Opportunity for U.S. K–12 teachers: Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program for U.S. Teachers

Opportunity for U.S. K–12 teachers: Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program for U.S. Teachers

Photo of two teachers talking to each other in a hallway

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program sends expert U.S. K–12 educators to participating countries to support projects in schools, teacher training colleges, government ministries, or educational nongovernmental organizations, as identified by U.S. Embassies and Fulbright Commissions.

The Fulbright DAST Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.

Program Activities

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program fellows participate in short-term international projects, collaborate with colleagues abroad, and share educational policy and practice on a global scale.

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program is designed for K–12 educators from the United States to work with an educational institution in a participating country to address specific need(s) of that country. Host institutions in participating countries work with the U.S. Embassies and Fulbright Commissions to develop these educational projects.

Upon arrival in the host country, after receiving a country-specific orientation and briefing, fellows are introduced to their host institution and community and begin working immediately to fulfill the needs of the project. Project activities may include developing trainings, writing curricula, supporting pre-service or in-service educators, and collaborating with university faculty to update teacher training processes and curricula.

Program Length

Fellows live and work in their host countries for two to six weeks.

  • Cycle 1: Projects in Cycle 1 of the program take place between June 2020 and September 2020. The 2020–2021 Fulbright DAST Cycle 1 application is now closed.
  • Cycle 2: Projects in Cycle 2 take place from October 2020 to May 2021. The 2020–2021 Fulbright DAST Cycle 2 application is now closed.

Project descriptions include more specific information related to the expectations of the project, language requirements, if any, and the specific time frame and duration.

How to Apply

Fulbright DAST is no longer accepting applications for the 2020–2021 program. Check back in the fall of 2020 for information about the 20212022 Fulbright DAST program.

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program is open to full-time elementary, middle, and high school educators who are employed at a public, private, or charter school in the United States, or within the Department of Defense Education Activity at the elementary, middle, or high school level (K–12).


Eligible applicants include U.S. citizens who reside in the United States, a U.S. territory, or who work on a campus within the Department of Defense Education Activity. Applicants must have five years of full-time teaching experience in the U.S., a U.S. territory, or school associated with the Department of Defense Education Activity. Language requirements, if any, will be indicated in the project description.

Eligible K–12 positions include classroom teachers, guidance counselors, curriculum coordinators, special education coordinators, media specialists, librarians, gifted and talented coordinators, and others located in a K–12 environment.

Applicants must have a master’s degree or be enrolled in a master’s degree program and/or be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards at the time of application.

About the Application

The application includes sections to enter personal and professional demographics, educational and certification information, language proficiency, and an opportunity to answer, in short essays, questions about the applicant’s goals for the program, their background and experience, and how they might leverage the experience for impact in their school community.

Applicants are asked to demonstrate how their skills and experience qualify them to fulfill the project activities in the project for which they are applying.

The application also requires the submission of references and certain documentation:

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Professional reference from someone the applicant has worked with in a professional capacity
  • Professional reference from the applicant’s school or district lead administrator
  • Leave Approval Form
  • Verification of master’s degree conferred or enrollment or National Board Certification
  • Preference for applicants who have not participated in another Fulbright program and have not had significant previous professional experience abroad (study, teaching, research, or employment)

Only one applicant will be selected for each opportunity, unless noted otherwise in the project description. Applicants are considered individually, and team applications will not be accepted. 

Participant Selection

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term fellows are selected through an open competition. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of experts according to a number of evaluation criteria.

In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of U.S. and international applicants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Bureau is committed to fairness, equity, and inclusion.

Outstanding applicants include those with a demonstrated record of professional leadership and accomplishment in teaching, and demonstrated experience conducting professional learning workshops.

Details About the Selection Process

When applications are received by IREX through the Online Application System, each application is screened for technical eligibility. After confirming that applicants meet the eligibility criteria, an independent committee of experts reviews the applications.

The independent committee reads and reviews applications and makes nomination recommendations. The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board approves all final nominations.

Applications are evaluated on overall quality, the applicant’s qualifications, the benefit of the program for both the applicant and the applicant’s school, and clear demonstration of educational leadership.

Other criteria include:

  • Commitment to working in K–12 education after completing the program
  • Preference for applicants working in high-need schools or districts, or with traditionally underserved populations
  • Ability to travel for the entirety of the program
  • Professional and educational experience and leadership
  • Commitment to professional learning
  • Effective communication and potential to be an ambassador of the program
  • Demonstrated cross-cultural competence

All applicants will receive notification of a selection decision by email, whether they have been selected or not.


If you have questions, please contact fulbrightdast@irex.org.


The Fulbright DA Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.