Fulbright Scholar Award

Fulbright-Carlos Rico Award for North American Studies

Application Deadline
Award Code
Activity Type
Research includes activities involving scientific research, qualitative research, quantitative research, and practice-based research, including artistic research. Research can take place in locations such as the laboratory, the field, the archives, or an artist residency. It can be experimental, clinical, or applied. It can include examining policies, systems, theories, methods, interactions, and works of art and music, with the objective to evaluate or develop new knowledge or works. Quantifiable (tangible) outcomes can include publications (books, journal articles, scripts, etc.), conference presentations, artistic and musical compositions, exhibitions, performances, films, and patents.
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
August 2023 - September 2023 or January 2024
Award Length
4 months, or 6 months, or 8 months, or 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 designated by the host institution
Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
The applicant can propose any of the listed activities

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

The Fulbright-Carlos Rico Award for North American Studies offers an unparalleled opportunity to conduct research in both Canada and Mexico. The aim of the award is to enhance collaboration between leading North American scholars working on projects of importance to Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This award can be taken up at any university, government agency, or research institution in Canada and Mexico.

Projects across a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary focuses are welcome. However, it should be shown that the research focus promotes collaboration and adds value to the current body of research related to our trilateral relationship and shaped by our shared borders, current events, and common interests.

Projects may include a variety of activities throughout the course of the grant period:

  • engaging in collaborative research
  • consulting on curriculum and capacity-building
  • engaging in program and faculty development
  • conducting seminars and workshops for various academic and professional audiences
Location Selection: Applicant may propose an appropriate host
Locations Detail

This award can be taken up at any university, government agency or research institution in Canada and Mexico.

COMEXUS, the Fulbright Commission in Mexico, follows the recommendations of both the Mexican government and the U.S. Department of State when placing U.S. Fulbright grantees in Mexico. Placement may be restricted in certain states or areas of Mexico, dependent on these recommendations. Please consult the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories Webpage for information about your prospective location.

As you prepare your Fulbright application, we encourage you to read the information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Award Length and Period

Four to ten months to be divided evenly between Canada and Mexico. Longer-term grants are preferred.

One-semester awards must begin in August or September 2023 or January 2024. Academic year awards must begin in August or September 2023.


Areas of Interest

The award is open to all disciplines with the exception of medical training.
Preference for research topics surrounding North American regionalization; governance, trade and public policy; indigenous issues; energy, health and environmental issues; and migration and identity.

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.
Invitation Requirement Additional Information
  • As the scholar will spend time in both Canada and Mexico, a letter of invitation from a host institution in each country is preferred at the time of application.
  • If a letter cannot be obtained at the time of application, a letter of affiliation from a host institution in each country will be required at the time of selection.
Language Proficiency Requirements
Recommended (Intermediate): Spanish
Required Proficiency

Applicants are encouraged to register qualified language evaluator, such as a language instructor or a translator, to conduct the external assessment in the application. Being a native speaker alone does not qualify an individual to conduct the assessment.

Applicants who are native speakers do not need to complete an external evaluation.

Required Proficiency
Required Languages
Additional Language Requirement

Canada: If proposing affiliation at a Francophone host institution in Canada, French language ability commensurate with the requirements of the project and the host institution is required. Otherwise, English is sufficient.

Mexico: Intermediate proficiency in Spanish is required for Mexico. The level of Spanish language proficiency must be commensurate with the requirements of the project, and a higher level of proficiency may be required. Recommended applicants will be invited by the Fulbright Commission in Mexico (COMEXUS) to be virtually interviewed in Spanish by a panel of experts in late 2022 or early 2023.


Additional Qualification Information

Dual citizens of either Canadian-American or Mexican-American heritage are eligible to apply.

Award Allowances

For Canada, a fixed sum allowance of $12,500 for one semester will be provided.

For Mexico, a fixed sum allowance of $12,500 for one semester will be provided.

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

For Canada, the grantee receives a fixed stipend to include travel. No separate international travel or relocation allowance is provided.

For Mexico, the grantee receives a one-time relocation allowance of US$1,000. No international flight is provided.

Estimated Cost of Living

FOR MEXICO: The cost of living can vary greatly depending where in Mexico you will be conducting your research. Los Cabos in Baja California Sur; Cancun in the Yucatán, and Mexico City are three of the most expensive cities in Mexico. La Paz, also in Baja California Sur, and Oaxaca are among the most affordable locations in Mexico. Summary about cost of living in Mexico City, Mexico: Rent for a comfortable apartment in a modest neighborhood can start at around $450 per month. Rent in a larger apartment in one of the nicer neighborhoods can start at $800 per month and go upwards of $1,500. Rent in Mexico City is, on average, 80% lower than in New York. A single person estimated monthly costs are approximately $550 USD without rent. A family of four estimated monthly costs are approximately $1,800 USD without rent. Summary about cost of living in Oaxaca, Oaxaca: Rent for a comfortable apartment in a decent neighborhood can range between $300-600 per month. A single person estimated monthly costs are approximately $400 USD without rent. A family of four estimated monthly costs are approximately $1,000 USD without rent.

