Fulbright Specialist Programme

The Fulbright Specialist Programme invites UK universities to host a leading US academic or professional to work on diverse, short-term collaborative projects.

The Fulbright Specialist Programme (FSP), part of the larger Fulbright Programme, was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The program consists of field-driven initiatives in which foreign host institutions conceptualise and design projects of interest within an eligible discipline that represent a priority for their respective organizations. These projects are then paired with highly qualified U.S. academics or professionals who share their expertise and assist with strengthening linkages between U.S. and foreign host institutions.

Participating foreign host institutions benefit by:

  • Gaining global perspectives from experienced U.S. academics and professionals;
  • Executing projects that require a rapid response or flexible timeline through short-term exchanges, and
  • Building sustained relationships with individuals and institutions in the U.S.
  • Increasing the profile of the Fulbright programme more generally within their institution and opening up opportunities for their students and staff.

In demonstration of institutional interest and investment, UK host institutions must contribute to the programme through cost-share.

What does it involve?

The Fulbright Specialist Programme allows universities, cultural centres, non-governmental organisations, and other institutions abroad to host a leading U.S. academic or professional to work on diverse, short-term collaborative projects where the Specialist conducts activities which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Delivering a seminar or workshop
  • Consulting on faculty or workforce development
  • Developing academic or training curricula and materials
  • Lecturing at graduate or undergraduate level
  • Conducting needs assessments or evaluations for a program or institution

The Fulbright Specialist roster comprises over 3,000 American academics and professionals who have significant and substantial experience and accomplishments. Fulbright Specialist applications are peer-reviewed before being accepted to the roster.

Host institutions develop and submit project proposals to the programme. Successful project proposals will be matched with suitable Fulbright Specialists. The list of eligible Specialist disciplines is available online.

Cost sharing

Costs for the Fulbright Specialist Programme are shared between the US Department of State and the host institution.

The State Department funds the Specialist's international economy fare travel and approved related expenses, plus a pre-established honorarium.

Host institutions normally cover in-country per diem costs for lodging, meals and transportation.


Fulbright Specialists are required to enter the UK under a Tier 5 (Temporary workers - Government Authorised Exchange) visa. The US-UK Fulbright Commission is responsible for applying and issuing of the Specialist's Certificate of Sponsorship, and we are able to provide some guidance about the Tier 5 visa process.

It is the Specialist's responsibility to apply for the visa; the US-UK Fulbright Commission cannot arrange visas on a Specialists' behalf. The cost of the visa application will be reimbursed to the Specialist directly by UK Visas and Immigration.

Fulbright Outreach Event

As part of the Specialist’s visit to the UK we require host institutions to organise a Fulbright Outreach Event for staff at the host institution.

Outreach events allow the host institution to showcase their involvement with the Fulbright Specialist Programme to their staff, expand the reach of the Specialist’s activities and build the profile of the Fulbright Programme more generally within their institution.

Staff from the US-UK Fulbright Commission will be able to help publicise the event and where possible attend to highlight the many opportunities available for staff and students through the Fulbright programme in the UK.

How to Apply

The competition for the 2024-2025 academic year opened on January 1st 2024 and is closed as of April 12th 2024.

The length of a Fulbright Specialist project must be a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 42 days, including travel days, weekdays, and holidays. This competition is for Specialist projects starting in Autumn 2024 at the earliest.

It can take several months for project proposals to be reviewed and matched with a Fulbright Specialist, depending on roster availability and visa processing times.

The Fulbright Specialist application is an online application process.

Please read the application instructions carefully before submitting an application.

More information is also available on the Fulbright Specialist Programme website. If you have any queries about the programme or the application process, please email Emma Mallon, Programme Manager, at emma@fulbright.org.uk