Everything You Need to Know About Fulbright Scholar Awards

May 14, 2024
Young Muslim Woman wearing a headscarf or hijab, walking with luggage in an airport for her Fulbright Scholar Award Trip
The Fulbright Scholar Awards offer professionals and early-career academics the opportunity to travel abroad to teach and conduct research.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards for 2025-2026 offer exciting opportunities for scholars and experienced professionals to engage in international educational exchange. Designed to foster mutual understanding between nations, the Fulbright Program provides funding and resources to pursue teaching, research, and various other activities in countries worldwide. Fulbright Foreign Visiting Scholar Awards are also available for international scholars looking to study and research in the US.


To participate in the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards, you must be a U.S. citizen. A dual citizen is also eligible in some cases, but this may vary depending on the country. Similar to the Fulbright U.S. Student Awards, residency limits exist where you are ineligible if you’ve resided outside the U.S. for 5 out of the past 6 years. Additionally, with over 400 awards in 135 countries, each specific award may have different educational requirements, with a terminal degree and years of experience needed beforehand. The 2025-2026 Fulbright Scholar Awards application deadline is Monday, September 16, 2024, at 5:00 PM EST.


Awards vary from two months to a full academic year and have varying start dates. Some programs allow participants to spend time in multiple countries during their Fulbright tenure. Additionally, The Shcolar Awards offer a Flex option where Fulbrighters can complete their project in short trips to the host country rather than moving abroad for the duration of their award. Be sure to check if this option is available for the country you’re interested in.

As the Scholar awards are open to early career, mid-career, senior academic, professionals, and postdocs, it’s crucial to check if you qualify for the awards you’re interested in. As a U.S. higher education affiliation is not required, you just need a qualifying degree and years of experience to be a competitive applicant!

Prospective candidates can look forward to participating in various activities, including teaching, research, arts collaborations, and other academic pursuits. These activities contribute to the cultural enrichment and educational advancement of the participants and host institutions.

Each award type will list the primary activity. For teaching, scholars will be in a classroom setting, giving lectures and seminars, teaching undergrad and grad students. Their responsibilities may also include advising and consulting on research.

If you’re interested in research, scholars also have the opportunity to engage in qualitative, quantitative, and artistic research. Research activities may include laboratory work, field studies, archival research, or artistic residencies, with outcomes such as publications, presentations, exhibitions, performances, or patents. Some awards will allow scholars to have a mix of both teaching and research.

There are also Professional Projects for professionals and artists to explore topics relevant to their fields through interactions with international organizations. Activities include consultations, artist residencies, visits to institutions, public lectures, mentoring, exhibitions, and participation in public events, fostering professional growth and cross-cultural exchange.

Types of Fulbright Scholar Awards Available

In addition to the standard Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award or Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award, Fulbright offers several specialized awards catering to specific interests and expertise:

Fulbright Postdoctoral Awards

Postdoc awards are open to scholars who will have received a doctoral degree (Ph.D., J.D., M.D., Ed.D., etc.) within five to seven years of the fellowship start date, as noted in the award description. Degree conferment before the start of the award is mandatory.

Global Scholar Award

This award is tailored for scholars keen on global issues and a commitment to cross-cultural exchange. It provides opportunities to delve into topics with international significance and collaborate with institutions worldwide.

Public Policy Fellowships

Ideal for professionals passionate about policy issues and governance, it offers a platform to dive into the intricacies of policymaking and contribute to meaningful discourse on global challenges.

Arctic Initiative

This award is for Scholars interested in the Arctic region’s unique environmental, social, and geopolitical dynamics. It enables scholars to contribute to the understanding and sustainable development of the Arctic.


Mirroring the Artic initiative, the Amazonia Award is for researchers interested in the Amazon region’s ecological richness and cultural diversity. The award provides an immersive experience in studying its challenges and opportunities. Scholars engage with local communities and institutions to address pressing issues such as conservation, indigenous rights, and sustainable development.

Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Awards

For seasoned professionals with over seven years of experience, distinguished scholars undertake advanced research and teaching abroad. These awards recognize the expertise and achievements of scholars, empowering them to make significant contributions to their fields on a global scale.

Other Fulbright Award Opportunities

In addition to the traditional Fulbright Scholar award, Fulbright also offers shorter-term and specialized awards for scholars and experienced professionals.

Fulbright Specialist

The Fulbright Specialist Program provides short-term academic opportunities to U.S. faculty and professionals, allowing them to collaborate with host institutions on projects that address the needs of participating countries.

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers

This program brings international primary and secondary school teachers to the United States for a semester-long professional development experience, enhancing their teaching skills and fostering cross-cultural exchange.

Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy

The Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy allows outstanding mid-career professionals from New Zealand to conduct research in the United States on topics relevant to both countries, fostering bilateral understanding and collaboration in public policy development.

These are just a few! Sign up to use the free ProFellow fellowships database and enter the keyword “Fulbright” in the search bar.

Fulbright Fellow Insights

Need help determining what to expect for the application or projects you can work on as a Fulbright Scholar? Read some of our exclusive interviews with Fulbright award winners:

  • Miles Iton is an entrepreneur who created his own education company by combining teaching and hip-hop. He initially won a Fulbright award to pursue his Master’s and is now returning to Taiwan with the English Teaching Flagship Award (ETF).
  • A US-UK Fulbright Scholar Lily Mott used her award to pursue an MA in Digital Media and Society at Cardiff University in Wales.
  • Dr. Jatin Mohan utilized his Fulbright award to study a classical music postdoc fellowship at the City University of New York.
  • Tyler Pugeda is a deaf biomedical scientist and aspiring physician who conducted research on Alzheimer’s in Germany during his Fulbright fellowship.

Looking for international award alternatives?

Check out our article 30 Alternatives to the Fulbright US Scholar Grant for Faculty and Professionals.


The Fulbright Scholar Awards offer a prestigious opportunity for individuals across diverse fields, including STEM, humanities, arts, and professional sectors, to teach and research abroad. With various specialized awards catering to specific interests and expertise, the Fulbright Program facilitates cross-cultural exchange and fosters global understanding.

Get ProFellow Application Support

Need more support? Register for the Fulbright Applicant Mastermind Workshop for the 2025-26 U.S. Student & ETA Awards, U.S. Scholar Awards, U.S. Specialist Program, and Foreign Applicant Awards. This online workshop with ProFellow Founder and Fulbright Award Winner, Dr. Vicki Johnson, to learn insider tips and tricks for getting started and putting forth a successful application!

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