Fulbright Specialist Program

Invite an American Expert for 2 to 6 weeks to your institute for lecturing, curriculum development and so much more

What is the Fulbright Specialist Program?

The Fulbright Specialist Program, part of the larger Fulbright Program, was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience, and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.


The Fulbright Specialist Program offers year-round project opportunities of two to six weeks in length. The shorter duration of Specialist projects is beneficial for the U.S. academic or professional who may not be available to leave their position for an extended period and for the host institution, which needs an experienced partner on a short-term basis.

Through the Fulbright Specialist Program, U.S. academics and professionals can apply their knowledge and expertise to a diverse array of activities including, but not limited to:

  • Delivering a seminar or workshop
  • Consulting on faculty or workforce development
  • Developing academic or training curricula and materials
  • Lecturing at the graduate or undergraduate level
  • Conducting needs assessments or evaluations for a program or institution

The Fulbright Specialist Program welcomes participation from a wide array of institutions. Swiss Institutions that may be eligible to request a Fulbright Specialist include, but are not limited to:

  • Institutions of Higher Education
  • Government Institutions (ministries or agencies, courts, parliamentary or congressional bodies)
  • Cultural Institutions (conservatories, museums, etc.)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations including non-partisan, issue-centered institutions and think tanks
  • Medical Institutions (public health organizations, teaching hospitals, etc.)

By implementing their designed project in collaboration with the Fulbright Specialist, host institutions:

  • Gain global perspectives from experienced academics and professionals;
  • Execute projects that require a rapid response or flexible timeline through short-term, year-round exchanges; and
  • Build sustained relationships with individuals and institutions in the U.S.

Specialists, who represent a wide range of professional and academic disciplines, are competitively selected to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster based on their knowledge, skill sets, and ability to make a significant contribution to projects overseas.

The Fulbright Specialist Program also distinguishes itself through the diversity of its participants. Both university faculty members and highly experienced non-academics, including legal experts, business professionals, artists, scientists, and journalists, are encouraged to apply and use their unique expertise in support of host institutions abroad. 

Those individuals that have been approved to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster are then eligible to be matched with approved projects designed by foreign host institutions from over 150 countries and other areas. Once abroad, Specialists partner with their host institution to conduct project activities in support of the host institution’s priorities and goals.

The Fulbright Specialist Program aims to provide a short-term, on-demand resource to international host institutions, giving them greater flexibility in how they participate with Fulbright. Specialists are strongly encouraged to continue to work with host institutions in the years following their initial exchange, creating opportunities for ongoing cooperation and consultancies.

In general, host institutions should be prepared to provide the Specialist with lodging, meals, and in-country transportation, either through monetary or in-kind contributions, throughout their full stay in country.  The Fulbright program will cover the round trip intercontinental flights and a daily honorarium.
Go for more information.

Contact the U.S. Embassy in Bern for an application form and more information at our email address: bernpa@state.gov.  We look forward to hearing from you, and discuss details over the phone.