Fulbright Scholar Award

Fulbright Iceland-Ministry for Foreign Affairs Arctic Scholar (Multiple Disciplines)


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
Awards are open to individuals who have more than seven years of experience in an artistic profession.
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.
Awards are open to individuals who have more than seven years of experience in a particular profession.
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
August 2025 or January 2026
Award Length
3.5 months - 5 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

The scholar will be expected to teach at the undergraduate and/or graduate level, with topics to be chosen by the scholar and the host collaboratively. Additional activities may include advising students conducting research in the scholar‘s field of expertise and assistance with curriculum development. The schedule will allow the scholar to undertake his/her own research in parallel, but research is not a requirement.

Woman on diamond beach
Fulbright-MFA Arctic Scholar Christina Goethel on Diamond Beach in Iceland


Location Selection: Applicant may propose an appropriate host
Locations Detail

The scholar may be affiliated with the University of Iceland Centre for Arctic Policy Studies, the University of Akureyri Polar Law Program, or other programs with an Arctic component at one of the seven universities in Iceland.

Depending on the field and specialization, the scholar might spend part of his or her time in the capital area and part in the north.

Award Length and Period

Approximately one semester.

Grants will generally begin in either late August 2025 or early January 2026.

Areas of Interest

The grant is open to scholars in a wide variety of fields, as they relate to the Arctic. This includes projects that have significance in the high north, even though the scholar's body of work may not focus solely on the Arctic. Projects should be Arctic relevant. Preference will be given to scholars competent in Arctic affairs and international relations, international law, security, natural resource studies, history and culture, economic and social development, gender studies, health, environmental and climate change or natural resources and development.

Special Features

This grant is funded by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs and access to Ministry officials may be provided as appropriate. The scholar may be asked to participate in appropriate events sponsored by the Ministry.

The scholar will be provided with a workspace (office or shared office) at host universities and given tours of relevant research institutes. The host departments will give every assistance to the scholar and ensure that he or she is introduced to the Icelandic academic community, both formally and informally. The scholar will be invited to give lectures at appropriate conferences and meetings, and can expect various social invitations.

The host institutions will assist the scholar in finding appropriate housing to rent, which is convenient to the universities and the city centers. The host institution will be expected to provide social and networking opportunities and assist the scholar in general to ensure a productive and mutually beneficial grant period.

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 optional.
Invitation Requirement Additional Information

It will strengthen the application if the applicant has reached out to potential hosts and can demonstrate interest in the project. 

Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient
Additional Qualification Information

Preference will be given to academics, but qualified professionals outside of academia will be considered.

Additional Comments

Contact person: Pia Hansson
Department: Centre for Arctic Studies, University of Iceland
Telephone number: +354 525-5262
E-mail address: pia@hi.is

Contact Person: Rúnar Gunnarsson
Director of International Office, University of Akureyri
Telephone number: +354 460-8035
E-mail address: runarg@unak.is

For additional contacts and information, please contact at the Fulbright Commission in Reykjavik, Iceland: fulbright@fulbright.is.

Award Allowances

$4,000 per month or $4,500 per month for grantees with a dependent or dependents, payable monthly.  A dependent must stay in Iceland for at least 80% of the grant period to be eligible for a dependent supplement.

The grant is denominated in U.S. dollars but paid in Icelandic krona (ISK), according to the current exchange rate.

The grant is intended to cover living costs in Iceland.

No separate housing allowance provided (grantees pay for housing out of the stipend). Grantees are responsible for arranging their own housing, but the host institution is expected to assist the grantee in finding housing and settling in. Host institutions may in some instances be able to provide on-campus housing.

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

Travel allowance is a lump sum $1,500, payable with the first grant payment.
Baggage allowance is $400, payable at the end of the grant period.

No receipt is needed for travel and baggage allowance. 
All allowances are denominated in U.S. dollars but paid in ISK, according to the current exchange rate.

Do you offer additional dependent benefits

A $500 travel allowance per dependent.

Children can attend primary and lower-secondary public schools at little or no cost, which is a great way to integrate into Icelandic society. The Commission can assist grantees in finding an appropriate local public school.

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.

