The Fulbright Program promotes educational exchanges, primarly for university faculty and students, that involve lecturing, research and graduate study. Over 40,000 US faculty have taken up positions abroad for a semester or longer, and an equal number have come to the US.
The program is administered by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), a private foundation. Fulbright programs receive approximately $120 million in Congressional appropriations. In addition, a number of participating governments contribute an additional amount of around $30 million. CIES is assisted in its activities by binational commissions or the Public Affairs Section of the US embassy in individual countries.
Initially, the Fulbright Program entailed only the Traditional Fulbright Scholar Awards. In recent years, the number of different award programs has expanded to meet a variety of academic exchange needs. For detailed information on the awards check the CIES website: http://www.cies.org/.
The main programs are:
Traditional Fulbright Scholar Program. Each year, 800 scholars and professionals from universities go to more than 140 countries to lecture or conduct research.
Visiting Scholar Program. Each year, 800 foreign scholars come to the United States universities to to lecture or conduct postdoctoral research. Deadline: Various dates in Fall
The Fulbright Senior Specialists. US academics receive short-term grants of two to six weeks to collaborate with overseas colleagues on curriculum and faculty development and other consulting needs. Deadline: Rolling
Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program, US academics with distinguished reputation receive awards for short term lecture and research mostly in Western Europe. Deadline May 1.
Alumni Iniative Award. Provides grants to Fulbright alumni to develop projects which will increase linkages between their home and host institutions. Deadline: Mid-February
Student Fulbright Program. U.S.graduate students and graduating seniors provided grants to study abroad in over 140 countries. Similar awards are offered to foreign graduate students to attend U.S. universities. Deadline: Mid-October
College and University Affiliations Program. Supports linkages between U.S. universities and institutions overseas through the exchange of faculty and staff. Deadline: Early November
Foreign Area and Language Training Program. Fosters research and training endeavors focused on non-western languages and area studies through a number of programs. Administered by the Department of Education's Office of International Education and Graduate Programs (See: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/index.html)
At the close of the second World War, J. William Fulbright, then a freshman senator from Arkansas, envisioned an exchange program whereby future leaders would visit and observe the cultures and institutions of countries and peoples other than their own. He hoped this would increase mutual understanding among the nations and societies of the world. The US Congress passed the legislation, which was signed into law in 1946 by President Truman. The first participants took their Fulbrights two years later.
Since the Fulbright Program was initiated, almost 100,000 US Scholars and more than 160,000 citizens of other nations have taken advantage of the grants it offers to carry out scholarly pursuits in countries not their own.