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Arctic Initiative

Fulbright Commissions and IIE’s Fulbright Office in Russia announced the competition for visiting scholars from Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden to participate in the Fulbright Arctic Initiative program in February 2020. For more information please visit the Fulbright Arctic Initiative website.

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Research Awards

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will create a network to stimulate international scientific collaboration on Arctic issues while increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Using a collaborative model to translate theory into practice, program participants will spend 18‐months engaged in addressing public‐policy research questions relevant to Arctic nations’ shared challenges. Program participants will focus their research on one of the following Fulbright Arctic Initiative themes: 

  • Arctic Security and Cooperation 

  • Arctic Infrastructure in a Changing Environment 

  • Community Dimensions of Health

Approximately 16 outstanding scholars from the U.S. and abroad will be selected to participate in the program as Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars through an open, merit‐based competition.


Successful candidates will include scholars at all career stages, to include applied researchers, professionals, and indigenous and traditional knowledge experts active in the academic, public or private sectors that demonstrate outstanding qualifications and a record of experience and accomplishment in an area clearly related to one of the designated research themes. Applicants must be actively engaged in an area of inquiry or activity relevant to the program's themes and objectives, be open to exploring and their investigations, and interested in developing collaborative activities with other Fulbright Arctic Scholars. 

● Applicants must be citizens of the country from which they are applying and residing in the country at the time of application. Non‐U.S. applicants who have dual‐U.S. citizenship or who hold permanent residency “green cards”, whether or not they reside in the U.S., are not eligible. Since specific residency requirements vary from country to country, applicants should contact their local Fulbright office directly to determine their eligibility. 

● A Ph.D. or equivalent professional/terminal degree is preferred, but not required. 

● Preference will be given to early or mid‐career academics, applied researchers and/or professionals with research experience in the public, non‐profit, or private sectors. 

● Applicants should have particular expertise and research experience in one of the identified thematic research areas. 

● Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English. Language proficiency of candidates must be discussed in nomination submissions to IIE.


Program activities will commence in Spring 2021 and conclude in Fall 2022. All awardees are expected to attend three seminar group meetings, complete a research visit to the U.S. for a minimum of six consecutive weeks and a maximum of three consecutive months, participate in monthly virtual plenary meetings, and maintain ongoing virtual communication with fellow participants and lead scholars. The research visit must be completed prior to Fall 2022. 

● March 2021 – First Group Meeting and Orientation (to be held in Canada) 

● Winter 2021-22 – Mid‐year Group Meeting (to be held in Norway) 

● Fall 2022 ‐ Final Group Meeting (to be held in the United States)

Award  Provisions 

● Scholars will receive funding in the amount of USD $40,000 (or an equivalent amount in local currency). This allowance is intended to support travel to all program meetings, travel and maintenance for the individual exchange visit, research materials and assistance for participants only. 

● Accommodations and meals for all group meetings will be covered separately. 

● Awards will also include limited accident and sickness benefits.

Application Notes 

By September 15, 2020 all applicants must complete and submit the online application. See "Как принять участие" for more information.

The following documents comprise a complete Arctic Initiative application:
● Application form 

● Statement of purpose (three to five pages) 

● Bibliography (up to three pages) 

● Curriculum vitae (up to six pages) 

● Letter of invitation (recommended but not required)* 

● Letters of recommendation (two; scans) 

● Registration form 

● Consent form on personal data information (scan) 

* All recommended Arctic Initiative candidates who are funded will be affiliated at sites appropriate for the proposed work. In some cases, applicants will correspond with colleagues at institutions or research centers and, in effect, arrange their own placements. Applicants are welcome to provide a letter of invitation from a potential host institution.

Competition Calendar & Selection Process 

 The selection of Fulbright Scholars from Russia is a three‐stage process, as follows: 

  1. Through an open competition for identifying and nominating applicants, Fulbright Commissions and the IIE Fulbright Office in Russia will recruit and organize the initial screening of applications in the applicant’s home country. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2020. Application materials will be subject to peer reviews then and candidates with the best projects will be interviewed personally in Moscow. The Moscow office will notify applicants of their recommend or non‐recommend status following the in‐country review in late September. 

  2. IIE will convene a review committee in the U.S. to consider all of the applications received for the Fulbright Arctic Initiative program.

  3. Candidates recommended for an award by the U.S. review committee must then be approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). IIE will notify Fulbright Commissions and IIE’s Fulbright Office in Russia of final selections in December 2020.