Fulbright Faculty Resources

Fulbright offers a variety of programs for faculty, administrators, and professionals, from research and lecture positions to specialized seminars for administrators. Working closely with their departments and Colleges, faculty apply for Fulbright grants independently, but are welcome to contact the MSU Fulbright Program Adviser for individual consultation.

Interested faculty and staff members are encouraged to complete the Fulbright Program Interest Survey to be added to the appropriate email list. 

Michigan State University (MSU) boasts a strong showing in Fulbright Scholar numbers, with nearly Scholars named since 1950. In the last ten years, 69 MSU faculty have participated in the US Scholar Program in over 40 different countries, from Albania and Zambia. Their dozens of fields of study have included Agriculture, Gender Studies, Public Health, Sociology, Journalism, Political Science, and more.

International Studies & Programs is working to consolidate and provide centralized information for prospective Fulbright Scholar applicants, chairs and directors, and fiscal officers. To that end, answers to a few Frequently Asked Questions are given below; please contact MSU's Fulbright Scholar Liaison with other questions you would like to see addressed here. Program staff from Fulbright/IIE also hold regular webinars about various aspects of the Fulbright Scholar program, and office hours for general questions (links in "Resources" section below).

Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Questions

Download these FAQs as a PDF.

What is the Fulbright Scholar Program?

  • The Fulbright Scholar Program offers American faculty members and administrators hundreds of fellowships distributed across 400 teaching, research, and other opportunities in over 135 countries annually.
  • The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State. IIE also administers the Fulbright US Student Program.
  • Download a general brochure here.

Who can apply for the Fulbright Scholar Program?

  • Applicants must hold US citizenship at the time of application; permanent residence is not sufficient.
  • Current faculty, administrators, and experienced professionals are encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to apply for postdoctoral awards, a subset of US Scholar awards.
  • Graduate or doctoral students seeking funding to complete their degrees are ineligible, but are encouraged to look into the Fulbright US Student Program and Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grants.
  • Recipients of a prior Fulbright Scholar award are eligible to apply for another award two years after the date of completion of the previous award.

When does the competition open?

  • The competition opens each year in February and closes in mid-September, except for some International Education Administrator (IEA) awards.
  • Applications are submitted for opportunities in the following academic year; for example, the application deadline in September 2024 is for awards during the 2025-26 academic year.

How long is the Fulbright Scholar award period?

  • Awards vary in length from two months to twelve months.
  • Flex options are available for some awards, allowing the recipient to divide the award into multiple, short-term stays in the host country over a period of one to two years.

What are the financial benefits of Fulbright awards?

  • Benefits vary by country and type of award. Fulbright awards are typically budgeted to cover travel and living costs in-country for the grantee and, in some cases, their accompanying dependents.

What are other benefits of Fulbright awards?

  • Some of the other benefits of being a Fulbright awardee include making professional connections, learning about the host country and its people, promoting collaboration between MSU and the host institution, integrating into a new community, increased networking through Fulbright alumni groups, increased likelihood of international publications, and more.
  • In a recent impact statement, it was reported that:
    • 97% of Visiting and US Scholars found Fulbright was professionally transformative
    • 95% of Visiting and US Scholars widened their research networks
    • 85% of Visiting and US Scholars adapted their research methods or teaching approach as a result of their Fulbright
    • 73% of Visiting and US Scholars took on new internationalization efforts after Fulbright.

MSU-Related Questions

What MSU policies impact Fulbright Scholar awards?

  • Fulbright grants are considered "prestigious awards" by MSU and full-time tenure system faculty members may apply for a continuation of benefits (e.g., health care coverage, dental plan) during a leave of absence without pay (MSU Faculty Handbook, p. 149). Such a request must be initiated by the faculty member and requires the endorsement of the chairperson/director and dean, as well as the coordination of continued benefits between the Office of the Provost and the Benefits office.
  • "Individuals holding either full-time appointments in other academic personnel continuing appointment systems... or full-time regular, university support staff appointments also are eligible to request coverage under this policy if they are recipients of [similar] awards" (MSU Faculty Handbook, p. 150).
  • This leave of absence policy is the only information available from MSU Human Resources regarding benefits as related to prestigious awards; other questions are handled on a case-by-case basis.

How might a Fulbright Scholar award affect my MSU tenure and promotion?

  • "An extension of the probationary appointment may be requested from the University Committee on Faculty Tenure ... to receive prestigious awards [...]." 

How would a Fulbright Scholar award impact my MSU salary?

  • There is currently no centralized guidance for offsetting any salary loss due to a Fulbright award if the award stipend amount falls below a faculty member's academic year base salary. Departments and Colleges may have internal policies for "top-off" salary.

Whom should I work with on my Fulbright Scholar application?

