The Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF) provides funding for campuses to host Fulbright Visiting Scholars, already in the United States, for short-term speaking engagements. The OLF award is designed to enrich both institutions and Visiting Scholars through lectures that will promote academic disciplines and cultural understanding. Additionally, the OLF seeks to build relationships and partnerships with institutions that are currently underrepresented within the Fulbright Program as a means to promote future opportunities. These Priority Institutions include: Minority Serving Institutions, Community Colleges, Small Liberal Arts Colleges, Women’s Colleges and Art Colleges, and geographically underrepresented institutions.
A list of Visiting scholars currently eligible to be hosted by U.S. Institutions through the OLF program can be downloaded here.
Travel Award Details:
The OLF program awards short-term travel grants (typically 2-5 days) to current Fulbright Visiting Scholars for visits to U.S. Institutions of Higher Education outside of their primary host community. The OLF award covers roundtrip airfare, a modest airport transit allowance, and a per diem meals and incidental expenses allowance. The program strongly encourages host institutions to cover lodging and local transit on site.
The OLF program accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Contact Fulbright’s Outreach Lecturing Fund Team by emailing OLF@iie.org.
Identify a Scholar
- Faculty and professional staff of U.S. colleges and universities can identify scholars to invite to their campuses for Outreach Lecturing Fund visits by consulting the Fulbright Visiting (Non-U.S.) Scholar List. After a suitable visiting scholar is identified, representatives of the inviting U.S. institution may contact the scholar directly via the faculty associate and host institution department information on the list, or they may contact IIE staff directly.
Complete the Application
- Within one week of receiving the application, IIE will inform the requesting institution and scholar whether or not the Outreach Lecturing Fund Award has been approved.
Engage with scholar across campus
- Set up meetings with faculty and scholars
- Build networks for the scholar to connect with faculty, administrators and other nearby institutions
Submit the Evaluation
- The Fulbright Visiting Scholar will receive the approved OLF award through a direct deposit into the scholar’s U.S. bank account within three weeks after the completion of OLF visit and the submission of all evaluations and documentation to IIE. If you have not set up IIEPay, please follow the registration instructions here.
Eligibility for Institutions:
- A representative of the institution requesting an OLF visit from a Fulbright Visiting Scholar must serve as the applicant for the OLF award. Institutional applicants must be on the Priority Institutions list, or must partner with an institution on the list. If you have questions about your institution's eligibility, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. OLF's Priority Institutions list aims to help the program support institutions that have engaged less frequently with the Fulbright Program, and includes Minority Serving Institutions, Community Colleges, Small Liberal Arts Colleges, Women’s Colleges and Art Colleges, and geographically underrepresented institutions.
- The scholar must be on a grant of at least three months, and they cannot undertake an OLF award during the last 30 days of their Fulbright exchange. Individual scholars cannot serve as the applicant for an OLF award; only a U.S. institution representative may be the applicant as described above.
- The applying institution is responsible for identifying a current Visiting Scholar and inviting them to participate. Download current list of eligible Visiting Scholars to identify potential scholars to invite for an OLF award. While the Fulbright Program cannot share individuals’ email addresses, you may be able to reach them by searching their host institution’s public directory, or by reaching out to their supervisor as listed in the spreadsheet (as full-time faculty members, their contact information is typically in their university’s public directory).
- OLF benefits received by the Fulbrighter are taxable, and Fulbrighters will need to supply a valid SSN or ITIN through their scholar portal in order to participate in the program.
- Note that OLF travel awards are exclusively for supporting Visiting Scholars to visit U.S. institutions to give lectures, not to engage in personal travel or individual research projects. Only simple, one destination, roundtrip itineraries are supported.
The U.S. Department of State provides funding, known as the Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF), through the Institute of International Education (IIE), to enable Fulbright Visiting Scholars who are in the United States, for a grant longer than three months, to accept guest lecturing invitations at colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
OLF Host Institution Application
Host institutions must submit an online application in order to obtain OLF Award approval for the Fulbright Visiting Scholar. You should receive a letter of funding approval (or disapproval) for your application from IIE within one business week.
Complete OLF Host Institution Application
Required Supplemental Documents
The online application must include the following attachments:
- Institutional Letter of Invitation - View requirements/checklist (PDF)
- Letter from the Visiting Scholar’s Faculty Associate (at their primary hosting institution) - View letter template (PDF)
After your OLF
- Complete your Program Evaluation by re-logging into your OLF application account and re-opening your application status page to fill out your evaluation form. You must complete this form in order for the Visiting Scholar who visited your campus can be reimbursed for their expenses.
