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.
Teach undergraduate and/or graduate courses and/or conduct research in the area of specialization. Assist in curriculum development and faculty training. Independent research may also be undertaken that is related to the proposed Fulbright activity/field. Feasibility of research projects, the impact of teaching/research to build capacity and fill a need/gap in expertise locally, suitability of the host institution/affiliation and potential for continued future collaborations will be considered prior to awards being granted. Opportunities to conduct guest lectures at other universities could also be included. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the host institution and to develop their research and/or teaching proposals in consultation with host institution colleagues.
Applicants who plan to carry out a combination of teaching and research activities at the Sri Lankan host institution should specify the percentage of the grant for each activity and define this in their project statement.
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 people of Sri Lanka and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars will be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
Any appropriate institution. In addition to universities, secondary affiliations with think-tanks, research centers, non-governmental organizations, relevant government organizations could be included.
Applicants are encouraged to contact potential host institutions to obtain a host affiliation letter and specify preference/s for affiliation. If a preferred host institution is not identified in the application, the United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission would be happy to assist in identifying a suitable affiliation. Affiliations will be finalized by the Fulbright Commission following confirmation of selection of applicant for an award. The Fulbright Commission reserves the right to change the affiliation, if the one indicated in the application is not suitable for any reason.
When possible, preference will be given to institutions that have not hosted many Fulbright grantees or are not engaged in collaborative projects with the U.S. Prospective scholar applicants can contact the Fulbright Commission, Sri Lanka to secure advice on identifying potential host institutions.
Four to nine months
Contingent upon meeting the academic calendar of the host insitutuion, grants may begin any time after October 01, 2023, provided that they are concluded by September 30, 2024.
The United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission recommends a start date, usually in November, to coincide with the in-country orientation program. Earlier or later start dates to meet the host university academic calendar will be supported, in consultation with and approval by the Fulbright Commission.
Due to year-end examinations and vacation periods, teaching and research are not possible in the majority of Sri Lankan institutions during certain times in the academic year. Applicants should inquire from the potential host university/institution and take this into consideration in proposing dates for the grant period, to ensure that there is sufficient teaching time, encompassing at least one academic session/term, and that the university will be open to be able to conduct research.
Fields/areas of expertise that will be given priority based on capacity building needs in Sri Lanka: Nursing education, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Commercial Agriculture, Teaching English as a Second Language, Forensic Medicine, Psychological Counselling, Data Sciences. Marine Conservation and Archaeology, Higher Education Administration, and Management – Organizational and Strategic Management, Corporate Finance, Operations Process and Productivity, Digital Entrepreneurship, Environmental Sciences - Climate Change.
South and Central Asia Fulbright Regional Travel Grant: During their grant period, Fulbright Scholars in the South and Central Asia (SCA) region may apply for a regional travel grant to engage in a variety of activities at academic institutions or non-profit organizations in eligible SCA countries (Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Republic of the Maldives, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). Activities that U.S Scholars may engage in include: faculty and student lectures, graduate or faculty seminars, conferences, curriculum development, public lectures, panel presentations, needs assessment, or some combination thereof. Scholars in the arts may be invited to give master classes or recitals, participate in exhibitions or workshops, or consult with cultural institutions. Activities may not include research. This grant will cover travel to and from the destination and lodging may be offered by the hosting institution. Scholars may only apply for this grant once in-country on their Fulbright grant. As funds are limited, Scholars are limited to one such travel grant.
Before traveling to another country on a Regional Travel Grant, it is important to confirm trip details with the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section or Fulbright Commission in that country.
Please note: The 2023-24 Fulbright Regional Travel Program will be dependent on global travel conditions. More information will be provided prior to grant departure.
South and Central Asia Fulbright Midyear Conference: With funding provided by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S.-India Educational Foundation (the Fulbright Commission in India) invites eligible Fulbright Scholars in the South and Central Asia region to attend the annual South and Central Asia Fulbright Midyear Conference in India in 2024 (usually held in February or March). The conference is an opportunity for current Fulbright U.S. Scholars who are on their Fulbright grants in the SCA region at the time of the conference to gather to discuss each other’s work and educational exchange issues and to invite suggestions for the future development and enhancement of the Fulbright Program. Financial assistance to attend the conference is provided as an additional Fulbright grant benefit.
Please note: The 2023-24 South and Central Asia Fulbright Midyear Conference will be dependent on global travel conditions. More information will be provided prior to grant departure and once in-country.
The U.S.-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission encourages applicants to initiate contact with prospective hosts and local academics during the application process and discuss the parameters of the teaching/research they are proposing. Prior contact and communication between the applicant and the host institution ensure greater buy-in by the host and create a more wholesome professional space that enables the grantee to function effectively once in-country. Affiliation letters and/or correspondence with potential host institutions should be included in the application.
