The challenges in our world have evolved since the launch of the Global Challenges Teaching Awards in 2021, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate the complexities of our time, it is essential to acknowledge the ongoing impacts of global events on every facet of our lives. 

While the consequences of the pandemic persist, we continue to grapple with racial injustice, climate change, and societal divisions. The pandemic has exacerbated global inequalities, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to address these challenges. International education exchange stands as a resilient and proven approach to bringing minds together, fostering understanding, and inspiring impactful solutions. 

The 2024 application cycle is now closed.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission’s Global Challenges Teaching Awards support pairs of teaching faculty—one at a US higher education institution (HEI) and one at a UK HEI—in co-delivering virtual exchange programs for undergraduates. In this cycle, we focus on understanding and addressing four specific global challenges: 

  • Racial Justice 
  • Inequality 
  • Climate Change 
  • Polarisation and Division 

These awards aim to bridge the gap created by traditional, in-person exchanges, which face economic and environmental pressures and may not be accessible to everyone. We believe that by adapting to the current context, we can better articulate the urgency and relevance of our mission. 

How does it work?

The Global Challenges Teaching Award (GCTA) is open to teaching faculty across the UK and US. Selected grantees will take part in a year-long programme to support the development and delivery of a virtual exchange partnership utilizing the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) model.  

Successful applicants will be matched with a UK/US partner and introduced to the cohort at a virtual orientation in summer 2024. The virtual exchange course will be developed through a combination of online collaboration and in-person exchanges with your partner institution. All grantees will take part in a professional development programme and receive support in VE/COIL pedagogy from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Virtual Exchange/COIL Institute, which will include intensive online courses for faculty instructors and academic/international education administrators, customized mentored guidance, and online campus check-ins leading up to the virtual exchange course implementation. AAC&U, founded in 1915, is a global membership organisation dedicated to advancing the democratic purposes of higher education through promoting equity, innovation, and educational excellence. AAC&U is committed to ensuring all students have opportunities to develop knowledge and skills to become global citizens.  

This professional development programme will be split in two parts, the first commencing in August 2024 and the second in January 2025. Grantees are encouraged to travel to visit their partners’ campuses in Autumn 2024 or Spring 2025 to continue developing their partnership, shared course, and to gain an understanding of each other’s institutions. The course should be approved, advertised, and ready for deliver by September 2025. 

The US-UK Fulbright Commission will support our Global Challenge Teachers every step of the way. With over 70 years of experience in conducting educational exchanges between the United Kingdom and the United States, our staff will be on hand to assist in the development and delivery of these virtual exchange courses. We will schedule regular catch-ups with each teaching partnership to ensure the course is ready by late summer 2025. We will be on hand to answer queries and have resources to support your own institution through this process. You will also receive ongoing mentoring from AAC&U after the initial training has been completed.  

This year's application cycle is now closed. Ahead of the next application cycle, you can find out more about the awards on the pages below. 

Global Challenges Teaching Awards Available

We're seeking courses tackling the pressing issues of inequality, racial justice, polarisation and division, and climate change. The Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) pedagogy is well-suited for inter-disciplinary collaborations, so no matter your field, we encourage you to join us in addressing these challenges.

What's included?

  • An honorarium of $5000/£3750 for the awardee (faculty member). This can be spent however faculty see fit. The honorarium will be paid out in two payments, the first at the start of the professional development programme, the second on completion of the professional development programme. 
  • A technical support fee of $2500/£2000 for the awardee’s higher education institution. This will be payable on completion of the professional development programme. 
  • Travel for the awardee and a member of administrative staff to the US/UK to visit their partner institution, up to a value of $5600/£4000. 
  • Tailored COIL-modelled blended professional development and customized mentoring, led by VE/COIL experts from AAC&U designed for teaching faculty, instructional designers, and academic administrators.  

Learn more about Global Challenges Teaching Awards

on our Fulbright Conversations podcast.

Interested in applying?

The 2024 application cycle is now closed.

Ahead of the next application cycle, you can find out more about our awards on the individual award pages. 

If you have any other questions about the next application cycle, please email us at 


Want to learn more about the Global Challenges Teaching Awards?

Join us and AAC&U for our informational webinars. The webinars will explore how your institution can participate in the US-UK Fulbright Global Challenges Teaching Awards. Learn about the benefits of fostering transatlantic partnerships, supporting faculty engagement in virtual exchange initiatives, and promoting global competency development among your students.

The webinar on Tuesday 26th March will focus on the role of international education and academic administrators. Register here.


