The Danish-American Fulbright Commission is Pleased to call Attention to The Second Round of this Successful
Fulbright Program.

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will bring together a network of ambitious scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience.



Grant & Program Duration

Each successful scholar will be awarded a grant worth USD $40.000 by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission for an 18 months program beginning in Spring 2018.


July 2017 |
Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar Competition Opens

October 16, 2017 |
Visiting Scholar Application Deadline

February 2018 |
Finalists notified of selection decisions

Spring 2018 |
Opening Group Meeting (Canada)

Winter 2019 |
Mid-year Group Meeting (TBD)

Fall 2019 |
Final Group Meeting (Washington, DC)

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the program or application process, please contact the Danish-Fulbright Commission by e-mail

Application Instructions

Deadline: October 16, 2017. To download the application guide immediately, click here.


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 people of the United States and the people of other countries.

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 Fulbright Arctic Initiative, for which program activities will begin in spring 2018, will include both established experts and early-career specialists from the eight Arctic Council states (United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden) for collaborative research in one of two focus areas:  A) Community Resilience and Adaptation and B) Building Sustainable Economies.  These scholars will participate in an individual Fulbright exchange, 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.

Program Description

Based on available funding, approximately 12 outstanding scholars from the United States and the seven other Arctic Council states will be selected through an open, merit-based competition to participate in the program as Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars. Pending candidate eligibility, we anticipate that at least four of the scholars will be selected from the United States and at least one scholar will be selected from each of the other Arctic Council member states.  Co-Lead Scholars Dr. Michael Sfraga of the Woodrow Wilson Center and Dr. Ross A. Virginia of Dartmouth College will provide intellectual leadership throughout the program.  Program activities will begin in spring 2018 and conclude in fall 2019.

The Arctic scholars will participate in an individual Fulbright exchange of six to 12 weeks. For the individual exchange, U.S. scholars will travel to one of the seven other Arctic Council states, and international scholars will travel to the United States.  In some cases, scholars will already have contact with colleagues at institutions or research centers and may arrange their own placements.  In other cases, the scholar’s affiliation will be arranged at sites appropriate for the proposed work by the Co-Lead Scholars, IIE, or Fulbright Commissions.

In addition to their individual exchange activities, scholars will work together in multi-disciplinary and multi-national research teams. The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will provide a platform for scholars from across the Arctic region to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem solving and multi-disciplinary research in two areas.

Research Areas

Resilient Communities
The Arctic is facing profound social, economic, and environmental change and communities are increasingly confronted with critical policy challenges related to issues of health and wellness, energy resource management, environmental protection, sustainability of the Arctic Ocean, infrastructure, indigenous rights, education, and regional governance.  Further research is needed on ways to build social resilience in communities to adapt to changes across the Arctic.  This research should focus on and ideally involve Arctic communities themselves and consider the application of indigenous knowledge to help inform policy at local to regional scales, as well as multi-disciplinary research to bring differing or complementary viewpoints.

Policy-relevant research on this theme could address questions such as:

  • What specific sustainability challenges do Arctic communities face in areas such as: subsistence activities; food and water security; availability of medical care and educational opportunities; and programs and resources for the continuity of their identities as indigenous peoples?  What areas of research might best contribute to the most effective and socially equitable policies on these issues?
  • How can health resources and systems best address community and individual wellness?
  • How can traditional and indigenous knowledge be successfully integrated into community adaptation practices and strategies?
  • How can communities evaluate and respond to potential relocation options in response to coastal erosion, permafrost thaw and other environmental challenges?


Sustainable Economies
The rapid changes in the Arctic Ocean system resulting from sea ice decline, changes in water conditions, and increasing shipping and energy production have significance for Arctic nations, global markets, and coastal communities.  The economic impacts of environmental changes and globalization in the Arctic, together with the region’s expanding connections to the global economy, require research to address how commercial opportunities can be supported and balanced with the need for sustained subsistence livelihoods in Arctic communities.

