2017 Roth Endowment Award winners smiling next to Fulbright Finland roll-up

Roth Endowment Awards for U.S. Student Fulbrighters

Roth Endowment Awards are granted annually to American Fulbright students in Finland focusing on the arts, humanities and social sciences. You are invited to apply for a Roth-Thomson Award, granted in collaboration with the Fulbright Finland Foundation, to supplement your Fulbright grant to Finland.

The Lois Roth Endowment, based in Washington D.C., supports exchanges across national and cultural boundaries to enhance international communication and understanding. It cooperates internationally with several Fulbright Commissions, particularly those in the Nordic countries, and also awards prizes in cultural diplomacy, translation and architectural history. Fulbright Finland has worked with the Lois Roth Endowment since 1991.

Lois Wersba Roth

The Endowment was set up in 1986 in memory of Lois Wersba Roth, a Cultural Officer with USIA and a Fulbright Alumna to Sweden. As a Columbia graduate student in sociology, Roth went to Uppsala University for a Fulbright year in the early 1950s. After a decade with the American Scandinavian Foundation – where she founded a path-breaking Ford Foundation program for forty of Finland's intellectual leaders – she joined the U.S. Information Agency in 1966. She served her first five years in Cultural Affairs in Iran, primarily as the Director of the Iran-America Society, then served in Italy and France and in various positions in Washington. In her last position, she headed USIA's division of Fine and Performing Arts. The Endowment commemorates the life of Lois Roth by supporting selected people who work in the places and fields of inquiry that she loved.

Award and Application

The Roth-Thomson Award is awarded for a Fulbrighter to fulfill or expand their original Fulbright project. Roth Endowment Awards focus on the humanities, visual and performing arts, and social sciences, including public policy.  Grantee selection is mostly based on the intellectual content of the proposed study, the academic and/or creative excellence of the applicant, and the likelihood of a broad reception and influence.

Up to two Roth-Thomson Awards of USD 1,750 each will be awarded this year to candidates in Finland. In order to apply, please submit a two- to three-page statement, to be read by the Selection Committee. This statement must:

  • Briefly revisit the goals and strategies you described in your original application and review what has taken place so far in your Fulbright year.
  • Assess how things look at this point, e.g.: Is your project evolving as you expected? Have you come across any dead-ends? Any new perspectives or opportunities you’d like to explore?
  • State clearly: Would you use the Roth-Thomson Award for fulfilling you original Fulbright project or expanding the original project?
  • Include a brief budget outlining how you would use the funds associated with the Roth-Thomson Award to fulfill or expand your project. Be sure to explain how your current ideas are related to your original plan, as well as their significance and feasibility.
  • Specify the length of your possible extended stay in Finland. That is, if you are planning on staying longer in Finland than your original Fulbright term indicates and you would be applying for the award to be used during the extended stay in Finland, please specify clearly the length of the extension.
Your statement should be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] by January 7, 2020.

Fulbright Finland will send your Fulbright dossier to the Lois Roth Endowment selection committee along with your statement.

The selection decisions will be published in February.


Further Information

Fulbright Finland
Leasa Weimer, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]