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Fulbright Professional Scholar Award

Fulbright Professional Scholar Awards for 2018-‘19

The US-SL Fulbright Commission invites applications from Sri Lankan professionals in the humanities, fine/performing arts such as music, theatre, writing, painting, design, photography, and, sports, journalism, law, sciences, paramedical services and business. They provide grantees an opportunity to gain exposure (through a project developed by the grantee) to the latest advancements in their respective fields of work in the U.S.

The awards aim to provide an opportunity to collaborate with U.S. counterparts, forge links between local and U.S. professionals, build lasting ties between the two countries through their collaborations and share the experience and learning gained in the U.S. with local counterparts.


· Be a Sri Lankan citizen and have continuously resided in Sri Lanka for a minimum of 2 years up to the time of applying for this award.

· Demonstrate aptitude and accomplishment in the field thorough professional involvement, awards received, achievements or output.

· Have a minimum of 5 years of experience in the area.

· Demonstrate commitment to developing this field in Sri Lanka and sharing knowledge with counterparts and the public in Sri Lanka.

· Possess a letter of invitation from a host institution in the U.S. (guidelines below).

· Applicants from universities will be required to utilize travel funds from the their institutions

Duration of award:

4 months (the minimum duration of the grant is 3 months).

Note: The start and end dates of an award should fall between 1st August 2018 and 30th of September 2019. Dependents will not be supported on this grant.

Application Process:

All successful candidates will be required to reside in Sri Lanka for a minimum of 2 years on completion of the grant. All applications need to be returned by Registered Post on or before the 1st of October 2017 (interviews of shortlisted candidates only in December/January) to the following address (please indicate the name of the award on the top left corner of the envelope). Only short-listed candidates will be contacted:

The US-SL Fulbright Commission (US-SLFC)

55 Abdul Caffoor Mawatha, Colombo 3.

Guidelines for the Fulbright Professional Scholar Awards 2018-‘19

Award Objectives:

These awards have been designed to provide Sri Lankan professionals in fields such as the humanities, fine arts, sciences, auxiliary medical services, business, an opportunity:

· to gain exposure to the latest advancements in their respective fields of work in the U.S.

· to collaborate with U.S. counterparts

· to forge links between local and U.S. professionals in the fields and build lasting ties between the two countries through their collaborations.

· to share the experience and learning gained in the U.S. with local counterparts.

Applicants will not be affiliated to relevant U.S. institutions based on their designation in Sri Lanka such as,’ student’,’ scholar’,’ senior academic’ etc, and will only be placed in relevant U.S. institutions to meet non-degree/non-certificate objectives based on their project proposals. The programme does not cover course fees and affiliation fees.

These awards are not for internships or research in conjunction with a degree programme and applicants should not consider enrolling in a degree programme in the U.S.

The grant will provide return air fare and a living stipend for the grantee. The does not cover depedents.

Applicants in the fields of music, theatre, writing, painting, design, photography, sports, journalism, law, etc. are strongly encouraged to apply.


The application for the Fulbright Professional Scholar Award must be submitted online. Please fill in the application for the “Fulbright Visiting Scholar Programme” found at the site called – the official online application for the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program”:

  • Please print out a copy of the online application before you submit it online and send the copy to the Fulbright Commission (No. 55 Abdul Caffoor Mawatha, Colombo 3) by registered post before the 1st of October 2017.
  • Your application dossier must include a hardcopy of all uploaded documents such as your project statement, letter of invitation, CV and letters of reference. You may include the letters of reference in sealed envelopes or ask your referees to send them direct to the Fulbright Commission (your referees must send hard copies of their references if they have uploaded them online).
  • Your application dossier will need to include the following documents. These documents should be uploaded with your online application as well as sent as hardcopies with your application to the Fulbright Commission:


1. A detailed project statement:

In addition to fulfilling the guidelines given on the form your project statement must give details under the following headings. Please give as much information as possible under each heading as this will enable the US-SLFC to ensure that your placement in the U.S. matches your professional objectives:

· Personal Statement: Describe your work up to now in your chosen field, your professional objectives and your proposed work in the US.

· Lecture/activity proposal (Not mandatory): If you are able to give guest lectures, exhibitions, performances that will be relevant or of interest to your counterparts/public in the U.S. etc, provide details/or outlines of the activities.

· Affiliations: You can be affiliated only to one host institution during your grant.

· Local collaborations: Describe how you will share the experience and learning gained in the U.S. with Sri Lankan counterparts/ the public. Please give specific examples such as exhibitions, workshops, lectures, etc.

2. A detailed C.V.

3. Three references

4. A letter of invitation from a host institution of affiliation

Guidelines for obtaining a letter of invitation:

According to the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), a division of the Institute for International Education (IIE), that assists in the administration of the Fulbright Scholar Programme under a cooperative agreement with the Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Dept of State, all prospective applicants for Fulbright Professional Scholar Awards need to identify a U.S. academic or professional host prior to applying for an award.

Once you have identified a host institution, write to a relevant contact at the institution.  Include in your letter, a copy of your curriculum vitae and a description of the activities you will want to pursue.  If your contact agrees that there is a match between you and the host institution, you may request a letter of invitation from your contact. Below is the Memorandum to Faculty Associates prepared by CIES that you should share with your prospective U.S. host institution contact.

