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2023 Fulbright Specialist Program
January 4, 2023

2023 Fulbright Specialist Program

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi is pleased to announce the annual Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) competition for local host institutions for the 2023 fiscal year (FY23).

Project requests may be submitted throughout the fiscal year and must be submitted by September 30, 2023 via the online project portal https://worldlearning-community.force.com/FSPHost/

The components of the project request include: Host Institution Contacts; Project Description; Project Objectives; Project Length and Logistical Information; and Cost Share Commitments. Incomplete proposals or proposals that lack sufficient detail will be “returned” through the system with a request for more information/clarification.  

Program Description:

The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) provides highly qualified U.S. academics and U.S. professionals an opportunity to share their expertise by carrying out projects requested by host institutions abroad.  Specialists are frequently academics; however, professionals such as attorneys, journalists, scientists, economists, security experts, and experts in eligible fields (such as business, communications, public health, and public administration) often take part in the program as well.  Specialists exchange knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the United States and overseas.  The FSP provides U.S. expertise and leadership to overseas hosts and promotes long-term collaboration between U.S. and host country institutions through projects that align with U.S. Department of State goals and the priorities of foreign host institutions.  This Fulbright opportunity offers an on-demand, short-term response exchange resource in a wide variety of fields that responds directly to the needs of host institutions and host countries. Fulbright Specialist projects must be carried out in-person (not virtually), with no exceptions.

Through FSP projects, hosts invite U.S. academics and professionals to apply their knowledge and expertise to activities designed by a host university, local nonprofit, government office, or other eligible host institution.  Project activities may include but are not limited to: teaching or training; developing curricula or teaching/educational materials; institutional planning; building capacity of faculty, administrators, or staff; delivering seminars or academic courses; and conducting needs assessments for programs or institutions. Stories of successful projects can be found on the Fulbright Specialist Program website: https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/making-an-impact

Priority Fields: 

For FY 2023, while projects will be reviewed in any of the 24 eligible disciplines, host institutions are encouraged to solicit projects in the following priority areas:  Climate Change; Cyber Security and IT; Disaster Response; DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access); Entrepreneurship; Media Literacy/Countering Disinformation; Public Administration; Public/Global Health (including Mental Health) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).   

Eligible fields include, but are not limited to:  Agriculture, American (U.S.) Studies, Anthropology, Archeology, Biology Education, Business Administration, Chemistry Education, Communications and Journalism, Computer Science and Information Technology, Economics, Education, Engineering Education, Environmental Science, Law, Library Science, Math Education, Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies, Physics Education, Political Science, Public Administration, Public/Global Health, Social Work, Sociology, and Urban Planning.   

Implementing Partner: 

World Learning is the cooperating organization that will implement the FY 2023 FSP.  World Learning maintains a web-based portal for project submission, review, and implementation (https://worldlearning-community.force.com/FSPHost/).  It also manages a  website (https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/), which provides information for host institutions and U.S. Specialist applicants, and includes the history of the program, an overview of FSP application and selection processes, and blogs of program highlights.  

Eligible Host Institutions:  

Host institutions eligible to request Fulbright Specialists include, but are not limited to: 

  • academic institutions (universities, colleges, research institutions, vocational/technical educational institutions);
  • government institutions (ministries);
  • cultural institutions (museums, libraries, conservatories, theaters);
  • non-governmental organizations (NGOs, think tanks), and
  • public health-related institutions (public health organizations, teaching hospitals). 

Projects with more than one Host Institution: Project proposals may request to have more than one host institution for the same project with the same Specialist. When submitting projects with more than one host institution, the proposal should indicate which institution will serve as the “primary institution” and provide detailed cost-share plans to outline which institution would fund what portion (including both weekdays and weekends). Host institutions should outline any information related to costs and logistics of getting the Fulbright Specialists between host institutions.  

Ineligible Institutions, Fields, and Activities: 

U.S. or U.S.-based institutions as well as for-profit companies and organizations such as businesses and corporations are ineligible to host Fulbright Specialists.  Projects with activities focused on English as a foreign language such as designing curricula, or conducting needs assessments, teacher training, or high-level educational consultations in that field, are not eligible for the FSP.  Specialists also may not carry out personal research projects. Clinical medical research or projects involving patient contact are ineligible under Fulbright Program policy.   

