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 over 400 Scholars named since 1950. In the last ten years, 63 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 Adviser with other questions you would like to see addressed here. Program staff from IIE/CIES also hold regular webinars about various aspects of the Fulbright Scholar program. See upcoming webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Questions

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 Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State.
  • 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. Graduate or doctoral students seeking funding to complete their degrees are ineligible.
  • Recipients of a 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 early February and closes in mid-September, except for some International Education Administrator (IEA) awards.
  • Applications are submitted for opportunities in the following academic year, so the application deadline in September 2021 is for awards during the 2022-23 academic year.

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 their accompanying dependents.

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.

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, Joy Campbell (contact information in footer), to indicate interest in the program.
  • Faculty typically work with their chairs and directors for questions on teaching schedules, sabbatical timing, continuation of benefits, and other details that will impact the academic unit.
  • 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.

Download these FAQs as a PDF.


  • Fulbright US Scholar Program Alumni Ambassador Talk with Dr. Michael Famiano
    • View recording of July 13, 2021 session (expand "Recorded Events" section below)
  • Fulbright US Scholar Program information session
    • View recording of June 17, 2021 session (expand "Recorded Events" section below)

Recorded Events

Fulbright US Scholar Grant Events (CIES)

  • NEW? START HERE From June 17, 2021: 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. A searchable transcript appears next to the video.
  • From July 13, 2021: Watch a recording to learn about the Fulbright US Scholar Program with Alumni Ambassador Michael Famiano, current Professor of Physics at Western Michigan University and Fulbright Scholar to Japan in 2018-19. Dr. Famiano provides some general information about the program, then discusses his experiences in Japan and Fulbright opportunities in STEM fields.

Scholar Resources

Fulbright Scholar Awards

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program

  • This is the original Fulbright 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, 2021
  • 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, 2021
  • 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, 2021
  • Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship website

Additional Opportunities for U.S. Scholars

Fulbright Distinguished Chair Awards

  • Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs 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, 2021
  • 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, 2021
  • 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 Korea, Russia, France, and Germany.
  • Program dates or duration: 1.5-2 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