  • Prospective applicants should contact MSU’s Fulbright Scholar Liaison/Program Advisor, Joy Campbell (contact information in footer), to indicate interest in the program. Completing this Fulbright Program Interest Survey will add you to the Scholar Liaison’s list of interested faculty, so you receive information about upcoming sessions and deadlines.
  • Faculty typically work with their chairs and directors for questions on teaching schedules, sabbatical or leave timing, financial arrangements, continuation of benefits, committee works, and other details that will impact the academic unit.
  • Unit liaisons in the Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs can provide guidance to faculty members and their departments as needed on questions pertaining to leave and salary.
  • Returned Fulbright Scholars across campus, including members of the Fulbright Advisory Committee, may have valuable insights. Explore the Scholar Directory for faculty from MSU who have received Fulbrights, as well as peers from other institutions who have worked in a specific country or field who could be good resources.
  • While Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is not required at the time of application, any non-exempt project will require IRB approval prior to the beginning of the award.
  • As the Fulbright Scholar award is considered an award and not a grant, applicants are not required to coordinate with the Office of Sponsored Projects.

What support is available to MSU Fulbright Scholars during their overseas grant period?

  • As with all MSU travelers, support is available through the Office for Global Health, Safety and Security. This office provides information on international health insurance and resources, security advice, and connections with International SOS, the entity handling emergency assistance related to health, safety, security, lost documents, or need for legal assistance.

How does MSU support and celebrate Fulbright Scholars upon their return to campus?

  • Opportunities for in-person celebrations were limited during the pandemic. In more recent years, Fulbrighters of all programs have been invited to a fall reception to mingle and meet past, former, and aspiring Fulbrighters at MSU. International Studies and Programs hopes to increase visibility of our returning Scholars through press releases, Fulbright gatherings, and other opportunities to share about their recent Fulbright projects.
  • In addition, each September ISP seeks returned Fulbright Scholars to engage in the service of reading Fulbright Student Program applications and providing feedback for MSU students applicants. Input from successful Fulbright Scholars is instrumental in helping students put the finishing touches on their applications to boost their competitiveness.

Upcoming Events

  • Fulbright US Scholar Program Information Session
    • Session date(s) for 2024 competition TBA

Recent & Recorded Events

  • Fulbright Scholar Information Session
    • March 21, 2022
    • Watch a recording of an information session about the Fulbright US Scholar Program presented by an outreach specialist from IIE and MSU's Fulbright Scholar Liaison.
    • PDFs of the IIE and MSU slides are available as well. 

Scholar Resources

Information Flyers

Fulbright Scholar Awards

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program

  • This is the original Fulbright program (also called the "Core" Scholar program) for faculty and professionals from the U.S. to travel overseas and lecture, conduct research or participate in seminars.
  • Program dates or duration: 2-12 months
  • Deadline: September 15, 2024
  • Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program website 

Fulbright Global Scholar Award

  • The Fulbright Global Scholar Award allows U.S. academics and professionals to engage in multi-country, trans-regional projects. As a truly worldwide award, U.S. scholars will be able to propose research or combined teaching/research activity in two to three countries with flexible schedule options.
  • Program dates or duration: 3-6 months total with a minimum of one month spent in each host country, each visit
  • Deadline: September 15, 2024
  • Fulbright Global Scholar Award website 

Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

  • The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. early and mid-career professionals and practitioners to serve in placements in a foreign government ministry or institution around the world. 
  • Program dates or duration: 4-9 months
  • Deadline: September 15, 2024
  • Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship website

Additional Opportunities for U.S. Scholars

Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Awards

  • Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Program are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Candidates should be eminent scholars and have a significant publication and teaching record.
  • Program dates or duration: 3-12 months
  • Deadline: September 15, 2024
  • Fulbright Distinguished Chair Awards website 

Fulbright Postdoctoral Awards

  • Fulbright's postdoctoral and early career awards present an excellent opportunity for recently minted scholars to deepen their expertise, acquire new skills, work with additional resources and make connections with leading scholars in their fields.
  • Program dates or duration: 3-12 months; some awards are for 2 academic years
  • Deadline: September 15, 2024
  • Fulbright Postdoctoral and Early Career Awards website

Fulbright International Education Administrators Program

  • In this program, two-week seminars are designed to introduce participants to the society, culture and higher education systems of foreign countries such as Russia, France, and Germany.
  • Program dates or duration: 2 weeks
  • Deadline: varies according to seminar
  • Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminars website 

Fulbright Specialist Program

  • This program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience, and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions. Successful applicants will be placed on a roster of specialists for two years. As need arises, they will be invited to engage in short-term collaborative projects that meet the needs of foreign partner institutions. 
  • Program dates or duration: 2-6 weeks
  • Deadline: rolling applications
  • Fulbright Specialist website 
  • Handout on differences between the Specialist program and the Scholar program