Fulbright office in their home country and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Program Description

Qualified U.S. scholars and professionals apply throughout the calendar year for candidacy on the Fulbright Specialists Roster. Peer review is conducted eight times each year. CIES builds lists of qualified Specialist candidates for each eligible discipline and facilitates matching Specialist candidates with project requests.

Eligible institutions submit Specialist project requests through the appropriate Fulbright agency in their country. Once approved by the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy, the Specialist project request is forwarded to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for final approval.


The goals of the Fulbright Specialist Program are: 


  • To increase the participation of leading U.S. scholars and professionals in Fulbright academic exchanges
  • To encourage new activities that go beyond the core Fulbright activities of lecturing and research
  • To promote increased connections between U.S. and non-U.S. institutions 


Fulbright Specialist projects are designed to provide U.S. faculty and professionals with opportunities to collaborate with professional counterparts at non-U.S. institutions on curriculum and faculty development, institutional planning and a variety of other activities. For example, grantees may:

  • Conduct needs assessments, surveys, institutional or programmatic research at non-U.S. post-secondary, degree granting academic institutions
  • Take part in specialized academic programs and conferences in conjunction with other scheduled activities
  • Consult with administrators and instructors of non-U.S. post-secondary, degree granting institutions on faculty development
  • Present lectures at graduate and undergraduate levels
  • Participate in or lead seminars or workshops at non-U.S. post-secondary, degree granting academic institutions
  • Develop and/or assess academic curricula or educational materials at non-U.S. post-secondary, degree granting academic institutions
  • Conduct teacher-training programs at the degree granting level


The Fulbright Specialist Program is active in all world regions. Countries eligible to participate in the program include those where there is a U.S. embassy or a Fulbright Commission. If a country has not participated in the Fulbright Specialist Program and wishes to inquire about their eligibility, they should contact CIES. Lists of these countries can be found at Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy and Fulbright Commission.


The Fulbright Specialist Program is open to qualified U.S. scholars and professionals in the disciplines list. Applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin and /or physical impairment.

Applicants must meet all of the eligibility requirements. In matching candidates with grant opportunities, preference will be given to candidates with the most relevant professional experience.

After State Department approval of the project, CIES contacts the preferred candidate indicated by the requesting institution or, for open requests, contacts appropriate Specialist candidates to ascertain their interest and availability for the project. CIES processes the grant and administers the grant payment for the candidate ultimately selected for the Specialist project.


The program will award grants ranging from two to six weeks and will make use of serial grants if deemed necessary. The grant period for a project is determined by the host institution and includes travel days to and from the host institution as well as weekends.


Grant benefits include international economy fare travel and approved related expenses plus a $200 per day honorarium. The honorarium is payable upon completion of the grant and submission of an online final report and travel expense report. Host institutions normally cover in-country per diem costs for lodging, meals and transportation.