United States – Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission

Fulbright Specialist Awards

(Applications Currently Open)

General Information about the Fulbright Specialist Award:

The Fulbright Program: The Fulbright Program is a prestigious international exchange program that is administered worldwide.  The Fulbright Program promotes mutual understanding between the United States and Sri Lanka through educational and cultural exchange. For 70 years, the Fulbright Program has witnessed an exchange of students, scholars, professionals and teachers between the two countries and provided opportunities for personal, academic and professional growth, and built capacity in both countries.  The Program aims at fostering bi-lateral relationships and bringing the people of the United States and people of Sri Lankan closer together. The Fulbright Program is administered in Sri Lanka by the United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission.

The Fulbright Specialist Awards:  The United States Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission (US-SLFC) invites applications from Sri Lankan institutions to bring U.S. specialists in selected disciplines to meet specific educational or training needs of the institution for period of 2-6 weeks.  The Fulbright Specialist Program is a unique program, and a cost-effective means for Sri Lankan institutions to identify or request recruitment of U.S. highly qualified academics and established professionals, in eligible fields, to engage in 2–6-week, project-based educational exchanges in Sri Lanka that will make a significant contribution to building capacity in Sri Lanka.  The Program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics/professionals with the Sri Lankan institutions to meet specific and significant local project needs.    

The benefits for participating host institutions include: Designing and implementing projects that address a key problem, challenge or knowledge gap at the institution; gain global perspectives from experienced U.S. academics and professionals; and build sustainable, collaborative relationships with individuals and institutions in the United States.  Specialists exchange knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the United States and Sri Lanka.

Comprehensive Award Information: https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/ (Overall program info) and https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/eligibility-host-institutions/ (information for host institutes).

To learn more about how the Fulbright Specialist projects are developed and administered, please visit: https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/program-timeline

The Specialist Award Benefits: The Fulbright Specialist Award will cover round-trip air fare for travel, a daily honorarium and a provide health benefit coverage.  The local host institution must provide housing and local transportation.

Guidelines for Sri Lankan Host Institutions:

Eligible Institutes:  The Sri Lankan institutes must have an educational focus in their programs, to foster program goals of creating collaborative linkages between U.S. and Sri Lankan academic institutions

  • Institutions of Higher Education (recognized degree-granting, post-secondary academic institutions)
  • Government Institutions (ministries or agencies, courts, parliamentary or congressional bodies)
  • Cultural Institutions (conservatories, museums, etc.)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations including non-partisan, issue-centered institutions and think tanks
  • Medical Institutions (public health organizations, teaching hospitals, etc.)

Institutions that are ineligible to host a Fulbright Specialist include for-profit organizations and businesses, partisan organizations, and international governmental organizations such as those that are UN-affiliated or sponsored by USAID.

Eligible Fields:  The U.S. Specialist should demonstrate expertise in one of the following fields, including areas of specialization within each field.  See list: “Eligible academic fields and areas of specialization within each academic field”

Agriculture American (U.S.) StudiesAnthropologyArchaeologyBiology EducationBusiness AdministrationChemistry EducationCommunication and JournalismComputer Science and Information TechnologyEconomicsEducationEngineering EducationEnvironmental ScienceLawLibrary ScienceMath EducationPeace and Conflict Resolution StudiesPhysics EducationPolitical SciencePublic AdministrationPublic/Global HealthSocial WorkSociologyUrban Planning

Eligible Project Activities: The Fulbright Specialist Program encourages host institutions to tailor projects to meet their own needs.  However, all projects should have an education or training focus.  Due to the short-term nature of the exchange, projects should have concrete objectives that can be achieved over the course of the Specialist’s visit. Examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to: Teaching or training at the undergraduate/post-graduate level; delivering seminars or workshops; developing academic or training curricula and/or teaching/educational materials; conducting needs assessments for a program or institution; consulting on faculty or workforce development and institutional planning; and building capacity of faculty, administrators, or staff.Note: Personal research projects, including clinical medical research or projects involving patient contact, are not eligible for funding under the Fulbright Specialist Program.  In addition, proposals requesting a Specialist to assist with activities focused specifically on English language such as designing curriculum or conducting a needs assessment, teacher training or high-level educational consultations, are not eligible for the general Fulbright Specialist Program.