There is no specific format for such letters of invitation from your host institution contact. Such a letter should be on an official letterhead (emails are not acceptable).  The letter might include:

  • The activities for which you are being invited (i.e., research at an institution, special lecturing needs, etc.)
  • The period of time for which you are invited
  • A description of the contact’s interest in the applicant’s project and how it will benefit the host institution.

A single institution is free to send letters of invitation to multiple candidates, so be aware that a letter is not a legally binding pledge, nor does it guarantee an applicant a grant.


The role of the faculty associate of the Fulbright scholar is outlined in this memo. Please keep these responsibilities in mind as you consider accepting a scholar for affiliation and during the tenure of the scholar’s award.


The flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, widely known as the Fulbright Program, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. The program’s primary support is provided by the United States Congress through the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which develops policies to assure fulfillment of the purposes of the program. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), a division of the Institute of International Education, administers the Fulbright Scholar Program for postdoctoral research and university lecturing under a cooperative agreement with ECA. U.S. institutions have made significant contributions to the success of the program since its inception in 1947. The time and assistance offered by faculty associates and the privileges and resources extended by university administrators continue to be critical factors.

All Fulbright Visiting scholars receive round-trip international travel and sickness and accident insurance provided by the U.S. Department of State. Most scholars also receive a monthly stipend and additional allowances as benefits of their grants. Fulbright grantees enter the United States under the sponsorship of the Department of State’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program for Fulbright Scholars.


When an application is forwarded to your department for affiliation, it is important to determine whether or not the department has research interests and facilities consistent with the project outlined by the scholar. Availability of work or office space, access to library and computer facilities and opportunities for auditing classes and consultation with colleagues should also be considered, as well as the amount of time the faculty associate will have for advising and consulting with the visiting scholar. Most departments do not require Fulbright scholars to pay any fees. If your department has a fee policy and is unable to waive the fees, please notify the administrative official of the exact amount. He/she will be copied on the affiliation inquiry in order to facilitate the process.

U.S. host institutions are not responsible for providing financial assistance to the scholar. Your institution should not provide the Form DS-2019 as it will be issued by the Fulbright Program. Nor is your institution responsible for health insurance for scholars or their dependents, as coverage sufficient to comply with J-1 visa requirements is provided to scholars as one of the grant benefits.

If you agree to be the faculty associate, please notify the university administrative official whose name appears on the enclosed Institutional Reply Form (IRF) and suggest an appropriate starting date for the scholar for inclusion on the IRF. Because it is important for you or another representative to be available to assist the scholar upon arrival, you may find that the date proposed by the scholar is not convenient for your schedule and it may be advisable to recommend an alternate arrival date. If the scholar intends to arrive at

the beginning of a semester, you may wish to advise that he/she arrive a week or two early to confirm housing arrangements and to complete administrative details.


The scholar will be encouraged to correspond directly with you before departing for the United States. However, you are also welcome to initiate communication. It is important for the scholar to know what arrangements can be made for transportation from the airport to the university, and whether or not a member of the university staff can meet the scholar’s flight. CIES does encourage that someone be at the airport to greet the scholar, if at all possible. If you are unable to meet the scholar, perhaps a colleague, a graduate student in the program, or someone from the international students’/scholars’ office may be able to go to the airport. If the scholar’s arrival time has not been established through direct communication with the faculty associate, the information is usually communicated to CIES from the embassy or Fulbright commission in the scholar’s country; any such information that is received at CIES will be forwarded to you.

The scholar is responsible for locating his/her housing, but may seek your assistance in identifying suitable accommodations. If you are able to assist in this regard, please do not obligate the scholar to a specific permanent housing arrangement without first consulting him/her.


Although your department will be the focus of the scholar’s work during his/her grant period, a number of other resources available on campus may help to expand the scholar’s experience in the United States. If your university has an area studies department focusing on the scholar’s region, we encourage you to put the scholar in touch with staff there. This will enable the scholar to take part in activities sponsored by the department, meet with area studies specialists, and perhaps serve as a resource for department activities. The international office or foreign student advisor may also be able to suggest activities on campus or in the local community that would be of interest to a visitor from abroad.

During the scholar’s stay on your campus, questions regarding immigration and tax regulations are likely to arise. Scholars are given some basic information on these matters in their grant packets and should be encouraged to consult the Guide for Fulbright Visiting Scholars, included in the grant packet, for information on these matters. Additionally, it may be appropriate to refer scholars to the foreign student advisor or international office on the campus, or to the local office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the Internal Revenue Service.

If meetings of professional associations in the scholar’s discipline are held during the scholar’s grant period, please advise the scholar of these opportunities. For your information all Fulbright scholars are eligible to apply for travel support from CIES if they are invited to lecture at a college, university, or conference. Under the Occasional Lecturer Program, CIES may be able to provide travel between a scholar’s host institution and the lecture location. If an invitation is forthcoming for a scholar affiliated with your department, we will encourage the scholar to discuss with you a proposed absence from the campus to take advantage of the opportunity.

CIES appreciates your commitment to the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program. During the scholar’s grant period, please keep track of the estimated amount of time you work with the scholar. This information can be reported in the Faculty Associate Final Report Form and is important in the aggregate to show the significant commitment and support that faculty across the U.S. provide to this program.