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Seeking Solutions for Global Challenges Award

The Seeking Solutions for Global Challenges Award is a unique grant opportunity for U.S. scholars and professionals who want to impact the future and make a difference, finding solutions to current and global challenges through their research, teaching, or professional projects. The award is available for any field for visits of 2-6 months.

Purpose of the Grant Program

This award is designed to enable U.S. scholars and professionals to conduct research and/or teach in any discipline and/or conduct professional projects on topics of current and global importance at any Finnish institution for a period of two to six months.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation operates under the motto “Together Shaping the Future”, and its vision is to “empower the minds that will find global solutions to tomorrow’s challenges by fostering academic and professional expertise and excellence in leadership”. The award was created to support the Foundation’s vision.

More about the background and development of this special award here: Seeking Solutions for Global Challenges (Fulbright Finland News magazine 1/2020)

The award is meant for scholars and professionals who want to have an impact on the future and make a difference by finding solutions to current and global challenges through their research, teaching or professional projects. The proposed Fulbright project should focus on a timely topic of global importance and produce benefits of significance to a wider community. Projects that are focused on a local level that have the ability to address international and global challenges are welcomed. Projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are encouraged.

Academic candidates are expected to teach and/or participate in research work according to the agreement between the candidate and the host. Likewise, candidates pursuing a professional project should discuss the content of the project with the host.

For teaching/research awards, applicants should discuss the teaching/research ratio with the host institution before requesting an invitation letter (e.g. lectures, modules or entire courses).

Read an article about the inaugural recipients of the award.

Project focus areas could include (but are not limited to) the following:

Shared Environments

  • Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • Arctic Cooperation
  • Circular Economy
  • Energy and resources

Emerging Technologies & Hybrid Threats

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Media Literacy, Disinformation, and Societal Resilience

Managing Migration & Humanitarian Crises

  • Displaced Persons, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers
  • Irregular Migration
  • Economic Migrants

Governance, Peace, and Wellbeing

  • Equitable Societies
  • Human Rights and Inclusive Societies
  • Women in Society
  • Preventing Radicalization
  • Peace Mediation
  • Multilateralism
  • Education and innovation
  • Global health


The Award is available for visits of 2–6 months. It includes:

  • Monthly grant of 5,000 EUR (approx. 5,500 USD*), paid out in euro in monthly installments.
  • One-time travel allowance of 1,800 USD.
  • Residence permit allowance based on the actual permit fees (incl. grantee and accompanying family members).
  • Housing for the scholar and their accompanying family arranged and paid for by the host institution. This information should be confirmed in the letter of invitation. Applicants should communicate their housing needs to the host institution during the application process so that appropriate housing can be arranged for them.
  • Flex option: The award can be split into two segments within one or two academic years. Together the two segments cannot exceed six months. Visits cannot take place in the summer months (June, July, and August).
  • Orientation and support services provided by the Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki. For example, the Foundation will arrange a four-day arrival orientation in Helsinki for all U.S. Fulbright grantees at the end of August each year (orientation is also arranged in January for grantees arriving for the spring semester).
  • Fulbright Finland mid-year activities and networking opportunities (such as the American Voices Seminar at the University of Turku) each year.

* amounts in USD are subject to change due to currency fluctuations.

Support for Grantees with Disabilities

Extra funding support is available for grantees with disabilities. If you have a disability that would cause additional costs for the grant term, contact the Foundation to discuss reasonable accommodations. Send your self-assessment with a description of the disability and the specific accommodations requested to the Foundation ([email protected]) by the grant application deadline.

Please note that disclosing the need for disability accommodation does not affect the review and selection process.


The award is open for both academics and professionals. For academic applicants Ph.D. or other terminal degree is required. Professionals applying for the award should have significant professional experience.

The candidate must be a U.S. citizen. Proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care or patient contact are not eligible. Please contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation if you have any questions about the eligibility of your project.

U.S. Scholar Program eligibility guidelines and review criteria are published on the Fulbright Scholar Program website.

In Finland, the applications are evaluated according to the evaluation criteria set by the Fulbright Finland Foundation Board.

Applicants residing in Finland are not eligible for a Fulbright grant.

Host institution

Any appropriate Finnish higher education institution, research center/institute or other applicable institutions to your specific project.

Candidates are expected to secure an affiliation with a Finnish institution and include a letter of invitation in the application. Assistance in locating possible host institutions and making connections is available from the Fulbright Finland Foundation if needed.

Read also about tips for finding a host university in Finland.

How to Apply?

The 2025-26 Fulbright U.S. Scholar competition is currently open.
Apply by September 16, 2024!

The U.S. program partner in the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is the Institute of International Education IIE. Applications are submitted through IIE and forwarded to discipline-based peer review committees in the U.S. Applications that pass this initial peer review in the U.S. are forwarded to the Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki to be reviewed by the Fulbright Finland Foundation’s review committees. The Fulbright Finland Foundation makes the funding decisions and final selections of grantees.

Additional information and detailed application instructions are available from the Fulbright Finland Foundation and the Fulbright Scholar Program websites.

Resources for Hosts:


Application period starts:February 1, 2024
Application period ends:September 16, 2024
Earliest possible starting date:August 2025 - September 2025 or January 2026
Orientation seminar in Helsinki:TBC (expected to take place in mid-August 2025 and mid-January 2026)

Further Information

NOTE: Late June, July and early August are traditionally summer vacation months in Finland and responses to inquiries may be delayed. Applicants are advised to contact the Finnish host institution well ahead of time to solicit an invitation letter for their application.

Useful links:

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

Seeking Solutions for Global Challenges Award program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.