Fulbright Scholar Program

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Catalog of Awards

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Fulbright Arctic Initiative

  • Multi-country
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Sweden
Western Hemisphere
Europe and Eurasia


Award Details
Award Activity

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative brings together a network of professionals, practitioners, and researchers from the United States, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden for three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience to address key research and policy questions related to creating a secure and sustainable Arctic.

The third cohort of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative will stimulate international research collaboration on Arctic issues while increasing mutual understanding between people of the United States and member countries of the Arctic Council. Using a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, Fulbright Arctic Initiative III will address public-policy research questions relevant to Arctic nations’ shared challenges and opportunities.  Academic researchers in the natural and social sciences, Indigenous and local knowledge holders, professionals in the fine arts and liberal arts as well as practitioners working in various fields are encouraged to apply.

Outstanding scholars and practitioners from the U.S. and the other 7 Arctic Council member states will be selected to participate in the program as Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars through an open, merit-based competition. At least four of the scholars will be selected from the United States and at least one scholar is anticipated from each of the other countries. Co-Lead Scholars will provide intellectual leadership and support throughout the Program, in addition to mentoring program participants, connecting program scholars to other international experts, and facilitating discussion and collaboration among the Scholars. Program activities will take place over 18 months beginning in Spring 2021.

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars will participate in an individual Fulbright exchange of six weeks up to three months, as well as in-person seminars and ongoing virtual communication, all supporting the scholars’ collaborative research projects. Scholars will be selected on the basis of an individual research project linked to an exchange visit and the potential to collaborate in group research work in one of the three thematic areas described below. Scholars will be expected to produce: 1) a policy brief based on their group work; 2) one research product of the group’s choosing; and 3) a one-page description of their individual research project objectives, outcomes and exchange experience.

Fulbright Arctic Initiative III seeks to support research that will inform policy and support a more secure and sustainable Arctic future.  Potential applicants are encouraged to review research products from the first two cohorts of FAI scholars and agenda setting documents coming from the Arctic Council Working Groups, the Arctic Council Chairmanship program of Iceland, and documents from Indigenous People’s Organizations representing Arctic stakeholders.

Fulbright Arctic Initiative III will provide a platform for scholars from across the Arctic region to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and multi-disciplinary research in three main thematic areas. Applicants will select one of the three thematic areas at the time of their application and identify how their individual research will fit into an interdisciplinary investigation of the issues. In addition to identifying a primary thematic area for their research and group work, applicants should also select a secondary thematic area with relevance to their work in order to demonstrate: 1)  the interdisciplinary scholarship of their research within a thematic area; and 2) the interdisciplinary scholarship of their research across the FAI III thematic areas.

  • Arctic Security and Cooperation: The Arctic region benefits from innovative models of international cooperation, particularly in the areas of search and rescue, management of the Arctic marine environment, emergency preparedness for global pandemics and collaborative governance through oversight bodies such as the Arctic Council.  Individual Arctic states have also created innovative models of co-management and self-government with Indigenous peoples. As the Arctic region becomes more accessible, the need for greater attention to Arctic security in all its dimensions—human security, environmental security, energy security, and traditional security—will continue to grow in importance.
  • Arctic Infrastructure in a Changing Environment: More research is needed to understand the environmental changes taking place in the Arctic and the impacts they are having on the human and built environment. The prosperity, security, and health of the region depend on sound infrastructure for housing, transportation, communications, energy, and emergency response systems.  Changes to land, human and marine environments are placing stress on both coastal and inland communities in the Arctic. At the same time, these very same changes are generating interest in the Arctic for energy and mineral resources, increasing tourism, and opening up new fisheries and transportation routes. The global energy transition is placing greater pressures in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions as sources for renewable energy from wind and hydro, as well as mineral resources. Together, these trends provide new opportunities for sustainable development that have the potential to improve life for Arctic communities.
  • Community Dimensions of Health: The health of children, youth, adults, and the elderly is vital to the security of Arctic communities and the region’s future. While Arctic communities are constantly innovating to address their own needs, environmental fluctuations, underdeveloped infrastructures, food insecurities, economic development, infectious diseases, health disparities, and entrenched institutional systems have created challenges for human health and the diverse ecologies of Arctic peoples. Most recently global pandemics pose an extreme risk to isolated Arctic communities due to under-resourced health care services, transportation challenges and limited housing options. Citizens of the Arctic are looking to engage in research that addresses their concerns and will find ways to improve and sustain human health in the Arctic.
Award Length
Program activities will take place over 18 months. The research exchange visit has a minimum length of 6 weeks (1.5 months) and a maximum length of 3 months. This visit should be completed in a single period of residence in the host country.
Award Dates

The research exchange visit may begin between April 2021 and June 2022, and must be completed by August 2022. In addition, Scholars are expected to participate in three seminar meetings: March 2021 (Canada), Winter 2021-2022 (Norway); and Fall 2022 (Washington, DC). 


Scholars will pursue an individual research exchange visit of 1.5 to 3 months in one of the Arctic member states (Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark including Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia or Sweden), as well as participate in three in-person seminars and ongoing virtual communication, all supporting the scholars’ required collaborative research projects.

Flex Option
Discipline Type
Applications are sought in all disciplines
Application Deadline

Research includes activities involving scientific research, qualitative research, quantitative research, and practice-based research, including artistic research. Research can take place in locations such as the laboratory, the field, the archives, or an artist residency. It can be experimental, clinical, or applied. It can include examining policies, systems, theories, methods, interactions, and works of art and music, with the objective to evaluate or develop new knowledge or works. Quantifiable (tangible) outcomes can include publications (books, journal articles, scripts, etc.), conference presentations, artistic and musical compositions, exhibitions, performances, films, and patents.

Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) not required
Number of Recipients
Approximately 5
Program Staff
Susan Muendl
Assistant Director

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