Application Process and Awards Timeline

1. Review Eligibility Criteria


Eligibility for the Global Challenges Teaching Award

  • You must be employed by a university or higher education institution (HEI) in either the US or the UK, or their sovereign territories
  • You must regularly teach undergraduates as part of your role at the university
  • If you are applying from the UK, you must be eligible to apply for an ESTA visa waiver
  • If you are applying from the US, you must be eligible to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor
  • You must be able to provide evidence of the sufficient support from your home institution
  • Previous Fulbright Scholar award recipients are eligible to apply provided they completed their Fulbright Scholar award at least two years ago. 

3. Apply Online


Complete an online application. The online application is made up of 3 stages:

  • Primary Application Form
  • Supplemental Form
  • Letters of Support

The online application requires you to upload the following documents:

  • Biographical, educational and employment details
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Details of proposed class
  • Class syllabus
  • Example of teaching

After you complete your application, you will be directed to request 3 Letters of Support and complete a Supplemental Form. This is a required part of the application, and your application will be considered incomplete without it.

Awards Timeline

Thursday, 22 February 2024, 9am GMT

Applications open

Monday, 29 April 2024, 5pm GMT

Deadline for applications

May 2024

Screening of applications by the US-UK Fulbright Commission followed by review by reading panels. You should not expect to hear from the Commission during this time, and staff will be unable to comment on the process or an individual application’s status.

June 2024

If short-listed, successful candidates must be available for interview. All interviews will be held online in mid-June. You will be given at least one week to prepare for the interview. Interviews will consist of a group interview and an individual interview. Candidates who have not been selected for interview will be notified via email by the time that interviews start. Please check your spam folder for the message.

July 2024

All candidates will be notified of the interview outcome.

August 2024

Orientation and Commencement of AAC&U Institute on VE/COIL

Autumn 2025

Course delivery with VE/COIL partner.

Global Challenges Teaching Award – Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below some answers to frequently asked questions about the Global Challenges Teaching Award. If you have more specific questions, please contact us at

About the Awards

There are four Global Challenge Teaching Awards for inequality, racial justice, polarisation and division, and climate change. For each award, we will select two awardees, one from the United States and one from the United Kingdom. You can only apply for one award. 

Yes, you can apply with a co-taught or team-taught course. You will need to nominate a primary applicant whose name is on the application and who will be the primary contact, but you can reference the fact that it is a co-taught course in the application, and it is possible to use the honorarium to allow a second-staff member to visit the other campus. 

Yes, we will offer the award again. Precise awards and the competition timeline will be confirmed by the autumn of 2024. 

There is no fee to participate in the GCTA programme. The award benefits include a $2500/£2000 technical support fee for the awardee’s higher education institution. This will be payable on completion of the professional development and is intended to cover any costs incurred by the institution through their participation in the programme. It is entirely up to the institution how they use this money. 

Yes, any faculty teaching an accredited course at a UK or US higher education institution are welcome to apply. It is important that all applicants have the support of their institution for their application, and you will need to submit letters of support from your Department and International Office to confirm this. 

No, you can only apply for one award and you can only submit one application. 

No, applying for a Global Challenges Teaching Award does not prevent you from applying for other Fulbright awards in the same application cycle. This award is being run by the US-UK Fulbright Commission independently of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarships Board, so applicants are not subject to FFSB approval. Previous Fulbright award recipients are welcome to apply provided they completed their Fulbright award at least two years ago.  

No, any faculty who teach an accredited course at a higher education institution in either the US or the UK are welcome to apply. Applicants need the support of their institution and must be eligible for the UK visitor visa (US applicants) or US ESTA (UK applicants) for the visits to the partner institution. 

How does the award work?

The professional development will take place online in two stages from August 2024 through October 2024 and January 2025 to March 2025. Professional development will be made up of synchronous and asynchronous activities, as well as regular workshops, check ins, and mentoring sessions with the US-UK Fulbright Commission and AAC&U staff. 

The Collaborative Online International Education (COIL) pedagogy professional development is a crucial component of this award. The faculty member (main applicant), an instructional designer (or similar), and an administrator from their institution will participate in the professional development alongside their counterparts from the other side of the Atlantic. The professional development occurs in two stages from August 2024 through October 2024 and January 2025 to March 2025, spanning 20 weeks.  

While some sessions require scheduled attendance, other activities can be completed asynchronously. The exact number of hours will be agreed upon between the awardees at the beginning of professional development, but as a minimum, we expect awardees to commit to 5 hours of professional development per week. A similar commitment would be required by the administrator. 

Yes, if shortlisted for an interview, you will need to designate an administrator, as well as an instructional designer or similar individual, from your institution who will also participate in the award.  

The administrator should be someone involved with international programmes at your institution. The instructional designer, COIL coordinator, or similar individual should be someone who will provide pedagogical support to instructors and help determine and implement appropriate technologies for the partnership’s instructional needs and envisioned student tasks.  

