Number of recipients
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
Activities might include independent or collaborative research, teaching and facilitating seminars about economic, political and strategic subjects of importance, that inform both U.S. and Jamaica policy decisions. The priority areas range from: security, governance, health, education, energy, economic development, democratic citizenship, cultural and creative sectors. Scholars are encouraged to include public outreach and dissemination of their research or project while in-country.
For teaching/research projects, candidates should ideally plan a 45/45/10 ratio of teaching to research to outreach. Thesis advising or assistance with curriculum development may also be requested, depending upon the scholar's area of expertise. Research and teaching/research proposals are welcomed.
Scholars are expected to positively and directly impact research/teaching outcomes at their host institution and set the foundation for possible further partnerships between their host and home institutions. For research proposals, please note access to research subjects and materials may be limited by government agencies, security concerns or administrative delays.
In the case of a Professional Project a minimum of seven years of expertise is preferred to ensure knowledge sharing is optimized for both the grantee and the host affiliation. The project should serve a priority area, as mentioned above, and the host should have prior knowledge of interest by the particular grantee and also welcome the professional association. This type of collaboration if managed properly can be dynamic and optimal but the grantee must demonstrate the mutual benefits expected as well as share a plan of activities in support of the particular placement and project focus.
In Jamaica, there are three major universities, a cultural research institute, a research-focused national library, a national archives office, a visual and performing arts college, a maritime institute, a college of agriculture, and several teachers' colleges. The major universities have traditionally hosted Fulbright scholars based on resources at their disposal. However, campus housing is not provided for scholars at any local institution.
University of the West Indies
University of Technology Jamaica
Northern Caribbean University
Caribbean Policy Research Institute (Think tank)
Institute of Jamaica
National Library of Jamaica
Other Tertiary Institutions: (not an exhaustive list)
Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
College of Agricultural Science and Education
Caribbean Maritime Institute
University College of the Caribbean
The Mico University College
Church Teachers College
Shortwood Teachers College
The list provided is not exhaustive. Applicants are invited to reach out to inquire about particular institutions that may not be listed and discuss the possibility of being affiliated with them for their Fulbright grant period. The U.S. Embassy is happy to facilitate an introduction to instituional contacts to encourage consideration of potential placement for candidates with sufficient lead time. Nonetheless, the Embassy cannot guarantee institutional placements.
3 to 9 months total for non-Flex awards. 4 to 6 months total for Flex awards. (Please see the Flex Description section for additional details on Flex award parameters.)
Grants may only begin in August / September 2023 or January 2024. These dates coincide with institutional fall and spring semester start dates. If there is no institutional affiliation the applicant should provide justification for the proposed dates. For Flex grants, see Flex Option section. Flex grants are particularly recommended in the case the applicant has no invitation letter.
All Scholars to Jamaica are required to attend a pre-departure orientation, which typically takes place in late June, prior to beginning their Fulbright grant.
Flex awards are offered for seminars, guest lecturing, teaching and research grants.
The Flex Award is designed for scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. This option allows grants to be conducted over two or three short segments. Applicants must select Flex in the application form, and clearly describe their plans for Flex in their project statement, including a project timeline. Flex grantees may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host-country academic community.
The following disciplines are issue areas that Jamaican institutions and policy makers have identified as areas of priority for collaboration: criminal justice, security studies, legal studies (especially criminal justice reform and intellectual property), government/public policy/governance, taxation policy, finance and management, economics, urban planning/studies, environmental sciences (especially climate change and climate change mitigation), public/global health, journalism (investigative journalism, photo/video journalism and online journalism), conservation of culturally significant items, museum management, and agriculture and food security.
The areas identified are not exhaustive and applicants are encouraged to propose other disciplines and issues for research and/or teaching.
Applicants are responsible for arranging their housing independently which allows freedom to find the best housing solution to suit personal taste, need and budget. The University of West Indies, University of Technology Jamaica and Northern Caribbean University have extensive experience in processing the required work permit or work permit waiver (as legally applicable), through liaising with the local Ministry of Labor. All scholars require a work permit or work permit waiver to participate in this program in Jamaica. The work permit/waiver process begins with your host institution. The only exception is granted to dual citizens of Jamaica and the USA or those with Jamaican familial ties who legally establish citizenship rights by virtue of Jamaican descent/marriage/naturalization prior to the start of the grant period. In either of those two cases, the scholar must be legally granted unconditional landing status and benefits from Jamaican citizen worker rights. Smaller institutions may also pool resources to cover the cost and administrative input of securing the work permit.