Program Cycle:  

FSP operates on the U.S. Government fiscal year cycle.  FY 2023 projects must be completed by September 30, 2024. If you expect a project to begin between October 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023, it must be approved by September 30, 2023. Project proposals should be submitted through the Portal for review six to nine months prior to the project’s start date to ensure sufficient time to recruit qualified and available specialist candidates. In cases where a specialist candidate is already identified from the roster, the project proposal can be submitted with a minimum of 3 months prior to the proposed start date of the project.

Project Parameters:  

In general, all projects designed by host institutions must adhere to the requirements below.  For more information, please visit: 


Fulbright Specialist projects may take place in only one country, and all project activities must take place in the country requesting the project.  If the project requests the Specialist to go to multiple locations, all locations must be in the same country.   Specialists are not permitted to leave the host country during their grant. Should leaving be necessary for the project, ECA Program Officer should be contacted for approval. 

In accordance with the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) Policy, a Specialist will not be approved for a second Fulbright award until at least two years have passed from the date of the completion of their previous Fulbright Specialist grant to the proposed start of the next Fulbright Specialist grant.  

Project Timeframe: 

The length of a Fulbright Specialist project must be a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 42 days, including travel days from the United States and weekends. The Project Start Date is the date of departure from the United States and the Project End Date is the date of departure from the host country. The project work should begin one day after the Specialist’s arrival in the country and, depending on flights, it may take more than one day for the Specialist to arrive in the country. Please be sure this is accounted for in the number of days.
For more information, please visit:  


Matching a Specialist with a Project:  

Specialists can be matched with projects through an open process, or they may be named by the host institution.  In order to be eligible to carry out a FSP project, Specialists must first be admitted to the Fulbright Specialist Roster.  Admission to the Roster is based on favorable review by a peer review committee – an independent panel of scholars and professionals, which reviews applications approximately six times per year.  Following approval by the peer review committee, individuals are placed on the Specialist Roster, which makes them eligible to be matched with Specialist projects.  Final approval of candidates’ eligibility to receive a FSP grant is made by the FFSB following the matching of a candidate with a specific project.  Full eligibility information and requirements are available at  https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/eligibility-specialists/.

Specialists may be requested to match projects through three methods.  

  1. Open Requests (preferred method):  Under this method, the host institution does not identify a specific individual to serve as the Specialist.  Rather, after ECA approves the proposed project, World Learning reviews the Fulbright Specialist Roster for candidates with the required experience to successfully implement the host institution’s project.  World Learning thereby identifies qualified candidates from the Roster, and shares their resumes with the U.S. Embassy, which should then work with the host institution to identify the candidate who is the best fit and confirm that the recommended candidate has the requisite skills needed to carry out the project.  If it is not possible to identify an individual from the current Roster, World Learning will conduct targeted off-Roster recruitment for the project.   
  2. Named Roster Requests:  Under this method, prior to submitting a project, the host institution may use the online management system to review the roster to identify a specialist candidate to carry out the project.  The host institution and the specialist candidates may be in contact and collaborate on project development, including activities, and should agree on potential project dates prior to submission.  If the named individual is unable to carry out the project (for example, not available or ineligible due to the recent completion of another specialist project), World Learning will identify alternative candidates to carry out the project.  
  3. Named Recruitment Requests:  The host institution may identify in its project proposal a preferred individual to serve as the Fulbright Specialist who is not currently on the Fulbright Specialist Roster.  In this case, the individual must successfully complete the full process (application and peer review) to join the Roster.  In order to expedite the process for the host institution, the project can be submitted for review and approval, while the “named” individual is completing the application process to the Roster.  If the individual is not found to be qualified to join the Roster, World Learning will identify alternative candidates to carry out the project.   

Matching Considerations:  

Because every local context is unique, and also because candidates may have been approved for the Roster as much as two to three years earlier, it is essential that the host carefully review the qualifications of Specialist applicants to ensure that they have the skills  to carry out the project and to represent the United States as a Fulbrighter in the specific context and current local environment associated with the project.  

Fulbright Specialist website for a general program overview and highlights:  https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/ 

Fulbright Specialist Portal: https://worldlearning-community.force.com/FSPHost/

If you experience difficulties with the online request form, contact us at TbilisiExchanges@state.gov, with the subject line “2023 Fulbright Specialist Program”.