- Submit high-resolution photos online.
- What is the purpose of the OLF Award?
The OLF program enables Fulbright Visiting Scholars and Scholars-in-Residence who are currently in the United States for grants longer than three months to accept guest lecturing invitations at U.S. colleges and universities.
- Where can a scholar go on an OLF Award?
Scholars must go to a college or university in the United States and its territories, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. OLF may not be used to attend conferences. Scholars can go to any institution including large research institutes; however scholars must supplement those visits with a second visit to a targeted institution. These include Minority Serving Institutions, Community Colleges, Small Liberal Arts Institutes or Geographically underrepresented regions. For a complete list of targeted institutions, please click here.
- What documentation is needed for the approval process?
Institutions must submit the OLF application form together with an invitation letter on behalf of the scholar. Fulbright Visiting Scholars being requested must submit a copy of their Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- Who is responsible for making the travel arrangements and paying for the transportation?
IIE will assist scholars to directly make airline reservations. Scholars should work with their hosts to secure lodging. If approved, scholars may submit receipts for lodging up to the federal per diem rate for their location.
- Can scholars go to more than one institution during an OLF award?
OLF awards support one roundtrip flight to and from a single location (from the scholar's primary host community to the OLF site and back). Multi-institution OLFs are supported and encouraged IF they are close to one another and part of the same application. Multi-institution OLFs will only be supported when if they do not require special travel arrangements through OLF and if the primary host can provide local transportation among the different institutions/public transportation is available. For example, a scholar could use one OLF award to go to Northern Virginia Community College and Howard University. Both institutions are located in the Washington, DC Metro area. Multi-institution OLF awards are not permitted if they involve complex multi-sited travel arrangements and/or keep the Visiting Scholar away from their primary host institution for longer than one week.
- How is the OLF travel award amount determined?
The roundtrip airfare portion of the award (to OLF host from primary host and return) is booked directly through IIE’s travel agency, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). Federal per diem rates for lodging, meals and incidental expenses for the duration of the OLF activity will be used to determine the remainder of the award amount. If the host institution is unable to support housing for an approved OLF award, the scholar may submit receipts for lodging expenses but may only be reimbursed up to the federal per diem rate for lodging for that location. Additionally, every OLF travel award will include a $100 allowance for airport transit. If more than $100 is spent on airport transit in service of an OLF activity, the scholar may submit receipts for consideration.
- Our institution cannot provide housing for the scholars, is there a possibility to receive supplemental funding?
Institutions that are on the Partnering Institution list can request supplemental funding and will reviewed on a case by case basis. Please indicate your request on the application and within the invitation letter.
- When will the scholar receive the OLF travel award funds?
The scholar will receive the OLF travel award funds after the OLF host institution submits an evaluation and summary of the event. Scholars are required to register their U.S. Bank Accounts through IIEPay in order to receive OLF funding. You can find detailed instructions on registering for IIEPay here. Scholars will receive payments within 3-4 weeks after all documents are submitted. Please note: Scholars cannot be reimbursed without their SSN/ITIN on file. SSNs should be submitted through IIE's self service portal by the Fulbright Visiting Scholar.
- Our institution wishes to issue an honorarium to our OLF traveler. What are the requirements?
Institutions are welcome to issue Visiting Scholars an honorarium, however they MUST include a letter indicating the amount of such honoraria with their OLF application. Honoraria requests CANNOT be approved retroactively.
- Are there limitations for how many OLFs a scholar can receive?
Yes. Fulbright Visiting Scholars and Scholars-in-Residence are limited to two (2) OLF awards during their Fulbright exchange, regardless of the length of their exchange. The two OLF awards must be at least 30 days apart.
- Are there limitations for how many scholars an institution can request?
Institutions may apply for up to two OLF Visiting Scholar visits per academic year.
- The scholar I am interested in is only on a grant for 2 months, are they eligible?
No. In order to be eligible, scholars must be on Fulbright grants of 3 months and scholars cannot participate in an OLF during the last 30 days of their grant.
- I am a current Fulbright Visiting Scholar and I am not listed in the Scholar Directory, what should I do?
- Our institution is not listed as a Priority Institution. Is there a way to be considered a Priority Institution now or in the future?