The housing stock in the rental market typically has good availability and are of modest to high quality. Scholars can utilize online platforms or recommendations from their institutional affiliation to find private realtor firms and property management companies that can facilitate the search for proper housing options, in the recommended areas close to campus. Small/non-urban institutions (for example, a group of community/teacher's colleges) may consider partnering to cost-share, where they share the Fulbright scholars' expertise/teaching time and share the cost of housing in a number of creative ways. This placement may be more of a challenge but due consideration would be given. It is most important to start discussions early with non-traditional institutions to assess resource availability and how resources may be leveraged to support a Fulbright Scholar at such institutions.
An invitation letter is preferred, but is not required for those researching and teaching. For applicants seeking to conduct a professional project, a letter of invitation is required. Ideally, the letter ensures at the very least that limited resources are best allocated to support the scholar early in the institution's budgetary plans and human resources. Where a letter cannot be provided, a flex grant is recommended because no indicated commitment was given by the institution to allocate resources in hosting the applicant. Each institution ultimately reserves the right to choose whether it will host a scholar.
Post can facilitate an introduction of an interested applicant, upon request. Post cannot place the approved scholar at an institution that has not offered to host them. The limited resources and value/usefulness of the proposal/scholar to the institution for the duration of grant are some of the factors that will determine if a letter (which indicates a host's willingness to commit to a scholar) will be issued.
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) is preferred for those focused on teaching or a teaching and research program plan. For those focused on research, a master's degree with at least five years of research or teaching experience will suffice.
For non-academics, at least seven years of significant industry experience is required.
The U.S. Embassy encourages applicants interested in helping shape policy and strategic institutional development to submit applications. Therefore proposed outreach to the scholarly community, institutions, and the Jamaican public is a plus.
Practical experience is highly valued, i.e. professional experience outside of academia which the applicant can bring to students, colleagues, and institutions. Professional experience may include internships in the case of early career applicants. Projects which include the creation of linkages between Jamaican and U.S. institutions are also a plus.
U.S. Embassy staff is also willing to assist you in making contact with faculty to request a letter of invitation. A letter of invitation is optimal, as it allows the institution to do the internal preparations for accepting a scholar, including the cost and administrative work of obtaining a work permit, assigning work related resources, etc. The letters can only be requested and are typically forthcoming when the applicant's specialty, curriculum vitae and institutional needs align.
Bernadette Hutchinson and Kimberly Joe Osborne at the U.S Embassy in Jamaica can be reached here.
For Flex grants, round-trip travel will be included for each segment of the grant for the Scholar only. Dependent travel will not be provided for Flex Scholars.
$1,000 books and educational materials allowance for teaching and teaching/research grants; these materials should be donated to the host institution or other entity upon the scholar's departure.
$300 - $500 research allowance for research-only grants.
Additional living and housing allowance is provided for grantees with one accompanying dependent or two or more accompanying dependents. These amounts range from $200/month to $400/month.
In addition, travel allowances are provided for up to two dependents.
Dependents must accompany the grantee for at least 80% of the period abroad and a minimum of one semester in order to qualify for additional dependent benefits. Dependent benefits are not provided to Flex grantees.
During their grant period, Fulbright U.S. Scholars in the Western Hemisphere (WHA) region may apply for a short-term regional travel grant for activities such as workshops, seminars, presentations, lectures, performances, exhibits, curricular advising and similar projects at institutions in eligible WHA countries. (Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Uruguay).
The Regional Travel Program covers travel to and from the destination; lodging may be offered by the host institution. Scholars may only apply for this grant once they are in country on their Fulbright grant. Scholars who apply for the Flex award are ineligible for the Regional Travel Program. Additional information can be found on the Regional Travel Program website.
Please note that the Regional Travel Program is currently paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible Scholars will be notified of its reopening, which is dependent on the status of the global health situation.
