Fulbright Scholar Award

All Disciplines

Sierra Leone

Application Deadline
Monday, September 16, 2024
Award Code
Activity Type
Teaching includes classroom teaching, as well as giving guest lectures, workshops, and seminars, and engaging in other related activities. Classroom teaching is typically at the undergraduate and graduate level, and courses may be designed by the scholar or prescribed by the host institution and may be taught or co-taught by the scholar. The teaching load varies by award, as well as the host institution. Scholars may also consult on building research capacity, advise graduate students, and assist with thesis advising.
A combination of teaching and research as described above. Refer to the award description for any specifications on percentages of time that should be devoted to teaching vs research.
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Career Profile
Early Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for no more than seven years.
Mid-Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than seven, and less than 13, years.
Senior Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than 13 years.

Number of recipients

Up To
Award Start Period
September 2025 - October 2025 or January 2026
Award Length
6 months - 10 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Projects are sought in all disciplines
Scholars selected for this award can choose to
Advise and/or mentor students
Assist in faculty, curriculum, and/or program development
Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses designated by the host institution
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses of the applicant’s choosing

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.

Award Activity

Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in a wide range of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences and business and communications. Supervise student theses and collaborate with faculty on research and program development. Conduct research in area of specialization, in addition to teaching responsibilities. 

Location Selection: Applicant may propose an appropriate host
Award Length and Period

Academic calendars vary from institution to institution. Many begin in September/October or in January, however there is flexibility to adjust the award period and length depending on the host institution's schedule. Discuss alternative start dates with U.S. Embassy Freetown.

Areas of Interest

Applications are sought in all disciplines. Applications in agriculture, biology, business administration, communication, engineering, environmental sciences, human resource management, information technology, journalism, law, public health, social work, and teacher education are encouraged.

All applicants must meet the Program eligibility requirements (click to review the requirements).

Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Applicants residing in the award country at the time of application or thereafter are not eligible to apply for this award.
Permanent residents of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Invitation Requirement
A letter of invitation is preferred.
Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient
Additional Language Requirement

All teaching will be in English; proficiency in another language is not required.

Additional Qualification Information

Scholars with two or more years of university teaching experience are preferred. Prior experience in developing countries is strongly preferred.

Additional Comments

The following are all part of the University of Sierra Leone and are located less than four miles apart in Freetown: Fourah Bay College, Business School; Institute of Public Administration and Management; Freetown Teachers' College; and College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences

Milton Margai Technical University is also located in Freetown.

Njala University and the University of Makeni are located two to three hours' drive away from Freetown and accessible by paved road.

Eastern Technical University is located in Kenema, approximately 4 hours' drive from Freetown and accesible by paved road.

The following are all part of Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology and are located two to three hours away from Freetown by paved roads: Port Loko Teachers College, Makeni Teachers College, and Magbuaraka Teachers College.

Scholars must be prepared to live and work in a developing country with minimal infrastructure. Freetown does not have a continuous water or electrical supply. Students do not have ready access to books or the Internet. Please contact Nandi Zulu, Alumni & Established Opinion Leader Exchange Coordinator, at zulund@state.gov, regarding university information and proposed teaching and research.

Researcher and Professional Project Monthly Allowances
Teaching or Teaching/Research Award Monthly Allowances
Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

Round-trip, economy-class, international travel arranged by travel agent designated by IIE, for scholar and up to two accompanying dependents. A $2,850 allowance will be provided to cover the costs associated with relocation and excess baggage. 

Estimated Book and Research Allowance

$1,000 books and educational materials allowance; if possible, educational materials should be donated to the host institution (or other entity) upon grantee's departure. (For Teaching and Teaching/Research awards) 

Do you offer additional dependent benefits

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 $700/month. 

In addition, round-trip, economy class travel is provided for up to two dependents. 

Dependent education allowance of up to $12,500 per child or $25,000 per family for accompanying dependents in grades K-12 is reimbursed for a full academic year, upon submission of receipts, and depending on funding availability. Amount may be adjusted for shorter grant periods. Reimbursement is based on actual cost of tuition and fees only. 

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.

Special Award Benefits

When university housing is provided to Fulbright Scholars, grantees will receive a supplemental housing allowance in lieu of a full housing allowance for refurbishments, utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses that arise. The full housing allowance will not be provided to grantees if they elect to decline on-campus or university housing.

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.

Sierra Leone

What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Sierra Leone in 1961, following its independence from the United Kingdom. The U.S. and Sierra Leone enjoy a warm and cordial relationship. The two countries are linked by the history of slavery in the U.S., an institution that sent a large number of African slaves from present-day Sierra Leone to the then-colonies of Georgia and South Carolina. Today, thousands of Sierra Leoneans and their descendants reside in the United States. Notably, many descendants of former slaves still reside in the same region and have maintained their unique culture known as Gullah. Further, nearly two percent of Sierra Leone’s population is of Krio heritage, a group of freed slaves historically known for returning to Sierra Leone beginning in the late 1700s from Great Britain and North America.

In early 2014, the United Nations hailed Sierra Leone as a success story due to its remarkable post-conflict transition following a brutal civil war (1991-2002), which destroyed the country’s infrastructure and hampered its political, social, and economic development. But Sierra Leone’s positive trajectory was interrupted in May 2014 when the deadly Ebola epidemic struck and quickly overtook the country’s fragile health care system. Over 14,000 Sierra Leoneans contracted Ebola with more than 3,900 deaths. The economy, which had experienced a high growth rate before Ebola, contracted due to the epidemic and global drop in prices for its major iron ore exports. The epidemic was declared over in November 2015. Since, the government launched an ambitious recovery plan that has received significant donor support. In 2020, Sierra Leone was selected to develop a Millenium Challenge Corporation compact after continued improvements on the MCC scorecard.

Sierra Leone has several major public universities, including the University of Sierra Leone, Njala University, University of Makeni and Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology. The academic year consists of two semesters: September through December and February through June, with final exams conducted in July. The U.S. Embassy located in Freetown offers guidance on visa, housing and security issues. The American International School of Freetown offers educational programs for dependent children in grades K-8 who accompany the Scholar.

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