Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award

Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Awards, Interdisciplinary Network


Application Deadline
Monday, September 16, 2024
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
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 2025 - November 2025 or January 2026 - May 2026
Award Length
2 months, or 3 months, or 4 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Projects are sought in all disciplines
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 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Awards, Interdisciplinary Network are pre-arranged affiliations to host exceptional scholars who conduct research relevant to any of five Brazilian partner universities countrywide. These partner universities are interested in hosting Distinguished Scholars and encouraging them to engage with students, faculty, and the broader community. Scholars can conduct their own research, work collaboratively with Brazilian colleagues, guest-lecture, mentor students, network, and promote their research while representing the United States, the Fulbright Program, and their home and partner universities. Teaching activities, if any, should not exceed three hours per week.

The applicant must select one partner university from the list below and indicate their choice in the application form. If selected, the scholar will develop their work at the chosen partner university and be granted the opportunity to join the Fulbright Interdisciplinary Network (FIN)

Fulbright Award in Racial Studies at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA)
Specializations: Ethnic and Racial Studies with Interests in Slavery and Slave Resistance in the African Diaspora; Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Inequality in Income, Education, Health, and Housing; Structural Racism in Contemporary Society; Cultural and Artistic Diversity among Ethnic and Racial Groups; African Societies from the Slave Trade Era to Contemporary Globalization.

Fulbright Award in Law and Political Sciences at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) 
Specializations: International Law; Comparative Law; Legal History; Law and Technology. International Politics; Comparative Politics; Security, Peace and Conflicts; Foreign Policy; Political institutions; International Organizations. 

Fulbright Award in Sustainability at the Universidade Federal do Para (UFPA)
Specializations: Energy efficiency; Waste Management; Environmental Management; Entrepreneurial Education; Development and Industrial Policies; Social Responsibility; Information Technology.

Fulbright Award in Languages and Identities at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)
Specializations: Languages; Identities; Literature; Education; Human Rights; Gender; Coloniality and Decoloniality; Ecological Theories and Local and Global Communities.

Fulbright Award in International Relations​ at the Universidade de Brasilia (UnB)
Specializations: International Relations​ with an interest in Global Racism; Gender Studies; Anti-racist Public Policies; Dialogues with Social Movements. 

Location Selection: Award must be undertaken at one of the following institutions
Locations Detail

Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA) in Salvador, Bahia  

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 

Universidade Federal do Para (UFPA) in Belem, Para  

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina  

Universidade de Brasilia (UnB) in Brasilia, Federal District  

Award Length and Period

The awards can total two, three or four months long.

Two- or four-month awards can be split into equal segments of 1+1 months or 2+2 months between July 1, 2025, and September 30, 2026. Split awards are known as Flex Awards. For more information, please see the Flex description below.

Please be aware that most institutions in Brazil take a recess between December and January.

Flex Description

Flex awards allow the stay to be split into two visits of one or two months each between July 1, 2025, and September 30, 2026. 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

Applications are sought in all disciplines as long as the proposed research is relevant to the topics identified by one of the five host universities. 


Special Features

The Fulbright Interdisciplinary Network (FIN) is a unique initiative to promote innovative partnerships, expand bilateral education ties and strengthen long-term U.S.-Brazil institutional linkages through a qualified dialogue about strategic U.S.-related topics within Brazilian society and disseminate these topics to a larger audience. 

To achieve these goals, the Fulbright Commission and the U.S. Embassy in Brazil are funding the FIN. The scholar will be able to participate in online and onsite activities, e.g., seminars, conferences, and roundtable discussions, at the five partner universities countrywide and diversify their knowledge about Brazil. The Fulbright Commission will cover all events and domestic travel arrangements.

For the award period, the partner university will help the scholar find housing. It will also provide an English-speaking student to help the scholar settle in.

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.
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 may contact the partner university to discuss their research projects and plans and explore shared interests. 

Please reach out to the Fulbright Commission in Brazil for contact information of the partner university of your preference if you decide to reach out to it. You will not be at a disadvantage if you do not communicate with the partner university before applying.

Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient
Additional Qualification Information

Preference for tenured faculty.

Additional Comments

You must identify the primary host university of your preference in the project statement and on the application form.


Award Allowances

The scholar will receive a fixed sum of US$ 5,400 per month to cover all expenses but housing. The partner university will help find accommodation for the award period. The Fulbright Commission will pay the scholar an additional U$ 1,200 monthly to help with housing costs. This amount corresponds to the estimated housing costs at a medium-priced hotel or Airbnb in a good location.

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

Scholars who opt for a Flex Award will receive US$2,400 for two international roundtrip tickets. Scholars on non-flex awards will receive US$1,500 for an international roundtrip ticket.

Do you offer additional dependent benefits
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

For the award period, the partner university will help the scholar find housing. It will also provide an English-speaking student to help the scholar settle in.

The Fulbright Commission will arrange and cover all Fulbright Interdisciplinary Network (FIN) travel-related activities. 

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, Mexico, 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.

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?

To learn more about Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards in Brazil for 2024-25, please view our archived webinar and slides to hear directly from the Fulbright Commission, IIE staff and U.S. Scholar alums regarding award details, the scholar experience and application guidance.


Up to 41 awards are available in Brazil. This includes up to 30 All Disciplines awards for early and mid-career scholars, professionals, artists, and 11 Distinguished Scholar Awards in all regions in Brazil. The Distinguished Scholar Awards are opportunities for mid-career and senior academics with experience in Health and Technology, Medical Sciences, Planetary Health, Social Innovation and Sustainability in Multicultural Contexts, and other disciplines.

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, as well as 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. Additionally, 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


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