Faculty Fulbright Program

What is Fulbright?

The Fulbright Scholars Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs section of the U.S. State Department. The program provides funding for scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake advanced research and teaching activities around the world. Penn State supports the efforts of its faculty to participate in the Program through the Office of Global Programs.

Fulbright is not just an opportunity to travel; a Fulbright grant is a life transforming event which will enhance your career and reputation.

In addition, Fulbright can assist you with:

  1. Broadening your horizons in teaching, research and scholarship
  2. Add international dimensions to teaching and curriculum choices
  3. Connect you with international colleagues, adding depth and new perspectives to your work
  4. Enhance your research
  5. Help fund your sabbatical
  6. Form lasting bonds with colleagues from other nations

New: This awards cycle, Global Programs has assembled a team of former Fulbright recipients to be reviewers of completed award applications in 6 disciplines. The Faculty Fulbright Review Panels, are a way for current faculty to get feedback on their project statements and materials.

Creating, and Perfecting, the Project Statement

Tips and Tricks for Project Statements

  1. This statement is where you make the case for you and your project. Think ‘Job Interview’.
  2. Take it seriously and make sure you do all the research on the host institution you wish to work with.
  3. Your statement can be NO LONGER than 5 pages.
  4. Make sure the content is: Clear, Concise, and Organized; do not be afraid if you have to use a few headers and bullet points.
  5. Tone: Too many ‘I’ statements  can put off your peer reviewers. At the same time using too much scientific 3rd person will not give the reviewers a sense of who you are.
  6. Answer these questions: Why this institution? What will you bring to the institution? What do you expect to be the outcome of this Fulbright? And what will this experience mean to you?
  7. Know how to spell the name of your host institution name, country, and city. Apparently, misspelling these names has happened quite a bit.
  8. Avoid being time rigid if possible. Showing flexibility means you are open to learning and working with your host institution.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Sylvester Osagie, Director of Campus Engagement, and Penn State Fulbright Adviser (fulbright@psu.edu) with questions.

Fulbright Programs Offered

Fulbright offers a wide arrange of programs for U.S. scholars and professionals. Below, you may find the links and information for Fulbright’s general programs. 

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program 

  • 2 to 12 months 
  • Application Deadline: September 15 
  • The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is offered in over 125 countries in 46 different disciplines, allowing for a wide range of opportunities depending on teaching and/or research goals.

Distinguished Chair Awards 

  • 3 to 12 months 
  • Application Deadline: September 15 
  • The Distinguished Chair Award is seen as one of the most prestigious Fulbright Awards. With only 40 titles given each year, candidates are expected to have noteworthy publication and teaching history. 

Fulbright International Education Administrators (IEA) Seminars 

  • 2 weeks 
  • Application Deadline: Varies by Country 
  • IEA Seminars bring U.S. international education and senior higher education officials into an intensive 2-week trip that allows for a better understanding of how to deal with and encourage international students. 

Fulbright Arctic Initiative 

  • 3 conferences over the span of 18 months 
  • Application Deadline: May 11, 2020 
  • The Fulbright Arctic Initiative brings together people from across the Northern Hemisphere to brainstorm ideas and address ways to create a secure and sustainable Arctic. 

Postdoctoral & Early Career Awards 

  • Length varies 
  • Application Deadline: September 15 
  • Open to scholars that have completed their doctoral degree within the last five years, the Postdoctoral & Early Career Award is meant to deepen expertise and allow connections to be made with the leading scholars in their fields. 

Fulbright Global Scholar Award 

  • 3 to 6 months 
  • Application Deadline: September 15 
  • The Global Scholar Award allows scholars to travel to two to three countries where they will give public talks, mentor students, and pursue their primary research/teaching goals. 

Fulbright Specialist Program 

  • 2 to 6 weeks 
  • Application Deadline: See website for Details 
  • The short time period offered with the Fulbright Specialist Program is best for professionals who do not have the opportunity to leave their institution for an extended length of time.  


Faculty Fulbright Panel Reviews

To assist faculty in the application process, Dr. Sylvester Osagie has formed the Faculty Fulbright Peer Review Panel. These panels will consist of former Faculty Fulbright Recipients that have successfully navigated the application process and received awards. Panelist will review, evaluate, and provide critical feedback to any faculty applying for a Fulbright award.  

