Fulbright-Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arctic Scholar (Multiple Disciplines)
Number of recipients
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.
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.
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.
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.
Approximately one semester.
Grants will generally begin in either late August 2023 or early January 2024.
The grant is open to scholars in a wide variety of fields, as they relate to the Arctic. Projects should have an Arctic focus. 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.
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.
It will strengthen the application if the applicant has reached out to potential hosts and can demonstrate interest in the project.
Preference will be given to academics, but qualified professionals outside of academia will be considered.
Contact Person: Baldvin Valdemarsson
Director University of Akureyri Research Centre
Telephone number: +354 460 8901
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional contacts and information, please contact at the Fulbright Commission in Reykjavik, Iceland: email@example.com.
$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.
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.
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. For those who wish to send their child/children to an international private school in the capital area, a limited stipend for tuition may be available, maximum $5,000 per grantee.
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.
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.
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. 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 and can be expected to be between 2.000 and 9.000 USD. 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.
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.
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 in research. Fulbright Scholars make a real difference and have a large role in shaping courses and curricula. 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 on the one hand to strengthen Arctic research in Iceland and promote cooperation amongst scientists in a wide variety of Arctic fields and on the other to strengthen collaboration in the field of cyber-security and critical infrastructure.
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 timeframe and length, but must be completed within the allotted timeframe.
Iceland has spectacular nature and offers scholars an opportunity for unique outdoor experiences, in addition to a vibrant cultural scene and a cuisine that has been gaining international recognition. There is a good public school system, and scholars with children have generally 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.
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.