Special Award Benefits

The grantee is required to attend a Welcome Orientation in either Ottawa, Canada, or Mexico City, Mexico, in early fall 2023, depending on the grant start location.

For Canada, up to CAD $1000 for in-country travel and enrichment may be provided.

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.


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.

Countries Overview

Canada, Mexico, and the United States share a continent and a rich trilateral relationship, capable of facing issues of mutual and global interest.  While at the same time, distinct historical, political, and cultural realities, lead to dynamic relationships between each country. The United States shares a border and many common interests with both Mexico and Canada, yet each has a distinctive relationship with the United States. Mexico and Canada share a strong relationship rooted in trade, immigration, industry, and innovation, and have a neighbor in common.  

This geopolitical reality can lead to fascinating thematic and comparative research and support the ongoing creation of networks of individuals and institutions working on themes of interest to these bi- and trilateral relationships.  Further, both Canada and Mexico have universities, institutes, and internationally renowned think tanks that support innovative and ongoing collaborative research, and are typically situated in vibrant multicultural cities. Ultimately, this makes for an extraordinary exchange opportunity.

COMEXUS (the Fulbright Commission in Mexico) and Fulbright Canada are interested in projects addressing themes of interest to the continent and their individually distinct bilateral relationship to the United States. This includes issues of culture, economic integration and trade policy, society and politics, migration, environmental issues, human rights, education, public health, security, and border issues. 


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

You could spend a lifetime exploring Canada’s cities and towns, national parks, lakes, ocean shores and mountains. You’ll enjoy every minute of it! In fact, Canada is the second-largest country in the world. Discover all that Canada has to offer to international visitors. You’ll find plenty to see and do. The possibilities are endless.
In your first few months, you will get to know Canada—our people, our languages, our culture, our food, our climate and so much more. This is an exciting time for you. Soon, you’ll come to learn that Canada offers you a safe and secure place to live, work and travel.

The people and places you encounter will shape your life here. International visitors in Canada tend to be awestruck by the beauty of our four seasons. Summer, fall, winter and spring are all very distinct and each offers its own recreational activities and fun when it comes to exploring:

  • In summer, you can go boating on one of our many lakes, swim in the ocean and play volleyball on the beach. It’s also a great season to see Canada as a tourist, sit out on a restaurant patio in your favorite city soaking up the sun or enjoy a bonfire with friends.
  • During the fall, you’ll love exploring the countryside to see the splendor of our autumn leaves, hiking up a mountain or through the woods on a crisp day as well as enjoying the outdoors with your friends. It’s also a great time to explore Canada’s vibrant cities and historical towns.
  • Once winter comes, it’s time to grab your snow gear and join in some great Canadian fun. You can learn to ski or snowshoe, build a snowman, have a snowball fight with your friends or simply enjoy the peaceful sound of walking through the woods in winter.
  • Spring is a time for renewal in Canada, as the birds return from the south and flowers bloom in the gardens. It’s also “sugaring off” season. Discover how sap is collected and boiled to create maple syrup. The best part? Eating maple taffy poured hot on snow.

All year long, the Canadians you meet will impress you with their warmth.  Enjoy this opportunity to get to know us and to introduce us to your culture.
Canadian culture includes people and cultures from around the world.  We are well known as one of the world’s great multicultural societies—and we’re proud of this distinction. Canada welcomes people from everywhere. We place a high value on tolerance. Our national human rights law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability and sexual orientation.  Each province and territory of Canada has its own human rights code, too. Canadians have a strong sense of justice. This means we care about people’s rights in the workplace, in the court system, in our democracy and in our homes. Women’s rights are equally important. Our commitment to equality makes Canada a sought-after destination for international students and immigrants. Canada consistently ranks among the top countries in the world for quality of life.

Canadian universities, institutes, and internationally renowned think tanks support innovative and collaborative research and are typically situated in vibrant multicultural cities, in proximity to Canada’s diverse natural landscapes – making for an extraordinary professional and cultural experience.  While Canada and the United States share a continent, deeply held core values, and countless points of collaboration, the two countries have distinct historical, cultural, and political realities.

For more information about Canada’s higher-educational institutions, please visit the Universities Canada website.

Previous Fulbright Recipients

Click here for a list of U.S. Fulbright alumni to Canada.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

The close, dynamic relationship between the United States and Mexico offers a plethora of opportunities for scholars interested in conducting research or teaching at the university level on issues of relevance for both countries.  Mexico is proud of its ancestral cultural heritage as well as its long history of academic excellence. The opportunities for informed travel and discovery for U.S. scholars are endless. Click here to view a list of U.S. Scholars to Mexico, and read more about Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassadors Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor and Brian Klopotek.

