Fulbright U.S. Student Program

2011 Norway Fulbrighter

Joseph Knelman

In August 2011 I settled into Tromsø, Norway, working with the Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research. At above 69 degrees north I was well within the Arctic Circle, a place I had read about extensively in academic journals and books; yet, with my Fulbright stay, tales of far off places were truly coming into view.

Here, living on an island in the middle of a fjord, the enduring arctic sun lit the faces of rugged mountains, verdant valley floors, clear glacial lakes, and brilliant blue fjords (at least before the snow and polar nights arrived). Each feature was beautiful and forlorn all at once. It is the kind of place that embodies a challenge but not without incredible reward, the Fulbright experience.

The location was central to my research project which focused on how arctic plants may rely on soil bacteria in order to survive in the stressful arctic environment. Understanding this connection provides parallel insights for growing crops in other marginal lands that may face different, but similarly inhospitable conditions.

While I initially thought my experience in the Norwegian landscapes was simply to be a consequence of my project that centered on soil ecology of arctic ecosystems, I soon realized that experiencing the land not only helped to explain my own research interests, but also the country’s history, the national identity, and the way people conduct themselves today.

Norwegian pastimes, food, and heritage so heavily draw on the land; the connection is clear. The land therefore became more than a scientific study system, it became the medium to interact with the culture. The fall harvest, return of the sun, and traditional Sami celebrations with my co-workers; hiking and Nordic skiing with other students and Fulbrighters; and picking prolific fjord berries among locals all exposed this tight link between physical geography and culture. Beyond my own research, the arctic mountains, fjords, and valleys taught me far more than I ever imagined.


Fulbright Fellowship
Norway, 2011-2012

I am a....

Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.  All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses.  Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

If you are an undergraduate student you would be eligible to apply in your senior year.  If you are a graduate student you are eligible to apply to most countries as long as you will not have a PhD degree on the application deadline.

Non-U.S. Student

If you are a non-U.S. citizen looking to applying for a Fulbright grant to study in the United States you will apply to the Fulbright Program for Foreign Students in your home country.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor’s degree, and do not have a PhD degree then you could be eligible for certain awards within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Please review the program summary for the country where you would like to apply.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts.  Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 5 years or less) in which they are applying.  Artists with more experience should consider applying for Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered. 



U.S. Professor

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award you will need to apply through CIES.

Non U.S. Professor

If you are a non-U.S. citizen and a professor interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award to the United States you would need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country.  Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.