Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program: Five Tips for Crafting a Competitive Application

SIR Tips
SIR Tips

Fulbright’s Scholar-in-Residence (S-I-R) program connects a diverse range of U.S. institutions of higher education with Fulbright Visiting Scholars around the world for an exchange experience that benefits the host and scholar alike. Institutions interested in applying to host a foreign scholar through the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program are encouraged to review the five tips below to ensure a strong proposal.   

  1. Demonstrate Internationalization Impact
    Describe how your S-I-R will contribute to key internationalization goals at your institution, no matter your current level of international engagement. Emphasize their potential impact on student learning and curriculum development — and don’t forget to illustrate their institutional significance beyond the hosting department, too.

  1. Address Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility
    The Fulbright Program strives to ensure that its programs reflect and value the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. Regardless of your institutional profile, your application should address how your S-I-R will engage with diverse students, faculty, and staff on your campus and people in your local community. Consider how your S-I-R might develop a more nuanced understanding of America's multi-faceted diversity as a result of their Fulbright experience.

  1. Provide Justification
    Whether you are requesting a specific scholar or need the program’s assistance with recruitment, make sure to include clear rationale for the skillset of the S-I-R you are proposing, and explain why you have chosen to host a scholar from that particular region or country.

  1. Offer Institutional Support
    Share your plan to involve and support your scholar in your campus community, including assigning a faculty liaison and staff point person for your S-I-R's time on campus. Think creatively about in-kind support, such as airport transit and local transportation. A housing plan or homestay, as well as a meal plan, are recommended ways to support a Visiting Fulbright Scholar.

  1. Highlight Broad Campus and Community Engagement
    Detail campus and community resources your S-I-R would benefit from or contribute to, such as campus libraries, archives, labs, training opportunities, working groups, and local conferences. Think about other ways to engage your S-I-R, such as K-12 school visits, involvement with local media, speaking at social and professional organizations, or interacting with museums, cultural organizations, and international associations.  Collect letters from local organizations that pledge to work with you and support the scholar during their exchange. Share your strategy for getting the word out about your S-I-R's visit to your campus and local community, whether through events, press releases, social media, or other means.    

To learn more about how your institution can participate in this unique Fulbright opportunity, please visit cies.org/sir. Applications for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year competition are due June 1st!