Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching ohjelman kuvaus ja hakuedellytykset


Register for the online application system.

The applicants should carefully read the instructions and other material related to the application process before starting to work on the application. The application instructions and other materials are available on the program websites.

The online application (including all reference reports) must be submitted no later than Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 10.00 am.

Only complete applications submitted by the application deadline will be reviewed.

Application period for the program has ended.

Program Overview

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program recognizes and encourages excellence in teaching in the U.S. and abroad. The program sends highly accomplished primary and secondary teachers from the U.S. abroad and brings international teachers to the U.S for a semester-long program. Primary and secondary school teachers who hold full-time teaching positions in any subject are eligible to apply. Primary and secondary level library media specialists, guidance counselors, curriculum specialists, special education coordinators, and other educators including administrators who work with students at least fifty percent of their time may also apply to the program.

It is a semester-long, non-degree, non-credit, professional development program at a U.S. university. The curriculum includes academic coursework, leadership training, and instructional technology seminars. Participants will also audit courses in the host university’s School or Department of Education, and thus will be part of the general university community. Finnish and other international participants will be placed at one of three U.S. universities. The host university will provide a broad range of resources in the teachers’ field(s) of expertise.

Distinguished teachers will participate in weekly seminars at their host university featuring presentations and discussions led by university staff, faculty members, and invited guests. The seminar topics will focus on trends and current issues in education, such as curriculum, instruction and learning, assessment, instructional technology, student-centered learning, teacher leadership, among others. During the seminars, participants will also share their expertise, experience, and information about their home countries’ educational system with each other. The education seminars are a cornerstone of the program and designed specifically for Fulbright Distinguished Teachers.

The program is intensive and the Fulbright DAI Fellows will be engaged in program related activities at least 35-40 hours per week. Upon returning home, participants will be expected to share the knowledge and experience gained on the program with teachers and students in their home schools and with their communities.

Eligibility Requirements for Applicants:

Current full-time elementary through high school teachers, guidance counselors, curriculum specialists, curriculum heads, special education coordinators and media specialists/librarians are eligible to apply.

To meet the basic eligibility requirements of the program, an applicant must meet all of the following requirements at the time of application:

  • Hold citizenship and be resident of Finland;
  • Hold a full-time teaching position;
    • For the purpose of determining eligibility, "full-time" refers to applicants who are currently employed full-time or who hold a combination of positions that add up to full-time equivalency in a school, school district or educational institution at the local, state/provincial or national level.
  • Spend at least 50% of their time teaching or working directly with students;
    • Primary and secondary level library media specialists, guidance counselors, curriculum specialists, special education coordinators, and other educators including administrators who work with students at least fifty percent of their time may also apply to the program
  • Have taught for at least five years;
    • At the time of application, teachers should be in their fifth year of full-time teaching. If selected, the year of the Fulbright exchange would be the teacher's sixth year (or more) of full-time teaching. Teachers who are in their fourth year (or less) of full-time teaching at the time of application are not eligible.
  • Demonstrate experience conducting professional development activities;
  • Demonstrate accomplishment in teaching or have previously received teaching awards or exemplary evaluations;
  • Potential for developing long-term linkages between U.S. and home country educational institutions and schools;
  • Meet current Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board policies for teachers available on the Fulbright website: https://eca.state.gov/files/bureau/chapter_900_-_3_-_2016.pdf.

Preference is given to applicants who have not previously participated in the program and to those whose projects will reach under served and/or under resourced populations.

Teachers who have participated in the International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) are not eligible for Fulbright DAI. Teachers who have participated in the Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) program may apply for Fulbright DAI subject to the selection criteria listed in the application.

Project Activities

  • Educator training: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers take part in an intensive five-month professional development program at a US university. The curriculum includes academic coursework, leadership training, and instructional technology seminars.
  • Inquiry projects: Each participant will complete an individual or group project relevant to their education practice. Past projects covered topics such as current methodologies for teaching math, science, music, visual arts, performing arts, and English as a second language; working with special needs students; promoting civic engagement or service learning; environmental education; school management and leadership; and others that meet a critical need in the candidate's home country.
  • Local School Placements: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers will be placed in a U.S. primary or secondary school during their time in the U.S., where they will observe classes, co-teach, and share their expertise and information about their home countries and schools. Participants will be paired with a U.S. partner educator at their assigned school to help them learn more about the U.S. educational system and to serve as a guide during their school placements. Host university staff will identify schools located near the university campus that are appropriate to each grantee’s interests and areas of expertise.  Field Experience placement schedules vary across Host Universities.
  • Best practice exchange: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers study and observe international best practices in education. They also share professional expertise with educators and students in the United States.
  • Civic and cultural activities: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers participate in US cultural activities such as performances, sporting events, visits to US homes, board of education meetings, and trips to notable historical sites.

Financial Arrangements

The U.S. fellowship provides:

  • J-1 visa support
  • A Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) held in participant’s home country
  • Round-trip airfare to and within the U.S.
  • A Welcome Program in Washington D.C.
  • Academic program fees (paid directly to the host institution)
  • Housing (generally shared with other participants) and meals
  • Accident and sickness medical coverage (does not cover pre-existing conditions)
  • Transportation to local schools (if necessary)
  • A daily allowance for incidentals during the university academic program
  • A baggage allowance
  • A technology allowance
  • The opportunity to apply for alumni small grants for alumni in good standing.

Note to accompanying family members:

Children and spouses may accompany international teachers, but participants are responsible for the cost of their international and domestic travel, health insurance, meals, and accommodations and must make all arrangements for them, including schooling where appropriate, for the duration of the program.

Distinguished Teacher Selection

Fulbright Finland Foundation will review the applications submitted in Finland and select those to be forwarded to the U.S. for consideration.
Applicants that pass an initial screening will be invited for a personal interview. The interviews will take place at the Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki on Wednesday and/or Thursday, March 21 and/or 22, 2018. Candidates invited to the interviews will be notified via email one week prior to the interviews.

The interview is compulsory. The Fulbright Finland Foundation does not cover the expenses resulting from the interview. Final review of the international candidates and selection of the Fulbright Distinguished Teacher nominees from the multinational candidate pool will be conducted by the IREX in the U.S.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation organizes a full day pre-departure orientation for all Finnish Fulbright teachers during the fall 2018. All grantees are expected to attend.