Estimated Cost of Living

Iceland is considered a high-cost country. Housing is comparable to smaller US cities, with housing most expensive in the capital area and less expensive outside the capital area. Food is relatively expensive compared to the US, but of high quality. Utilities are much less expensive than in the US. Many grantees live centrally and can walk to most destinations, but public transport in the form of buses is widely available.

Special Award Benefits

The scholar will be invited to monthly grantee enrichment events provided by the Fulbright Commission during the academic year. Also, the scholar will be taken out to lunch at the beginning and end of the grant period for briefing, debriefing. 

Special funding for disabled grantees
Funding is available for US Fulbright scholars to Iceland with a disability, be it a structural or functional impairment or activity/participation limitation, that entails additional costs that are not covered specifically through the Fulbright Program. Some funding may be available for a wide range of disabilities, including, for example, hearing, vision or movement impairment. The funding could, for example, be used to assist with specialized housing needs, in-country transport or specialized assistance. The extra funding amount will depend on need and will be decided by the Commission after consultation with the scholar. Funding is provided through the Bruce A. Fowler Mobility Fund.

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?

Iceland is a small Nordic country, an island republic in the North Atlantic, between the U.S. and the European mainland. Iceland is technologically advanced, English is widely spoken and Americans find Icelandic society and culture relatively easy to navigate.

scholar standing on edge of volcano
Fulbright-NSF Arctic scholar Dr. Christopher Hamilton visiting the Fagradal Volcano in 2021

There has been tremendous growth in academia in Iceland in recent years. On the one hand, the Fulbright Program aims, through teaching grants, to enhance and develop key disciplines at the university level and encourage newer and smaller departments. Being a small country, it is very important to the Icelandic higher education system to have access to Fulbright Scholars who have an important role to play in terms of broadening curricula and offering courses that would otherwise not be available, as well as bringing new perspectives and collaboration in research. Fulbright Scholars make a real difference and have a large role in shaping courses and curricula. The Fulbright Commission has increasingly focused also on bringing research scholars to Iceland. Opportunities for research are many and varied and can easily be conducted in English. U.S. scholars, both in natural and social sciences, have in the past years been very satisfied with the research infrastructure in Iceland. Research collaboration is also highly valued by Icelandic academics, who are eager for opportunities to host and collaborate with U.S. colleagues. Through the Commission's partnership with the National Science Foundation, the goal is to strengthen research in Iceland that has relevance for the Arctic and promote cooperation amongst scientists in a wide variety of Arctic relevant fields. Please note that many research topics can have relevance to the Arctic, even though they may not be strictly categorized as Arctic research, for example topics dealing with climate change, health, conservation, security broadly defined (for example, food or energy security), marine or coastal studies, anthropology and archaeology, just to name a few.

Fulbright Scholars are generally pleased with their stay in Iceland and find it very useful for their careers back home. For those grants where Fulbright Scholars are expected to teach and advise, the program is designed to ensure an opportunity for scholars to do their own research as well, if they so desire. Iceland provides very interesting research opportunities in many fields. As a small, highly technologically advanced country, Iceland is ideal for many types of research. English is widely spoken and much used in academia. Scholars can generally expect good access to people, institutions and information for research purposes. 

Those who receive research grants will have opportunities to engage in some teaching and lecturing, if they so desire. Many find that this enhances their experience and is useful also for their research. Even if not teaching, scholars are required to present some talks while in Iceland.

Teaching awards are for three to five months in the fall or spring semester. The fall semester starts at mid-to-end of August and ends around mid-December. The spring semester is from early January through mid-May. Research awards are more flexible in terms of time frame and length, but must be completed within the allotted time frame.

Iceland has spectacular nature and offers scholars an opportunity for unique outdoor experiences, in addition to a vibrant cultural scene and an exciting local cuisine. There is a good public school system, and scholars with children have had positive experiences.

Since the Fulbright Program in Iceland is relatively small, the Commission is able to maintain close ties with scholars during their stay and provide a sense of community among Fulbright scholars and fellows. There are monthly grantee activities sponsored by the Commission, in addition to access to Fulbright alumni events and other social activities.

Please see below a grantee video profile of a young scholar who talks about her experiences as a researcher in Iceland:

Previous Fulbright Recipients

Visit the Fulbright Iceland website for information about current and previous grantees.

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