The Priority Institution Excel Document is updated periodically as we conduct research on eligible institutions. If you believe your institution falls into one of the categories or would like us to consider your eligibility for participation in the OLF program, please email us at email@example.com.
- Can the OLF travel award be utilized to support travel to a conference?
The OLF award is not intended to support conference attendance, research trips, or personal travel. These non-OLF activities will not be approved. If a scholar would like to attend a conference or conduct a research visit in the site near their OLF, alternate dates on the flights can be considered, but only if the total time away from the primary host institution is less than one week.
- Can we charge admission to our OLF event?
The Fulbright Program is a federally funded program by Congressional appropriation. As such, any OLF events hosted should be free for their intended audiences.
Institutions wishing to invite a Fulbright Scholar for an Outreach Lecturing Fund visit should develop a comprehensive plan of activities and arrangements to share with the scholar well in advance of the proposed visit. Proposals should fit within the below award structure.
Summary: Each OLF travel grant will cover the scholar’s roundtrip airfare, federal per diem meals and incidental expenses for the duration of OLF activities, plus a transit allowance of $100 intended to cover transit costs to and from the airport closest to their primary host institution. OLF host institutions are strongly encouraged, but not required, to cover lodging and local transportation for the duration of the proposed OLF visit.
Travel (Airfare): After an OLF award is approved, each OLF traveler will receive roundtrip airfare/train fare or relevant travel support procured through IIE’s travel service, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) in advance of travel. Tickets procured outside of this process are not guaranteed reimbursement unless approved in advance by IIE. Requests for itineraries that are longer than required to complete the OLF lecture activities can be considered, but only in cases where the scholar will not be away from their primary host institution and community for longer than one calendar week. If alternate dates requested by the scholar incur additional costs, these personal costs will be deducted from the per diem award amount. Please note per the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program Terms and conditions, Fulbright Visiting Scholars are required to be engaged full-time in their Fulbright activities at their primary host institution, in their host community.
Travel Booking Procedure: Scholars will be guided to book their travel directly with the program using IIE's travel agency and should not book flights or trains separately. If a scholar books travel separately, a reimbursement is not guaranteed, unless advance approval is received from IIE. Important: only simple roundtrip itineraries are supported through the OLF program, from the primary host location to the OLF host institution location and back--multi-sited travel itineraries are not permitted.
Per Diem Meals and Incidental Expenses: Each OLF traveler will be given the Meals and Incidental Expenses (MI&E) federal allowance for the location of their OLF, payable upon completion of travel. The rates are slightly reduced on the first and last day of travel. Receipts are not required to receive per diem for meals and incidental expenses. If you requested any extra days for personal reasons on your itinerary that were not necessary to complete the OLF activity, per diem allowances will not be awarded for those extra days. For more information, see here: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates
Lodging: Cost-share from host institutions in the form of providing lodging is strongly encouraged. Supplemental funding for lodging costs may also be requested as a part of the application process and will be considered on a case-by-case basis but is not guaranteed. OLF lodging coverage will follow federal per diem rates by location.
Luggage: Luggage fees charged by airlines if the scholar carries baggage in excess of carry-on allowances will not be reimbursed by the OLF program and are the scholar's own responsibility.
Transit (public transit/taxis): A transit allowance of $100 will be granted to each OLF traveler to support their airport transit in their primary host institution community. If an OLF traveler’s expenses exceed $100 for airport transit, receipts may be submitted for consideration for reimbursement following travel. Assistance with transit from the local airport/train station etc. at the OLF destination is expected of host universities receiving an Outreach Lecturing Fund visit from a Fulbrighter. Ideally, a faculty member or institutional representative would pick up and escort the traveler to their destination both at arrival and departure.
Duration of an OLF Award Trip: The typical OLF award runs 1-3 days and typically requires 2-5 days away from their primary host institution. Please note per the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program Terms and conditions, Fulbright Visiting Scholars are required to be engaged full-time in their Fulbright grant activities at their host institution, in their host community. Therefore, OLF supported travel will not be approved for longer than one week, even if some of that time is at the scholar's own expense.
Multiple OLF Awards: Scholars may only be awarded two OLF travel awards during their exchange. Participating scholars may not undertake back-to-back OLF awards that would take them away from their primary host for more than one week. A gap of at least one month in between OLF awards will be observed. Please note: Scholars may NOT receive an OLF travel award in the last 30 days of their exchange.
Dependents: The OLF program cannot support costs for or assist with any arrangements for a scholar's dependents that may accompany them.