Fulbright Specialist Program

The Fulbright Specialist Program offers opportunities for U.S. academics and professionals to share their expertise and gain international experience by working on collaborative projects with their counterparts at overseas (including Finnish) host institutions. Project activities aim to build capacity and promote long-lasting linkages between individuals and institutions in the U.S. and host countries.

The application period is open until August 26, 2024, for Finnish institutions to submit project proposals!

Interested in Serving as a Fulbright Specialist

Individuals interested in serving as a Fulbright Specialist must meet all eligibility requirements including:

  • Be a U.S. citizen; and
  • Have significant experience in one of the eligible disciplines, as demonstrated by professional, academic, or artistic achievements.

For a complete list of eligibility requirements and information on how to apply to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster, please visit https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/.

U.S. academics and professionals interested in applying to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster, should direct all questions to World Learning at [email protected].

"I have always wanted my research and expertise to make a difference. The Fulbright Specialist Program in Finland provided that opportunity through a focused project with smart, dedicated academics and practitioners." - Alex Stepick, 2015-16 Fulbright Specialist

Fulbright Specialist Program Information

The Fulbright Specialist Program welcomes participation from a wide array of institutions, including universities, non-governmental organizations, cultural centers, and medical facilities. Host institutions/organizations can design collaborative projects in over 20 eligible disciplines, including education,business, law, environmental science, journalism,and public health.

The Program encourages host institutions to tailor projects to their own needs. However, all projects should have an education or training focus. Due to the short-term nature of the exchange, projects should have concrete objectives that can be achieved over the course of the Specialist’s visit. Past Specialists have supported host institutions by conducting activities such as:

  • Conducting needs assessments, surveys, institutional or programmatic research
  • Taking part in specialized academic programs and conferences in conjunction with other scheduled activities
  • Consulting with administrators and instructors of post-secondary institutions on faculty development
  • Presenting lectures at graduate and undergraduate levels
  • Participating in or leading seminars or workshops at academic institutions
  • Developing and/or assessing academic curricula or educational materials
  • Conducting teacher-training programs at the tertiary level

Note: Personal research projects, including clinical medical research or projects involving patient contact, are not eligible for funding under the Fulbright Specialist Program. Please contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation if you have any questions about the eligibility of your project.

Finnish higher education institutions, non-governmental organizations, cultural centers, and medical facilities can apply for a Fulbright Specialist for a period of 2 - 6 weeks to collaborate with on projects such as curriculum and faculty development, institutional planning and a variety of other activities.

Program Parameters

  • All exchanges must range from 14 to 42 days in length, including weekends, holidays and travel days.
  • All project activities must take place in Finland.
  • Each project is limited to only one Fulbright Specialist grantee.
  • Projects with named Specialists, who are already in the Specialist roster, can be scheduled to start at the earliest in January 2025. Projects without named Specialists should be scheduled to start at the earliest in March 2025 to ensure sufficient time to recruit a qualified and available candidate for the project. 
  • Projects need to be completed no later than September 30, 2025.

Program Benefits and Costs for the Host Institution and Specialist

Benefits for host institutions include:

  • Gaining global perspectives from experienced academics and professionals
  • Executing projects that require a rapid response or flexible timeline through short-term, year-round exchanges
  • Building sustained relationships with individuals and host institutions in the U.S.

Host institutions are responsible for covering the costs and arranging:

  • Accommodation for the Fulbright Specialist
  • In-country Transportation (the arrangements/allowance should include transit to and from the Specialist’s lodging and project site, as well as other local daily travel (e.g. restaurants, markets, grocery stores, pharmacy, etc.).
  • Meals for the Fulbright Specialist (three meals per day, e.g. cafeteria, restaurants, etc.). If the Specialist will be paid directly for the meals, the amount to be paid needs to be indicated in the application. At the minimum, the hosts should budget the standard Finnish per diem amount for each day during the Fulbright Specialist program (including weekends)
  • Airport pick-up and dropoff for the Fulbright Specialist
Fulbrigth Specialist Sonja Bickford judging a competition at Turku AMK

Benefits for the Fulbright Specialist:

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), along with host institutions abroad, provide U.S.-based Specialists with full funding to participate in Fulbright Specialist projects. Benefits include:

  • Round-trip, economy class airfare between the U.S. and host country
  • Transit allowance
  • Daily honorarium of 200 USD
  • Enrollment in a limited health benefits program
  • Lodging (covered by host)
  • Meals/meal allowance (covered by host)
  • In-country transportation either through monetary or in-kind contributions, throughout the full stay in Finland (covered by host)
  • Airport pick-up and dropoff for the Fulbright Specialist (arranged by host)
  • Fulbright Finland Alumni Network
"Having the time and space to immerse myself in a new culture and professional context was incredibly energizing, eye-opening, and rewarding. The ability to learn from world leaders has impacted my professional practice in ways I can only begin to understand." - 2021-22 Fulbright Specialist

Host institutions Submit a Proposal for the Fulbright Specialist Project

Finnish higher education institutions and organizations submit a Fulbright Specialist project proposal online at: https://worldlearning-community.force.com/FSPHost

During the 2023-24 application cycle, priority may be given to the following themes:

  • Climate Change
  • Cyber Security and IT
  • Disaster Response
  • DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Media Literacy/Countering Disinformation
  • Public Administration
  • Public/Global Health (including Mental Health)
  • and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 

Occasionally, the U.S. Department of State may be able to provide support for in-country costs for projects addressing the above-mentioned priority fields.

In addition, projects with activities that involve Ukrainian refugee communities or would benefit Ukraine in some way, are solicited.

Program Partner

The Fulbright Specialist Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning in the U.S. and Fulbright Finland Foundation in Finland.

What is the Fulbright Finland Foundation?

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. The Foundation’s aim is

  • to promote a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, and
  • to support the internationalization of education and research in Finland, and help U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation Programs Unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as an access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and to make a difference – applicants who want to facilitate positive change, develop and advance their own profession or discipline, and find solutions to national and international challenges in their field.
  • The grantees also act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation, their home country, and their home organization and, in this way, do their part in sharing their home country and culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S.
Global Fulbright Program logo

Fulbright Specialist Program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.