Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award

Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award in Education and Reducing Inequality


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
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

Award Start Period
July 2023 - November 2023 or January 2024 - May 2024
Award Length
3 months or 4 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Political Science
Public Administration
Scholars selected for this award will be required to
Conduct a research project 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

The Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP) looks for a scholar interested in collaborating in one of the aspects of the project “The role of education in reducing inequalities: repercussions in the economic growth, work conditions, and the pledge for peace and social justice.”

The project includes:

- Innovation in creating both decent work conditions and economic growth.

- How sustainable practices in cities and communities can reduce inequalities and improve nutrition.

- Strengthening institutions to guarantee justice and peace, especially for low-income or socially excluded groups.

- Building strategies to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels.

For further information about this award, please visit the Fulbright Commission website.

Location Selection: Award is hosted by the institution listed below
Locations Detail

Universidade de São Paulo

Because of the interdisciplinary approach of this award, the scholar will have the opportunity to collaborate with several of the Universidade de Sao Paulo schools in the state of Sao Paulo.

Award Length and Period

3 or 4 months for non-Flex awards. 4 months total for Flex awards, spread across two segments (2 months + 2 months).

First possible start date: July 1, 2023

Last possible start date: May 31, 2024

Be aware that most institutions take a recess between December and January. For Flex awards, please see the Flex Option section.

Flex Description

Flex awards allow the stay to be split into two visits of two months each between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024. There must be a period of at least two months between the two in-country stays.

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.

Grant segments are allowed to be conducted in summer months (June, July, and August)
Areas of Interest

The role of education in reducing inequalities: repercussions in the economic growth, work conditions, and the pledge for peace and social justice

Special Features

For the award period, the Universidade of Sao Paulo will arrange housing at no additional cost for the scholar. Estimated housing costs at a medium priced hotel or Airbnb in a good location is U$ 1,200 per month. It will also provide an English speaking student to help the scholar settle in.

Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Applicants residing in the award country at the time of application or thereafter are not eligible to apply for this award.
Dual citizens of the award country 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 should not be sought.
Invitation Requirement Additional Information

Candidates can contact the Universidade de São Paulo International Cooperation Office (AUCANI) to discuss their research projects, plans and explore shared interests.

You will not be at a disadvantage if you do not communicate with AUCANI before applying, but if you do, please copy the Fulbright Commission on your messages.


Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient.
Additional Qualification Information

Preference for tenured faculty.

Professionals outside of academia with more than seven years of experience in the areas of interest will also be considered.  

Estimated Cost of Living

Information on the following website can help scholars figure out the cost of living, meals, and incidentals in different capital cities in Brazil. There can be significant differences in smaller towns, with prices being less high. https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/country/brazil

Special Award Benefits

The Universidade de Sao Paulo will arrange housing for the award period at no additional cost for the scholar. It will also provide an English speaking student to help the scholar settle in.

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, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay). The Regional Travel Program covers travel to and from the destination; lodging may be offered by the hosting institution. Scholars may only apply for this grant once 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 at the Regional Travel Program website.

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.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?


Up to 40 awards are available in Brazil. This includes up to 30 All Disciplines awards for early and mid-career scholars, professionals, artists, and 10 Distinguished Scholar Awards in all regions in Brazil. The Distinguished Scholar Awards are opportunities for mid-career and senior academics with experience in Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Education and Reducing Inequalities, Medical Sciences, Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen Production, Sustainability, and Urban Studies.

Fulbright Interdisciplinary Network (FIN)

To promote proficuous dialogues about contemporary issues in the Brazilian context from a U.S. perspective, the Fulbright Commission and the U.S. Embassy in Brazil have created the Fulbright Interdisciplinary Network (FIN). FIN is an opportunity for Distinguished Scholars to connect with five Brazilian universities during the award period and enrich their experience through online and onsite discussions, working collaboratively with faculty, and advising students from all regions of Brazil.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and it is similar in size to the continental United States. It is also the largest country in South America and the largest Portuguese-speaking country globally, with around 211 million people and 43% living in its Southeast region. As to ethnic background, like the United States, Brazil has a very diverse population. According to the Brazilian Statistics Bureau, Brazilians self-identify as White (42.7%), two or more races (46.8%), Black (9.4%), and of Indigenous or Asian descent (1.1%). The most important economic sectors are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and services. In spite of poverty reduction achievements over the last decades, inequality remains at high levels in one of the world's largest democracies and economies.

After achieving universal coverage in primary education, Brazil is now struggling to improve the educational system's quality and outcomes, especially at the lower and upper secondary levels.

Brazil has a wide range of higher education institutions with over 200 universities, 3,472 master’s programs, and doctoral programs with 122,000 graduate students. There are currently over 37,000 research groups around the country, with more than 200,000 researchers. Its leading research centers in Agriculture, Energy, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, and Epidemiology attract scholars and students worldwide. Among the top 20 universities listed in the Times Higher Education 2020 ranking, 13 are from Brazil. Also, Brazil is responsible for 52% of Latin American publications in indexed journals, which places the country as fourteenth worldwide by the Scimago Journal and Country Rank.

The extended coverage of Fulbright U.S. Programs in the country has been possible thanks to the significant contributions from Brazilian strategic partners such as the Brazilian Government through the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES).

Previous Fulbright Recipients
2017-18 Study and Researcher Kainen Bell in Olinda, Brazil
2015-16 and 2019-20 U.S. Scholar John Spencer in Ilha de Marajó, Brazil
2017-18 Study and Researcher Vanessa Castaneda in Salvador, Brazil
2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Student Matthew Aruch


  • News from 2019-2020 U.S. Scholar to Brazil King Chung in Audiology in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba and Bauru, Sao Paulo: 

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