Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Award 2020

The essence of intercultural education is the acquisition of empathy–the ability to see the world as others see it, and to allow for the possibility that others may see something we have failed to see, or may see it more accurately. The simple purpose of the exchange program…is to erode the culturally rooted mistrust that sets nations against one another. The exchange program is not a panacea but an avenue of hope….

Senator J. William Fulbright
From The Price of Empire

2020 Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Program Competition

Reflecting an enduring commitment to the Asia-Pacific Region, the United States has elevated its engagement across Asia as a strategic priority. A central pillar of the strategy is to work more closely with multilateral institutions such as ASEAN. The objective of the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Initiative is to deepen people-to-people engagement and strengthen our educational ties. 2020 marks the seventh year of the initiative. To date, 60 scholars from all ten ASEAN Member States have been awarded scholarships to pursue studies focused on a wide range of subjects including innovative teaching methods, maritime security, climate change, health, political security, and wildlife trafficking.

The Initiative is open to university faculty, foreign ministry and other government officials, and professional staff from the private sector, think tanks and other NGOs in ASEAN Member States. The awardee will travel to the U.S. for 3-4 months in January 2021 for scholarly and professional research on issues that are relevant to ASEAN, and central to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship.

About Fulbright

Established in 1946, Fulbright is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government. The purpose of the Fulbright Program is “To increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal in mind, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 300,000 participants with the opportunity to exchange ideas, experience cultures and observe each other’s political and economic institutions. Singapore’s first Fulbrighters traveled to the U.S. in 1956. Since then, over 500 Singaporean Fulbrighters have studied, researched and experienced life in the U.S.

Qualifying Research Fields
Fulbright Visiting Scholars may apply to conduct research in fields that support ASEAN initiatives. Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar proposals should be carefully developed projects that will deepen the applicant’s understanding of one or more aspects of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship. Examples include:

  • Supporting regional economic integration
  • Expanding maritime cooperation
  • Promoting opportunities for women
  • Fostering green growth
  • Addressing transnational challenges (including regional collaboration on issues such as human trafficking, countering violent extremism, preventing wildlife trafficking or sustainable fishing)

Program Dates
Scholars should plan to carry out their projects to coincide with the traditional spring semester, between January and May 2021. The award will cover:

  • A direct-flight, round trip economy class international airfare (economy class) on an American carrier.
  • A monthly living expense stipend between US $2,710 and $3,145/month, depending on the U.S. city.
  • A one-time US $1,250.00 settling in, supply, and professional allowance.
  • Qualifying university lab and research fees of up to $3,000, as necessary.
  • No dependent support will be available.


  • Applicants must be Singaporean citizens or permanent residents. Applicants must be residing in an ASEAN Member State throughout the nomination and selection process, and must return to an ASEAN Member State upon completion of their U.S. stay. Non-Singaporean applicants must apply through their home country’s embassy or Fulbright Commission.
  • Applicants should be university faculty, foreign ministry and government officials, or professionals in the private sector, think tanks and other NGOs whose work focuses on U.S.-ASEAN issues.  Applicants must have a significant record of scholarly or professional accomplishment.
  • Preference is given to applicants who have not had recent or substantial experience in the United States.
  • Applicants selected for a Fulbright grant are required to submit a Fulbright Medical History & Examination Report no later than 60 days prior to departure.


  • Applicants who are currently teaching, studying, or conducting research in the U.S.
  • Applicants who have received a Fulbright grant within the past five years.
  • Applicants who have received a J-1 visa in the category of Professor/Research Scholar within the past two years.

Competition Schedule

October 1, 2019 Competition opens.
November 17, 2019 Deadline for submission of online Fulbright application forms
December 3-6, 2019 (projected) Interviews for shortlisted candidates with U.S. Embassy Singapore Review & Selection Committee.
January 10, 2020 (projected) Notification of candidacy by U.S. Embassy Singapore. Finalists submitted for final review to Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB).
February- October 2020 FFSB selections finalized.
January-May 2021 Fulbright research in the U.S.


 Application Procedure

  1. Explore affiliations with U.S. institutions, universities, think tanks and research institutes before submitting the online application.  Letters of invitation will enable program organizers to make a strong decision about the applicant and the proposed research.

NOTE: Research is the primary focus of the grant. However, grantees are encouraged to expand and develop professional contacts and networks that will continue past the duration of the Fulbright residency. Grantees are expected to seek opportunities for guest lectures, seminars or participation in academic or professional conferences that share the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN experience and point to the U.S.-ASEAN connection

  1. Access the online application beginning October 1, 2019 at: https://apply.iie.org/fvsp2020

NOTE: Clearly indicate in the application portal and your project title that you are applying for the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Award.

Application Materials:

  • Application
  • Project statement (3-5 pages maximum)
  • Bibliography
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of invitation (preferred but not required)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Passport scan


Fulbright Program Coordinator
Public Affairs Section
U.S. Embassy Singapore
27 Napier Road
Singapore 258508
Email: Singaporefulbright@state.gov