Policy-relevant research on this theme could focus on:

  • How can the development of energy resources, fisheries, shipping and telecommunication infrastructure, and increased local educational opportunities and support for indigenous scholarship promote the creation of more sustainable Arctic economies that meet community, regional, and national goals?
  • How can advances in technology be used in the Arctic to strengthen data collection and data-sharing, advance and adapt the Arctic built environment, better connect Arctic communities to the global economy, and adapt Arctic infrastructure to improve human wellness and increase economic opportunities?
  • How can energy resources, including oil and gas, be developed, taking into account the economic needs of Arctic communities, while protecting the environment for other activities such as fisheries, ecotourism and biodiversity conservation?
  • How can investments in infrastructure for ports, pipelines, freshwater storage and treatment, and transportation be accomplished?


At the beginning of the program, an in-person meeting and program orientation will be held for all scholars, at which the Co-Lead Scholars and research teams will have the opportunity to begin working on collaborative projects and establish guidelines and goals before the scholars participate in their individual exchanges.

Under the guidance of the Co-Lead Scholars, the research teams will then collaborate virtually, utilizing an online platform throughout the program period.  The entire cohort will gather to share progress and initial outcomes at a mid-term meeting to be held in a location TBD.

At the end of the program, Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars will convene for the third and final meeting to share the results of their collaborative work and report on the achievement of program objectives and the local, national, and/or regional implications of their findings.  Scholars will disseminate policy-relevant recommendations, describe the concrete steps they have taken in implementing their projects and models, and share strategies for moving their recommendations from theory to practice.


Applications are welcome from scholars at all career stages, to include applied researchers, professionals, and indigenous and traditional-knowledge experts active in the academic, public or private sectors who 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 incorporating comparative, interdisciplinary approaches in their investigations, and be interested in developing collaborative activities with other Fulbright Arctic Scholars.

All applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English.

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 United States, are not eligible.  Non-U.S. individuals who are selected for a Fulbright program will be required to submit a copy of their passport data page to the relevant Fulbright Commission/Office.  Non-U.S. Fulbright Scholars enter the United States on an Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa under a U.S. Department of State program and are subject to the two-year home-country residency requirement associated with the J-1 visa.

Scholars who have held J visas with sponsorship of more than six months are not eligible to reenter as J-1 Researchers or Lecturers for 12 months following the program sponsorship end date.  In addition, scholars who have previously held a J visa in the Professor or Research Scholar category are not eligible for sponsorship again in those two categories for a period of 24 months following the program sponsorship end date.

Nomination & Selection

Applicants will be considered without regard to race, religion, sex, age, and/or physical impairment.  For non-U.S. applicants, preference is given to those without recent experience in the United States.  Applicants should be responsible individuals who can effectively represent their own societies and thereby contribute to increased understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  They should also demonstrate the cross-cultural sensitivity and flexibility needed to adjust successfully to a foreign host institution and culture during the individual exchange and to work together on group research projects in interdisciplinary teams.

Grantee Niels Vestergaard presenting in Washington DC to young visitors

The Eligible Candidate

  • Academic and professional excellence
  • Compelling research methodology
  • Relevance of applicant’s previous research training, and experience to proposed project area(s)
  • Ability of the applicant to work as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Necessity of doing the proposed research in the selected host country and the overall strengths of the applicant and application in comparison with others in the applicant pool
  • Primary review will be undertaken by a selection committee at the Danish Fulbright Commisssion
  • Final selection to participate in the Fulbright Arctic Initiative will be made by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). Successful candidates will be notified of their awards in February 2018


Application Details

All applicants must complete and submit an online application here. Deadline: October 16, 2017.
Before you begin your online application you must contact the Fulbright Commission in your country of application.
We recommend that you download the complete application guide here.

Please note that applicants are able to begin their application and return at a later time.

The following data is required in order to complete the application:

Application Components

  • Application Form
  • Statement of Purpose (3-5 pages)
  • Bibliography
  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum 6 pages)
  • Letters of Recommendation (at least 3)
  • Letter of Invitation (recommended but not required)
  • Financial Support (budget)
  • J-1 or J-2 VISA (Form DS-2019)
  • Passport Copy
  • Language Profiency Evaluation (self-assessment and/or TOEFL scores)