Please refer to the figures above for an estimate of total monthly Fulbright award benefits. Benefits may include a monthly base stipend, living and housing allowances, and additional one-time allowances. Benefits may vary based on a scholar's current academic rank (or professional equivalent), the city of placement, the type of award (teaching, teaching/research, or research), and the number of and duration of stay of accompanying dependents. Research-only or Professional Project grantees receive a standard stipend that is not adjusted for academic rank. In most cases, dependent benefits will not be provided to Flex grantees, or to grantees pursuing grants less than four months (or a semester) in length.
Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State reserves the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
The education sector in Jamaica has a long history, predating political independence. The tertiary education sector is highly skewed towards particular professions such as business, governance, law, medicine, teacher education, nursing and to a lesser extent security, psychology, history, the creative and performing arts, maritime studies and agriculture. The number of institutions offering tertiary education has grown to include a number of international institutions offering distance degrees. However the focus of studies has not shifted to meet all the requirements for technological, financial and strategically positioning the country for growth. Many academic specializations in developed countries are not offered locally, even with several Masters' degrees and PhD programs accessible. The last two decades have seen a disproportionate focus on law, maritime logistics and banking and tourism related services as areas of study at the tertiary level. A strong academic community exists at the three major local universities but limited resources and reactive responses to development needs has stymied growth and research funding. The upside is that the potential for critical impact on the policy environment is high, where and when specialists are trained or research conducted.
The U.S. Embassy is eager to support Jamaican universities seeking to expand, create and strengthen linkages between U.S. universities/think tanks and Jamaican institutions; including universities, think tanks, quasi-government agencies and government agencies. The U.S. Embassy actively seeks to encourage educational exchanges in non-traditional areas of study such as criminal justice, security, taxation, auditing and accounting, public policy, urban planning, restoration and architecture, museum management and culture, agriculture, advocacy and social justice, university management, STEM related fields and journalism. The academic calendar is August to May in Jamaican universities with room for a third semester at the three major universities during the summer months of June and July. Housing will not be provided directly by host institutions. Recent grantees have had to seek solutions through reputable realtors and recommendations from academic colleagues with knowledge of available spaces on or near the campus.
The Jamaican Ministry of Labor requires that U.S. citizens receive a work permit before beginning their Fulbright grant. For applicants with dual Jamaican citizenship ties (by birth, descent or marriage) a permanent landing status process will suffice, but must be documented with the host university early in the placement process. The host universities are responsible for liaising with the Ministry of Labor for the work permit/work permit waiver process and must invest in the required fees to benefit from the services of the incoming scholar. All the major universities are located in well-established communities which are close to major hospitals, shopping and business districts as well as schools for those applicants with minor dependents. Most minor dependents attend better resourced private preparatory schools and costs vary according to preference and services offered. Cost of living is relatively more affordable than in the USA typically. However, the pandemic has led to difficulties with shipping and imports causing greater than normal inflation. The cost of food in particular has increased . Please see comparisons here as an example of analysis of these costs.
Public transportation is unreliable and often overcrowded. Reputable taxi companies and bus tours can be arranged online or by telephone for individual comfort and safety. If you choose to lease/rent a vehicle (purchase is an option but resale values and process may be a deterrent for many) be sure to find reputable venders. The driving environment is not ideal because of the number of fatal accidents annually, inadequate insurance coverage and poor driving habits of many road users. Pedestrians also do not always practice safe road use. Caution, defensive driving and awareness need to be exercised to avoid any negative outcomes, including legal action. The healthcare system has been under strain in the pandemic period and specialists, in particular areas, may be minimal (1 or 2 doctors on island) or non-existent locally. Typically Jamaican public hospitals are under-resourced but our medical professionals are well trained and resourceful. Where some services cannot be provided locally, this may require a visit to Florida (nearest state to Jamaica) or your home state. Personal medical insurance, including coverage for a medevac, should be considered for the grant period. There are roughly four private medical facilities that may have state of the art facilities to deliver certain services including surgery and care but they come at a premium cost and still have limitations.
As you prepare your Fulbright application, we encourage you to read the information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. You should also check the information available on visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/ to get up to date requirements for all persons travelling during the pandemic.
Post has the names and email information of past participants. However, it requires requesting permission to share. Upon request, we hope to share one scholar name from the past 5 cycles of the program.
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.