Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award

Fulbright-University of Birmingham Distinguished Scholar Award (All Disciplines)

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.
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
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
September 2023 - April 2024
Award Length
6 months
Flex Option
United Kingdom
Multi-Country/Area Award
Projects are sought in all disciplines
Scholars selected for this award will be required to
Conduct a research project designated by the host institution
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 Fulbright University of Birmingham Distinguished Scholar Award enables a prominent U.S. professor in any discipline to be based at the University of Birmingham, with access to all the University’s research collections, and provides an opportunity to undertake research and build links in the UK.  

The University of Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterized by a focus on innovation and research, the university has broken new ground and pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge.

In the heart of the United Kingdom, the University of Birmingham is ranked among the world’s top 100 institutions.  For more than a century, research from the University has had an impact on the city, region and the world, with 11 Nobel Prize winners among many eminent alumni. 

The University of Birmingham has a long tradition of forging purposeful, innovative and collaborative research connections across the world but particularly with the United States. Extensive transatlantic faculty-to-faculty links with the US reflects our ambition to work collaboratively in pursuit of innovative, grounded and enduring solutions to some of the world’s biggest issues.

The Distinguished Scholar contributes to the intellectual life of the host university through seminars, public lectures, and curriculum development. 

The award is open to U.S. academics from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds with the capacity to steer and contribute to research and teaching activities. 

Chairs will be made honorary fellows of the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) and are invited to contribute to IAS’ aim to promote cross-disciplinary research by bringing together expertise from across the University to address major cross-cutting themes that are important, relevant and timely. 

Locations Detail

University of Birmingham: Birmingham, England, UK

Award Length and Period

Six months

Grants may begin any time after September 1, 2023, but before April 30, 2024.

Areas of Interest

Applications are sought in all appropriate specializations.

Special Features

Scholars in the UK participate in a wide range of academic, cultural, and social events and benefit from a variety of additional opportunities provided by the Commission; see Special Award Benefits section for more details.

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

To request a letter of invitation for this award please contact the academic or department head most relevant to your project. Should you require assistance, please contact Catherine Lemon, International Development Manager, University of Birmingham, email: c.lemon@bham.ac.uk.

While it is not a requirement to have an affiliation letter for this award it is strongly recommended that applicants get in touch with their proposed host department and applications that include an affiliation letter will be much more competitive. An email from the host institution confirming their interest in hosting the applicant will suffice as evidence of affiliation. If an applicant is struggling to make contact with their host institution they can contact the US-UK Fulbright Commission directly on fulbrightprogrammes@fulbright.org.uk

Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient.
Additional Language Requirement

All teaching and research will be in English; additional language proficiency not required.

Additional Qualification Information

The Fulbright Commission seeks to identify potential and established leaders of academic, artistic, or professional excellence who will make significant contributions toward the discussion and development of key issues in their field of study.

Candidates who have not recently spent a considerable time in the UK are preferred.

Additional Comments

Candidates should have strong reasons for wishing to pursue the proposed project in the UK and a clear idea of what they wish to accomplish during their time as a Fulbright Scholar, not only academically, but also in terms of reaching out to the wider community and understanding their host country and culture.

Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview with the US-UK Fulbright Commission through a Zoom video call in January 2023.

Award Allowances

Single grant of £27,500 (about $37,000 as of January 2022). All grants are intended as a contribution toward travel and general expenses incurred during the grant period.

A housing allowance of £750 per month allowance will be provided (about $1,000 as of January 2022).

No additional funding is provided for dependents.

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

Up to £1,000 for return airfare will be reimbursed (about $1,350 as of January 2022).

Special Award Benefits

Scholars are provided with a small travel allowance and accommodation to attend certain Fulbright Commission enrichment events. Scholars in the UK will have the opportunity to participate in a range of events, and benefit from a variety of additional opportunities provided by the Commission.

All Fulbright Scholar grantees must obtain a UK Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa to participate in the Fulbright program in the UK. The Commission sponsors the Scholar’s Tier 5 visa. 

Scholars receive free institutional memberships with The National Trust/Royal Oak Foundation and The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA). Scholars are also offered a free Elsevier scholar support package, which includes access to the entire suite of SciVerse products and a wide range of online journals (including The Lancet). 

Scholars are asked to deliver a public lecture or other event at a location other than their host institution. They may also be offered the opportunity to deliver a Lecture at Gresham College and Benjamin Franklin House in London during their grant period in the UK. 

Fulbright Scholars will have membership of the UK Fulbright Alumni Network and access to Fulbrighter, a networking platform which enables grantees to connect, network, engage and collaborate with Fulbright alumni and grantees around the world 

Depending on the timing of the visit, scholars may also be able to attend the annual Fulbright EU-NATO Seminar held in Belgium and Luxembourg (in February) and the annual Fulbright Seminar in Berlin (in March). 

During their grant period, Fulbright Scholars in Europe have the opportunity to apply for a travel grant to support short-term (up to one week) travel to other countries in the EUR region for activities such as lectures, workshops, graduate or faculty seminars, master classes or recitals, curricular advising or panel presentations. Though scholars may pursue invitations for short-term activities in other European countries once notified that they have been selected for a Fulbright grant, Scholars may only apply for the European inter-country travel grant funds when in the UK and during their Fulbright grant period. 

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.

United Kingdom

What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

The United Kingdom has participated in the Fulbright program since 1948 and there are strong relationships between the UK and the US. Daily life in the UK varies hugely between large metropolitan cities and smaller towns and rural communities. Awards are offered in all of the countries of the UK: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  The UK is culturally vibrant and grantees often take advantage of opportunities to experience its arts, music and history, as well as its natural beauty and thousands of miles of coastline.  A Fulbright Scholar grant in the United Kingdom is a unique opportunity to undertake a period of research or teaching while concurrently participating in a program of events intended to foster cultural learning and networking opportunities. 

The grant year for U.S. Scholars in the UK is from September 2023  through August 2024, but projects must begin between September 1, 2023 and April 30, 2024 unless otherwise specified. Fulbright Scholar grants to the UK do not include dependent allowances or travel, relocation, or book allowances.  

Applicants will be evaluated not only for their scholarly, artistic or professional excellence but also for their potential to facilitate mutual understanding and knowledge exchange between the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Preference will be given to applicants who have not already spent a significant amount of time in the United Kingdom. Applicants with permanent residency in the United Kingdom are not eligible for Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards to this country. 

Candidates interested in applying for an award in the United Kingdom are advised to visit the US-UK Fulbright Commission's website for more information on the Scholar awards offered by the Commission. 

They may also wish to consult Universities UKUniversities ScotlandUniversities Wales, and UK Research and Innovation for more information about higher education in the UK. 

Applicants may contact the US-UK Fulbright Commission with any queries by emailing fulbrightprogrammes@fulbright.org.uk 


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