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Faculty Fellowship Programs

There are several potential sources of funding for faculty members interested in international research, teaching, consulting, or other activities. The list below includes only some of the most well known opportunities and is by no means an exhaustive listing.

To discuss proposal ideas and/or seek feedback on proposal drafts for the programs listed here, please email Dr. Cari Vanderkar, Assistant Vice Provost of International Programs,

Please note that, for all externally funded grants that require Cal Poly as an institution to administer the funds received (i.e., anything other than an individual fellowship paid directly to you), you must work with the Grants Development Office. Here is a link to their website with additional information.
Jump to a specific program:  
Fulbright Scholar Programs
The Fulbright Scholar Programs include competitive, funded international opportunities for university faculty and staff members, as well as certain other groups of professionals. The Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) administers all Fulbright Scholar programs.
IMPORTANT NOTE for prior Fulbright recipients: CIES announced in 2014 that there are no longer lifetime limits on the number of Fulbright awards that an individual may hold, and no minimum time required between awards. Returning applicants are strongly encouraged to choose new destinations and/or new specific awards or programs.
There are four main types of awards:
  • U.S. Scholar Program: The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program funds annually over 800 research and/or teaching awards, generally between three and six months in duration, to U.S. faculty and professionals, with over 125 destination countries. Specific duration, specific type (research, teaching, research/teaching, etc.), and other award characteristics vary widely. Interested faculty members may use the online search tool to locate award opportunities of interest. Most awards have an annual application deadline in August (generally at least one year prior to departure).
  • Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship: For early- to mid-career professionals, these awards allow recipients to serve as special assistants in foreign government ministries or institutions to work public policy challenges in areas of joint U.S.-host government interest; provide their expertise while gaining hands-on public sector experience; and carry out an academic research project. Award term us 4-9 months.
  • Distinguished Chair Awards: The most selective and prestigious group of Fulbright Scholar awards; funds distinguished Chair placements in research, teaching, or both.
  • Global Flex Awards: The most flexible of the Scholar Program awards, the Flex awards fund a total grant duration of between three and six months for scholarly activities (research, teaching, consulting on curriculum, program and faculty development, and conducting workshops) arranged in multiple grant segments over up to three years, and in any one or more of the countries in which Core awards are available. Applicants must be accepted by the selection committees in all countries proposed in order to receive the Flex award. (Approximately 10 total Flex awards available)
  • Fulbright NEXUS: A year-long program that includes multi-disciplinary, team-based research, a series of three seminar meetings, and a Fulbright exchange experience.  For junior scholars, professionals and mid-career applied researchers from the US, Brazil and other Western Hemisphere nations​.
  • Postdoctoral Scholar Awards: For faculty with recently-earned PhDs.  Much like a stateside postdoctoral placement, the Fulbright postdoctoral awards fund recent recipients of terminal degrees (usually last five years) in STEM fields, the arts, humanities and social sciences. Recipients generally mentor graduate students, give public lectures, participate in seminars, teach courses, and/or conduct research.
  • Fulbright-Fogarty Postdoctoral Awards: For faculty with recently-earned PhDs.  Postdoctoral awards of nine months for scholars in public health to conduct research in resource-limited settings.
  • International Education Administrators Program: For international educators and responsible administrators.  Funds participation in intensive (usually 10 days to two weeks) introductions to the educational contexts of particular countries for international educators (e.g., professionals who work in study abroad or international student and scholar services) and higher-ranking university officials who oversee international education operations.
  • Specialist Program: The specialist program funds intensive, two- to six-week engagements between U.S. specialists in selected fields only with well-defined international project requests. U.S. applicants seek to join a roster of project candidates, while international professionals request projects. (Examples might include: helping set up a new academic program at an international university, or participating in a short-term effort to solve a particular problem.) Fulbright then matches specialists to a possible project. Once a U.S. applicant applies to join the roster, the application is sent to peer review. If approved by the peer review, the candidate joins the roster for a period of five years. Joining the roster does not obligate the candidate to any particular project, nor does it guarantee that a candidate will be appointed and become a “Fulbright Specialist” (only appointees to specific projects are considered Fulbright grantees).
  • NEXUS Regional Scholar Program: The NEXUS program brings together interdisciplinary groups of scholars, researchers, and mid-career professionals with relevant expertise to address specific, environmental problems of regional interest in the Western Hemisphere. The awards consist of a series of three seminars and a Fulbright exchange experience. Typically each group includes five U.S., five Brazilian, and ten other Western Hemisphere participants. 
  • Fulbright AmazoniaFor researchers in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, the US, and Venezuela to support cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary, cross-sector collaboration on the Amazon region​. Scholars spend 1.5 years addressing public policy and other applied research questions​.
Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Fellowships
The Bellagio Center (also known as Villa Serbelloni) is a dedicated research and seminar facility located just outside the town of Bellagio, Italy, on the shore of Lake Como (45 miles north of Milano). The Center offersResidency Fellowships for academics (working on an academic writing project, including teams of up to four scholars working on a single project), creative artists (composers, fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, poets, video/filmmakers, and visual artists) and practitioners (policymakers, nonprofit leaders, journalists, and public advocates). Fellows enjoy quiet and uninterrupted time for individual work during the day, followed by evenings of formal and informal discussions and interactions with other resident fellows in diverse fields and professions – a combination that is intended to lead to a synthesis of individual and collaborative achievements.
DAAD Awards
The DAAD, or Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service), funds a wide variety of activities for everyone from undergraduate students through full professors and higher-ranking university officials, both in Germany and in international settings with German students and/or faculty involved. Awards for instructional and research faculty members (16 programs in all) include such diverse opportunities as: research stays of one to three months’ duration, funds for participating in conferences in Germany, short-term lectureships, German language training, the DAAD Science Tour (an intensive introduction to cutting-edge computer science research in Germany), group study visits for short-term faculty-led U.S. student groups, and RISE worldwide (the incoming side of the RISE program, which matches high-achieving undergraduate German students in STEM fields with laboratory research projects in the U.S. and other locations). Each award on offer is explained in the website for faculty DAAD awards.
IIE: Institute for International Education
IIE is a global not-for-profit that designs and implements international education strategies and program services in cooperation with governments, policymakers, educators. Opportunities include the China Educational Association of International Exchange (CEAIE) Program​, the
Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies​, and the Scholar Rescue Fund​.
CIBER: Centers for International Business Education and Research​
The Centers for International Business Education and Research were created by Congress in 1988 to increase and promote the nation’s capacity for international understanding and competitiveness.​ CIBER Faculty Development in International Business (FDIB) Programs combine business, academic and governmental visits, cultural experiences and university presentations in an international location. Participating faculty members, as well as business professionals, gain firsthand knowledge of how business is conducted in a particular region of the world and the opportunity to network with overseas counterparts.​
Ashesi University (Ghana) Fellowships for visiting faculty in Computer Science & Engineering 
Apply to teach Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurial, innovative leaders. Founded in 2002, Ashesi University is one of Africa’s most respected and innovative undergraduate universities, known for producing graduates of outstanding integrity, initiative and skill. 
Additional Funding Opportunities
The Cal Poly Grants Development Office can also support you in your efforts to find funding for international projects. A sampling of such grants may be found in the International Funding Opportunities handout.  Contact the Grants Development Office for additional assistance.