Project Parameters: All projects must meet the following criteria. 

One country per project:  Fulbright Specialist projects are restricted to one country.  All project activities must take place in Sri Lanka, but can include multiple locations within Sri Lanka.

Two methods for identifying the suitable specialist:  When a prospective Sri Lankan host institution completes the project proposal, which is a required part of the application, the institution can identify their project as either an “open project” or “named project.” To learn more about the two types of projects, please visit Step Three of the Program Timeline at: https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/program-timeline  

One Specialist per project: A Fulbright Specialist project is restricted to one Specialist grantee.

Length of project: The length of a Fulbright Specialist project must be a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 42 days, including travel days and weekends.

Time between projects for Specialists: A Specialist candidate will not be approved for a second Fulbright Specialist grant unless two years have passed from the date of completion of the previous Fulbright Specialist grant.

Program Costs/Host Institution Cost-Share:  Sri Lanka host institutions should be prepared to provide the Specialist with lodging, meals, and in-country transportation, either through monetary or in-kind contributions, throughout their full stay in country.

Application Process:  Prior to completing the Application for Specialist, kindly review the document “Host Institution Application Instructions” and the country-specific requirements for Sri Lanka. 

The application for the Fulbright Specialist Program is an online application that is administered by our cooperating partner organization World Learning.  The first step to submit an application requires the Sri Lankan host institution to create an online account, prior to submitting an application.  Instructions on creating the online account can be found in the attached PDF “Host Institution Application Instructions”.  Once you create an online account, proceed to the online application site at https://worldlearning-community.force.com/FSPHost/  and use your new username and password, provided in the email you received when you created the online account, to submit your application.  Detailed instructions on submitting an application, including the Project Proposal details are included in the “Host Institution Application Instructions”.

All applicants must complete the form “Host Institution  Cost Share Support Commitment Confirmation” from and attach it to the application form and send it via email to inquiries@fulbrightsrilanka.org.  A sample/template of the host institution project proposal form Host Institution Project Proposal Form (Template) ” can be reviewed in advance of submitting the online application. This form is only provided for informational purposes and the Project Proposal must be completed on the online application.

Note on Identifying a Specialist: The Fulbright Specialist program matches and pairs a Specialist to match the needs of the project.  Specialist are either identified by the Sri Lankan Institution or identified by World Learning from the roster of Specialist who have already applied to be a part of the Specialist program.  Please note that you are NOT required to identify an individual to serve as the Fulbright Specialist. If no individual is identified, World Learning will match the project with a qualified individual from the Fulbright Specialist Roster.  If the Sri Lankan institution has identified a potential scholar/professional for the project who is not in the Fulbright Specialist Roaster, the Fulbright Commission and World Learning will advise the Sri Lankan host institution and the potential scholar/professional how he/she can apply to be part of the Fulbright Specialist Roster.  Please contact the Fulbright Commission (inquiries@fulbrightsrilanka.org) if you require further guidance or assistance on this prior to submitting the application.

Information for U.S. faculty and professionals who wish to apply to be part of the Fulbright Specialist roster and eligibility criteria: https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/eligibility-specialists

Duration of Award:  Two (2)to Six weeks (minimum 14 days and maximum 42 days including travel days and weekends) in duration.  The Fulbright Commission in Sri Lanka does not permit serial visit requests.

Important: Projects for the 2023 awards cycle, must begin before December 31, 2023.  In determining preferred start-date, please allow for sufficient lead time required to complete all the steps necessary to process the application.  A minimum of three months is required from the application deadline if you are requesting a Specialist not already approved and in the Specialist roster.

Applications: Currently Open

Application Deadline: May 31, 2023 (including all support documents)

Notification of Selection: By August 31, 2023


  • Material misrepresentation (e.g., plagiarism) at any time during the application or grant period is grounds for selection withdrawal or grant termination, as well as ineligibility for application to any US-SLFC grants in the future.
  • Applications received after the deadline will NOT be considered.

Due to the large volume of applications for this award, US-SLFC is unable to acknowledge receipt of applications, and only candidates shortlisted for interviews will be notified

If you have any questions regarding this program, please write to: inquiries@fulbrightsrilanka.org.