If a prospective applicant would like information on host institutions that may match his/her field and proposed Fulbright activity, the Fulbright Commission in Sri Lanka will be happy to assist in identifying and suggesting potential institutions. Please visit the United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission website or contact Executive Director, Sandarshi Gunawardena for assistance concerning possible host institutions.
Appropriate affiliations will be finalized by the Fulbright Commission once a grantee has been selected.
All teaching will be in English. However, it would be best to discuss expectations of English language levels with the host. Proficiency in another language or proficiency assessment is not required.
For research applicants, it would be best to assess if basic language proficiency will be required to conduct the research, as some knowledge of the local languages could be advantageous. The Fulbright Commission recommends working with a competent local translator, whose services are available at reasonable rates and can be secured once in country.
For an enriching cultural experience, grantees may take one-on-one language lessons once they are in Sri Lanka.
Non-academic professionals without terminal degrees but possessing relevant teaching experience and/or significant relevant research or professional experiences are eligible to apply.
Feasibility of research projects, impact of teaching/research to build capacity locally - especially in fields requiring expertise and areas of need, and potential for continued future collaborations will be considered prior to awards being granted.
Preference will be given to scholars who have not had any previous professional or other experience in/with Sri Lanka.
Individuals who have retired or are no longer actively engaged in teaching, research or professional activities, including faculty emeriti, will not be given preference.
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 will be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
$2,400 per month, payable in U.S. dollars or local currency.
Living allowance: $750-$950 per month (paid in Sri Lankan Rupees), based on the number of dependents who will accompany the grantee for at least 80% of actual grant duration in Sri Lanka, up to a maximum of two dependents, will be provided.
Housing allowance: $850-$1,250 per month (paid in Rupees), based on the number of dependents who will accompany the grantee for at least 80% of actual grant duration in Sri Lanka, up to a maximum of two dependents, will be provided.Grantees are responsible for arranging their own housing and may contact their host institution contact for assistance.
Round-trip, Fly America Act compliant, economy class travel from the United States to host country will be provided for the grantee and up to two dependents, as long as the dependents accompany the grantee for at least 80% of actual grant duration in Sri Lanka.
Reimbursement of excess baggage expenses on return to the United States of up to $350 for grants up to four months in duration and $600 for grants longer than four months, upon submission of receipts and final reports to IIE and the Fulbright Commission.
A one-time teaching/research allowance up to US $750 for grants of six months of less and up to $1,000 for grants longer than six months, for specific allowable expenses, reimbursed on submission of receipts and paid in Sri Lankan Rupees
Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the 2023-2024 academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
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 and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
“Rarely have I felt so welcome anywhere as quickly as I have in Sri Lanka.” - Stephen C. Berkwitz, U.S. Fulbrighter to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka, often referred to as the “pearl of the Indian Ocean”, is a tropical island the size of West Virginia, rich in endemic wildlife, sandy coasts, breathtaking natural beauty, and wealth of cultural heritage and sites of ancient civilizations. For a tiny island-nation, the diversity – social, cultural, geographic and historical, is amazing. Sri Lanka is a small country with a complex history spanning several thousand years, and under three colonial occupations spanning 443 years – Portuguese, Dutch and British, that defies glib definitions and quick judgments, but which once explored, lures the visitor to revisit and review their personal experiences. Opportunities for teaching, research, and exploring the island in all its diversity abound.
Education is given a very high priority and is a strong cultural aspiration, for parents and students and there is a great demand and interest in higher education. Sri Lanka’s educational system is modelled after the British system. Primary and secondary education being 13 years in duration and both public and private schools meet the demands of mandatory education for all children. Sri Lanka has comparatively high literacy rate of 92.3%.
Access to tertiary education is highly competitive, given the limited number of public higher educational institutions, and entry is based on high scores received at the Advance Level Examination. Tertiary level education comes under the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka. Other tertiary level educational institutions, recognized by the UGS and other private educational institutions, many not recognized by the UGC and also offering degrees from foreign universities, have emerged to meet the demands for higher education. Sri Lanka’s educational system has undergone some reforms but further reforms and strengthening and the Fulbright Program in Sri Lanka aims at contributing to these efforts. Hence keeping up with global teaching and learning methodologies, developing curriculum, students-centered learning that develops critical thinking, exposure to new fields of study/areas of research, et., are all important priorities.
A relatively stable socio-political climate prevails after the end of the decades-long civil conflict. Following the April 2019 Easter attacks, the United States has continued counterterrorism cooperation with Sri Lanka. Despite the economic challenges faced by the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a health sector that is not on par with many countries even in the region, Sri Lanka was able to manage the pandemic related health conditions in the country through prevention and mitigation strategies.
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.