The site of major Amerindian civilizations - including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec, among others, and home to one of the most biodiverse environments, it is no wonder that  - Mexico boasts the largest UNESCO world heritage in the American continent: 14 cities, 35 cultural and natural sites, as well as an important number of untangible patrimonies. Additionally, Mexico has designated 132 Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns), communities that over time have maintained their original architecture, traditions, history and culture, which enhance the richness of travel destinations.

Mexico was colonized by Spain in the early 16th century and achieved independence three centuries later. Elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente Fox of the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe Calderón, but Enrique Peña Nieto regained the presidency for the PRI in 2012. Left-leaning politician and former mayor of Mexico City (2000-05) Andrés Manuel López Obrador, from the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA), became president in December 2018. Presidents in Mexico cannot be reelected after their six-year term.

Education in Mexico has a long tradition. The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), which started as Real y Pontificia Universidad de México (Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico) was founded in 1551 and is the second most ancient institution of higher education in the American Continent, after Lima, Peru. UNAM has been cited as one of the largest and most important universities, not only in Mexico but in all of Latin America. Its philosophy is closely tied to social responsibility, at the service of the country and humankind by educating academics and professionals to be of use to society, able to organize and carry out research on social and political issues that have vast cultural benefits. All three of Mexico’s Nobel Prize winners, Octavio Paz, Mario J. Molina and Alfonso García Robles were UNAM graduates.

There are six subsystems of higher education institutions in Mexico: public universities, technological institutes, technological universities, teacher training colleges, and other public and private institutions. When all of them are counted, Mexico has 1,250 institutions of higher education. Mexico’s 45 public universities, generate 50 percent of all academic research and produce 52 percent of undergraduates as well as 48 percent of graduate students. There are also one hundred and sixty-eight private universities to be found throughout the country.

There are a few very interesting and original public higher educational institutions unique to Mexico that have been studied and reproduced in other countries. This is the case of the Universidades Interculturales, specifically designed for bilingual and bicultural environments in regions with a strong indigenous presence. There is a world-renowned prestigious agricultural university, La Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo, that boards students from all over the country. The Escuelas Normales Rurales (teacher training in rural areas) are also exemplary educational institutions. All combined, the opportunities for U.S. Scholars to establish relationships with their Mexican counterparts are endless.

The education system is mostly centered in Mexico City, however, there are other important educational hubs that attract students from all over, for example, Puebla, Puebla; Xalapa, Veracruz; Leon and Guanajuato, Guanajuato; Guadalajara, Jalisco and Merida in the Yucatán peninsula.

COMEXUS, the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, manages all Fulbright grants in Mexico. Founded in 1990, COMEXUS has a demonstrated record of helping grantees get oriented in their new environment. Since 1992, the COMEXUS Board of Directors established that all of the Mexico-specific scholarships would be officially named “Fulbright-García Robles” in honor of Alfonso García Robles, Mexican Ambassador Emeritus and 1982 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Mexico also shares a multi-country grant with Canada, the Fulbright-Carlos Rico Award for North American Studies, which honors Ambassador Carlos Rico, who served as Mexican Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for North America from 2006 to 2009. COMEXUS promotes the development of networks of individuals and institutions that stimulate research and teaching on important themes related to the binational agenda.

COMEXUS is particularly interested in projects addressing issues of relevance to U.S.-Mexico relations, including culture, economic integration, society and politics, migration, trade policy, ecological issues, human rights, education, public health, and border issues. While COMEXUS is currently particularly focused on research and teaching projects related to the STEM fields, they also have a long history of supporting projects in the arts (both performance and fine arts) that further dialogue and contact between U.S. and Mexican art communities.

Fulbright-García Robles awards are open to candidates at any academic or professional rank, in all disciplines with the exception of medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry. The fields of interest are non-exhaustive and applications from all disciplines are accepted.  COMEXUS encourages applicants looking for postdoctoral research stays in Mexico.

Typically, academic semesters begin in August or September and/or January or February. Grant periods from three to nine months are accepted; nine-month academic-year grants are preferred. All grants are to be completed by the end of June. For grants over six months, grantees and accompanying dependents must obtain a visa authorization prior to entering Mexico, which is arranged by COMEXUS. Grantees with dual U.S. and Mexican nationality are eligible to apply and, although they are bounded by all laws pertaining to foreigners while in-country, they are required by Mexican law to enter Mexico on a Mexican passport. However, due to Mexican immigration regulations, U.S. citizens with permanent residency or a current work visa are not eligible to apply.

For more information on program details, contact Jackal Tanelorn or visit the COMEXUS website

The Fulbright Commission in Mexico follows the recommendations of both the Mexican government and the U.S. Embassy when placing U.S. Fulbright grantees in Mexico. Placement may be restricted in certain states or areas of Mexico, dependent on these recommendations. Please consult the detailed U.S. State Dept. Travel Warning for information about your prospective location. Projects in level 4 travel advisory areas will not be considered.

Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.