Fulbright Arctic Initiative


Launched in 2015 to coincide with the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the Fulbright Arctic Initiative supports scholars, researchers and professionals from Arctic Council member countries to carry out collaborative research on public policy questions related to the unique challenges of the Arctic region. The goal is to create a network to stimulate international collaboration on Arctic issues while increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.


Fulbright Arctic Initiative participants are selected through an open, merit-based competition. Eligible participants must be from the United States and the other Arctic Council member states - Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark including Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. The first Fulbright Arctic Initiative successfully sponsored 17 participants over an 18-month period in 2015-2016 that coincided with the United States' chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The second Initiative, which took place in 2018-2019, continued building on the network among the member nations, sponsoring 16 scholars, who represented the eight countries of the Arctic Council. The third Fulbright Arctic Initiative will begin in fall 2020.

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 relevant to the program's themes and objectives, be open to exploring and incorporating comparative, interdisciplinary approaches in their investigations, and interested in developing collaborative activities with other Fulbright Arctic Scholars. Particular consideration will be given to candidates who demonstrate how their research project would involve governments, NGOs, businesses, and local communities. Full eligibility information and application materials are available on the website of our partner organization, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

Program Overview

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative for 2015-2016 provided a platform for scholars from across the Arctic region to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and multi-disciplinary research in one of four areas: Water, Energy, Health, and Infrastructure.

The second Fulbright Arctic Initiative included both established experts and early-career specialists from the eight Arctic Council states for collaborative research in one of two focus areas: Thriving Communities and Sustainable Economies.

The third Fulbright Arctic Initiative will begin in spring 2021 and run for 18 months, through fall 2022. Selected scholars will each participate in an individual Fulbright exchange of up to three months, as well as convene with the other scholars for three in-person group seminars and on-going virtual communication to carry out team-based research focused on security and sustainability in the Arctic.

Find more information on the Fulbright Arctic Initiative on the website of our partner organization, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.