New 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Awards for Experienced Professionals

Jun 06, 2019

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is open to U.S. citizens to teach and conduct research abroad. It is predominantly targeted at academic faculty, independent researchers and artists. In the upcoming year, there are a number of new opportunities that are available to professionals who wish to develop their careers, further their research in a specific field and expand their network and understanding of other cultures.

Most of the grantees (93%) of the 2018-2019 U.S. Scholar Program were professionals aiming to work and research abroad, with a small percentage (7%) awarded attendance to the two week International Education Administrator (IEA) Seminars.

The grants range from two weeks to twelve months in length and are available in over 130 countries. There are a large number of awards open to all disciplines with a wide array of host institutions. To apply, you should have a specific project in mind with a strong proposal for your project. The deadline is September 16, 2019.

There are approximately 450 unique award offerings, each with their own set of eligibility criteria. The vast majority require a terminal degree as well as relevant teaching experience. If you do not have a terminal degree and would like to apply to the U.S. Scholar Program, don’t let this put you off. There are specific awards where professional experience or intent to complete a PhD may be sufficient for consideration. (It may also be that the U.S. Student Program is more suited to you. Head here to have a look.)

We’re going to take you through each Fulbright region and the new opportunities that are available in the upcoming year.

East-Asia and the Pacific

The East-Asia and Pacific region offers a selection of grants that vary in eligibility requirements. The ASEAN Research Program is offered to five grantees to conduct collaborative research for a period of 3 to 6 months. The program is open to various disciplines, ranging from Communications to Environmental Sciences to Public Administration. This award is open to all levels of scholars, including early career professionals, and does not require a terminal degree.

A new Fulbright Scholar Award in Resources and Energy is on offer at Curtin University in Australia. The grant lasts three to four months and requires a terminal degree in a relevant field.

To truly live up to Fulbright’s core goal of fostering diplomatic relations, the Peace Studies teaching grant at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies at Kyung Hee University in Korea is offered to those with a terminal degree in a relevant field for a period of up to tenth months. Alternatively, a new research grant is also offered in U.S.-Philippines Relations with a mandate to strengthen relations between the two countries.

If you are looking for a more general program, the region now offers a teaching and research award in Cambodia for a period of up to 10 months. It is open to all disciplines and can be undertaken at a variety of host institutions.

Finally, a grant which focuses on Study of the United States is open to those with a terminal degree who wish to teach American History, Literature and Politics in China, Hong Kong or Japan.

Europe and Eurasia

Some fascinating new opportunities that cover a range of disciplines are available in Europe and Eurasia for 2020-2021. A new grant has opened up in Romania, focussing on Investigative Journalism. Successful candidates are not required to have a terminal degree and will engage in a combination of teaching and research at Tirana University.

A new award is also being offered a the University of Vasaa in Finland for a period of up to twelve months. It is open to a variety of disciplines and requires a combination of research and lecturing at a graduate level.

The Iceland-Greece Joint Award on Economic Crisis Management offers grantees an opportunity to be resident in both countries for a period of 3 months each. The grant is research based and requires a terminal degree.

An opportunity to delve into Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation in Ireland is open to mid to late career professionals in the discipline of Business Administration. It lasts for a period of 3 months, during which time grantees will predominantly be resident at the School of Business at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Then, for those specializing in fields relating to Media Literacy and Cybersecurity, a grant that requires a combination of research and teaching in this field is available in Romania. It lasts for a period of approximately three to five months, and requires a relevant terminal degree.

Finally, the University of Murcia in Spain has added some new awards to its repertoire. Each award combines its own combination of teaching and research requirements and the variety of awards available ensures that multiple disciplines are covered.

Middle East and North Africa

The Flex Award is an exciting grant option now available in all disciplines for those seeking residence at the American University of Cairo. The beauty of the Flex Award is that is accommodates multiple visits to the host country, meaning research can be conducted in short segments.

In addition to this, a variety of new fellowship opportunities are now available in Israel, including 8 Senior Scholar Fellowships and 8 Postdoctoral Fellowships, in a range of disciplines.

Opportunities for residence within the Palestinian Territories exist in multiple departments, and include an expanded list of host institutions.

More specific awards include a new Postdoctoral Fellowship in Water, Energy and the Environment which is being offered at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha. It is specifically open to early career scholars and is offered for a maximum of six months.

A flexible grant is now open to researchers in Jordan for a period of 5 to 10 months. The grant covers a range of disciplines, with priority given to TEFL, Nursing, American Studies, and Migration Studies.

A geographically collaborative award between Morocco and Spain is offered for a period of up to 10 months and is actively seeking grantees to research the links between the two countries.

South and Central Asia

An excellent opportunity has opened up in India for scholars focussing on Climate Change. The New Climate Fellowship Award looks towards scientific and technical research in search of long-term solutions to addressing climate change issues.

Approximately three teaching / research grants are also available to all levels of scholars in a variety of disciplines and at an array of host institutions in Sri Lanka. Preference is given to host institutions that are yet to host Fulbrighters.

Two new teaching awards are available in the Republic of Maldives. While applicants from a range of disciplines are encouraged to apply, preferred areas of specialization are Sustainable Development and Criminal, Judicial or Rule of Law.

Lastly, if you are specifically looking to Teach English as a Foreign Language, Central Asia provides multiple opportunities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The Fulbright Program in Sudan restarted in 2018 after an almost 20 year hiatus. For scholars with an interest in the region, the program in this area is looking to bolster its reach through involving scholars in a variety of disciplines.

More discipline-specific opportunities have opened up in a few other Sub-Saharan countries. Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) is on the hunt for Fulbright Scholars in the disciplines of Business Administration, Economics and Mathematics. The grant is 6 to 10 months in length and can combine a combination of teaching and research work.

In Botswana, new opportunities exist for scholars in the field of Mobile Technologies and Multimedia, as well as in Network Security and Forensics. A terminal degree is required and the grant combines teaching and research work.

If you are looking for a grant in Engineering and Environmental Sciences, a grant is now available for those holding a relevant terminal degree to conduct research and teaching work a the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Western Hemisphere

Finally we reach the Western Hemisphere, with new opportunities arising both north and south of the U.S.

The Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil is specifically focussed on American Literature, American Studies and/or Biological Sciences. A terminal degree is required and the grant period is approximately four months.

Fulbright Canada Research Chairs offer scholars the opportunity to be part of a faculty for the period of their grant. In this time, grantees can engage with their host institution, conduct their own research, start collaborative projects and interact with students. Opportunities are available in various disciplines at both Saint Mary’s University and York University.

Grants are also available in Honduras for a period of up to nine months, with the possibility of obtaining a flexi grant. If you are looking to apply for this grant, construct your proposal to create a 50/50 split between teaching and research work.

If your work falls within the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), grant opportunities in Mexico may be available to you. Grants last up to nine months and can be conducted at a range of host institutions.


The mandate of the Fulbright program is to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and the rest of the world. If this is a core value that you ascribe to, you are an ideal candidate for the program. Remember that the selection committee will be looking to see how you will represent yourself has someone who can act as an intellectual and cultural ambassador for your home country. Sometimes this is even more important than what’s on your resume.

The U.S. Fulbright Scholars program is unparalleled in terms of how it can boost both your career and personal development. Because there is such an array of grants on the table, each with their own set of eligibility criteria, there is bound to be something that is applicable to you.

Good luck with your application process!

© Victoria Johnson 2019, all rights reserved.