There are six disciplinary panel categories:

  1. Humanities and Social Sciences
  2. Engineering and All Sciences
  3. Arts and Architecture
  4. Business, Law, and Education
  5. Medicine and Health and Human Development
  6. Communications and Information, Sciences, and Technology

The goal of these panels is to share insights and knowledge about the application process and to hopefully increase the number of Fulbright awards faculty get. Any faculty member across the university can submit their (completed) drafts to be reviewed by one of our panelists. That panelist will then read and correspond with the faculty member in question. 

To have your application reviewed please fill in the fields below and indicate which panel you need to review your application. Once you are ready, please send COMPLETED draft project statement AND award description to Sylvester Osagie (fulbright@psu.edu). Both of these things must be included in the upload for our panelists to give you the best advice possible. once your submission is received, a panelist will get back to you as soon as possible. 

If you have any questions please contact Sylvester Osagie (fulbright@psu.edu) for more information.

2019-20 Faculty Fulbright Recipients

Penn State has a long tradition of Fulbright success. Six faculty members are recipients of the Fulbright grant for the 2019-2020 awards cycle.

The university congratulates the following 2019-2020 Fulbright Recipients:

  • Lee Ann Banaszak, Professor of Political Science, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, College of the Liberal Arts (Host Country: Australia)
  • Lara Fowler, Penn State Law and Institutes of Energy and the Environment (Host Country: Sweden)
  • Russell Frank, Associate Professor of Journalism, College of Communications (Host Institutions: Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • Elizabeth Kadetsky, Associate Professor, creative Writing, College of the Liberal Arts (Host Country: India)
  • Cristin Millett, Professor of Art, School of Visual Arts, Arts and Architecture (Host Country: Australia)
  • Elizabeth Ransom, Associate Professor, School of International Affairs (Global Scholar Award)
  • Ricky Bates, Professor, College of Agricultural Sciences (Host Country: Cambodia)
  • Enrique del Castillo, Distinguished Professor, College of Engineering (Host Country: Portugal)
  • Carter Hunt, Assistant Professor, College of Health and Human Development (Host Country: Ecuador)
  • Benjamin Lear, Associate Professor, Eberly College of Science (Host Country: Finland)
  • Catherine Wanner, Professor, College of the Liberal Arts (Host Country: Ukraine)
  • Tineka Lebrun, Global Programs (Administrative Seminar, India)
  • Salar Ghahramani, associate professor, Penn State Abington; Invited Scholar and Fulbright Specialist, Royal University of Law and Economics, Cambodia
  • Rachel Brennan, associate professor, College of Engineering; Fulbright Specialist, Universidad de Bogota Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Colombia

2018-19 Faculty Fulbright Recipients

Penn State has a long tradition of Fulbright success. Eight faculty members are recipients of the Fulbright grant for the 2018-2019 awards cycle, and two won the Specialist Program awards.

The university congratulates the following 2018-2019 Fulbright Recipients:

  • Kofi Adu, Associate Professor of Physics, Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Penn State Altoona (Host Institution: University of Cape Coast, Ghana)
  • Linda Caldwell, Professor Emeritus, Recreation, Park and Tourism Management and Human Development and Family studies, College of Health and Human Development (Host Institution: University of Minho, Portugal)
  • Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English, College of the Liberal Arts (Host Institution: University of Ghana, Ghana)
  • Jyotsna "Josi" Kalavar, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State New Kensington (Host Institution: Sri Venkateswara, India)
  • Serguei Lvov, Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering and Material Science, College of Earth and Mineral sciences (Host Institution: Kazakh National Technical University, Kazakhstan)
  • Vittaldas V Prabhu, Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, College of Engineering (Host Institution: India Institute of Technology, Delhi, India).
  • Malcolm Woollen, Professor, Arts and Architecture (Ecole Nationale Sueriure des Beaux-Arts, France)
  • Marty Trethewey, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering (Specialist Program, Split, Croatia)
  • Nicole Webster, Associate Professor of Youth and International Development, College of Agricultural Sciences (Specialist Program, Kosovo)