Both the administrator and instructional designer will be involved in the interview process and will also undergo professional development and campus visits. This collaboration aims to establish more enduring connections between the two institutions. 

If you are unsure about selecting the right individuals to work with you on this project, please feel free to get in touch. 

The campus visits will be scheduled to accommodate the timetables of both institutions. The duration and exact timing of the visits should be convenient for both parties, but we expect them to last for 1 or 2 weeks. We recommend that the faculty member and one administrative support team member visit the campus during this period.  

The visit's main aim is to provide awardees with a better understanding of the other institution, allow them to connect with their collaborator, and establish the foundation for a long-term relationship between the two institutions. Recommended activities include meeting with university leadership and students, campus tours, delivering an outreach session on COIL and the GCTA partnership, and further developing details for the shared COIL course.  

Please feel free to contact either the US-UK Fulbright Commission or AAC&U for support or suggestions for activities during the visit. It’s important to note that the campus visit is optional, and awardees who would prefer to conduct a fully virtual visit are welcome to do so. 

The award consists of three financial benefits, all of which will be disbursed by the US-UK Fulbright Commission.  

An honorarium of $5000/£3750 for the awardee (faculty member). This can be spent however faculty see fit. The honorarium will be paid out in two payments, the first at the start of the professional development, the second on completion of the professional development.  

A technical support fee of $2500/£2000 for the awardee’s higher education institution. This will be payable on completion of the professional development.

Travel for the awardee and a member of administrative staff to the US/UK to visit their partner institution, up to a value of $5600/£4000. This will be paid to the institution for them to book flights, accommodation, etc., on the awardee’s behalf and to disburse funds as per their departmental regulations. 

The course you apply with

Yes, the course should be credit-bearing at your institution. Students who take the class will continue to receive the same credits for the course as they would normally. The virtual exchange elements of the course will take place to enhance the course. 

As part of their participation in the module, students will receive a certificate of completion from the US-UK Fulbright Commission, recognizing the skills they’ve acquired in global citizenship, cultural exchange, and cross-cultural communication. 

The course needs to directly address the global challenge, but it is not required for every class to be specifically related to the topic. For the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) pedagogy to be effective, we recommend at least 5-8 weeks (about 2 months) worth of material that directly addresses the subject. As a minimum, there should be 5 weeks of content directly related to the chosen global challenge. Additionally, the learning outcomes for the course should be directly aligned with the selected global challenge. 

Successful applicants will be paired with a course from the US/UK that also covers the general topic of the award (inequality/racial justice/climate change/polarisation and division). The specific courses for pairing will be determined during the selection process. Applicants should anticipate being paired with a course with a different focus or possibly even from a different discipline. The COIL pedagogy is designed to work across disciplines and the professional development programme will guide you through building a COIL component between the two courses. Therefore, there is no need to pre-emptively outline adaptations to your course in your application. Instead, the application should emphasize the importance of your current course and the benefits to your course, your students, and your institution of participating in the virtual exchange programme. 

No, you can only apply with a course that you have taught previously. The virtual exchange/COIL course is designed as an enhancement of an existing course. Therefore, it is crucial that you have previous experience teaching the material to students before proposing it for this virtual exchange.  

Additionally, it is essential that the virtual exchange course is approved by university boards before delivery in the Autumn/Fall 2025 semester. The professional development and exchange have been structured to allow for module information to be finalised after the first professional development segment. Please contact us if you have any issues or concerns about the approval processes.  

No, we are not seeking applications from specific disciplines. We welcome courses that address the award topics of inequity, racial justice, polarisation and division, and climate change. If your course engages with these subjects, you are welcome to apply. The Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) pedagogy is well-suited for inter-disciplinary collaborations, and we encourage applicants from any discipline. 

The course should cater to undergraduate students of any level. It needs to span at least eight weeks, with at least 5 of those weeks dedicated to material directly related to the chosen topic. There is no specific requirement for the number of teaching hours. The specific duration spent on the virtual exchange will be agreed upon between faculty members as part of the professional development programme. It is also not anticipated that all the hours taught on the current course will translate into live virtual sessions with partners abroad. While each course will continue to reach its existing learning outcomes, it will need to be adapted to accommodate collaborative activities between the two groups of students. 

You can apply with any course that will be taught in the Autumn/Fall 2025 semester of the 2025-26 academic year. With justification from the applicant, some accommodations may be made for courses taught in Spring 2026. However, we strongly recommend proposing courses for the Autumn 2025 semester to align closely with the professional development timeline of the AAC&U Institute on VE/COIL. This approach minimizes the risk of potential issues by ensuring that the implementation of COIL activities is closely tied to the partnership building and professional development received.  

Applicants can propose a fully online, fully in-person, or hybrid course to enhance via COIL. 

No, you will apply as an individual applicant with the support of your home institution. We will select awardees and introduce them to their potential counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic. If you already have a preferred collaborator in the US/UK, we encourage both parties to apply separately and reference such in your application. However, each applicant and their home institution should be open to working with whomever they are paired with through the process. 

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is a teaching and learning modality pioneered by The State University of New York (SUNY) COIL Center since 2004. COIL connects students and professors in different countries for collaborative projects and discussions as part of their coursework. This method identifies shared aspects between courses to develop collaborative activities and embed intercultural exchange into existing classes. COIL enhances intercultural student interaction through proven approaches to meaningful online engagement, providing significant opportunities for global experiences. It is the most widely adopted form of virtual exchange, fostering effective and productive cross-border relationships in over 100 countries. 

To learn more about COIL and its impact on global education, visit: COIL's Impacts: Collaborative Online Learning | Florida International University.  

No, you won’t have to rewrite or substantially rework your course. The virtual exchange is designed as an enhancement to your current curriculum, with collaborative activities and projects as supplements to regular classes. The professional development process will establish how the two courses intersect, ensuring a seamless integration. You won’t be combining or re-working two courses into one; instead, you will build on the connections established between the two courses during the design phase of the AAC&U Institute on VE/COIL. 

Yes, applicants with previous experience of COIL are encouraged to apply. While we appreciate prior COIL experience, our assessment will not give preference solely based on this. Instead, we will focus on the applicant’s ability to collaborate and cooperate, considering their experiences in various contexts. 

About Applying

No, you can only apply with one course. We recommend that you carefully consider which course aligns most strongly with the chosen award and has learning outcomes that are most directly related to the award subject. 

No, since you do not yet know the specific course, your application will be paired with, there is no need to pre-emptively outline collaborative activities. Instead, we will ask you to provide short-answer responses regarding the course you have taught previously and the benefits that participation in a virtual exchange course would bring to you, your course, your students, and your institution.  

The support letter from the International Office (or equivalent entity within your institution) should articulate the institution's internationalization priorities and confirm its endorsement for hosting a virtual exchange course. It should express commitment to assign a member of the institution's administrative staff to engage in the AAC&U Institute on VE/COIL professional development program alongside the faculty applicant. While this letter does not need to specify the administrator’s name upon initial application, a designated administrator is expected to be available for participation in further stages if shortlisted. If there is confusion over who should provide this letter, reach out to us for guidance. This letter is a testament to your institution’s commitment to the COIL course and to fostering international collaboration.

The letter of support from the department head needs to outline the benefits of the virtual exchange course to the department. It also needs to demonstrate the department’s support for hosting a virtual exchange and commit to offering the course as an accredited course choice to undergraduates in the 2025-2026 academic year. There may be more than one person in your department who can make these commitments. If so, the letter can come from either of them. If you have any questions about who you should be asking for this letter of support, please get in touch. 

The third letter of support should be from someone outside your institution. It could be a former academic colleague, a collaborator, a previous employer, or professional contact. The letter is closer to a standard reference letter and should comment on your general suitability for the award. They might like to mention your academic expertise, your teaching proficiency, your ability to collaborate and your conviction for your subject. 

While a letter of support from the Instructional Design Department is not mandatory for your initial application, engaging with them early on can be beneficial. Although they are not interviewed as part of the application process, an instructional designer is expected to be identified and prepared to participate in the AAC&U Institute on VE/COIL if you are shortlisted. Their involvement is crucial in developing and delivering a successful COIL course. We encourage you to discuss your project with your instructional design team to ensure their readiness to support your COIL initiatives.

The letters of support need to be submitted by your referees directly to our application portal. When you log in you will be able to request the right people to submit the letters directly. If your referees have any issues uploading their letters, please get in touch. 

The deadline for written applications and all letters of support is Monday 29 April, 5pm GMT/12pm ET. Applications not submitted by this deadline will not be considered. If you have any technical difficulties in submitting your application, please get in touch. 

At the end of the application, we allow applicants to upload a sample of their teaching. This can be either a recorded lecture/seminar or lecture/class notes. This is designed to give our review panel more information about you as a teacher. Please note that the materials you upload do not need to be related to the course you are submitting. So, if you have a recorded class from another course that you teach you are welcome to submit that. 

We do not have any example applications. The best way to get a sense of what the application requires is to set up a profile and start an application in the portal. You can save and come back to the application at any time, so you do not need to complete and submit the application in one go.  

If you have specific questions as you go through the process of applying, please get in touch. Please also attend our application webinars for faculty and administrators for more information on this award's application process and benefits.