4 Fulbright/National Science Foundation Arctic Research Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodSeptember Start
Grant Length9 Months
Approximately two to five awards may be available for the Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research Grant. The students will be expected to conduct substantive, Arctic-related research in Iceland. Projects must be well defined and must be completed within the grant period.
The grant is open to PhD students and students with a completed master's in all social and natural science fields as they relate to the Arctic and the people living there. These include but are not limited to work in the fields of political science, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, governance, gender studies, health (excluding clinical medicine), economics, ecology, glaciology, geology, sustainability science, and other applicable fields.
Icelandic universities provide many courses in English. Iceland also provides very interesting research opportunities in many fields. As a small, highly technologically advanced country, Iceland is ideal for many types of research. English is widely spoken and much used in academia.
Since the Fulbright Program in Iceland is relatively small, the Commission is able to maintain close ties with grantees during their stay and provide a sense of community among Fulbright grantees. There are monthly grantee activities sponsored by the Commission, in addition to access to Fulbright alumni events and other social activities.
If a chosen grantee expects to encounter significant research costs associated with the research project, it is possible to apply to the commission for additional funding.
Special funding for disabled grantees:
Funding is available for US Fulbright students to Iceland with a disability, be it a structural or functional impairment or activity/participation limitation, that entails additional costs that are not covered specifically through the Fulbright Program. Funding may be available for a wide range of disabilities, including, for example, hearing, vision, or movement impairment. The funding could, for example, be used to assist with specialized housing needs, in-country transport, or specialized assistance. The extra funding amount will depend on need and will be decided by the Commission after consultation with the student. Funding is provided through the Bruce A. Fowler Mobility Fund.
Grants will begin in mid August to early September 2024.
Grant Length: 9 months.
No Pre-Departure Orientation at present, but this could change.
The Fulbright Commission hosts a mandatory in-country orientation at the end of August/beginning of September.
Ph.D. students and students who have completed their master's in the social and natural sciences are eligible. Projects must be Arctic-related and must be research-focused. Candidates must have a relevant and substantive research project and must display the research experience and skills to undertake research in a foreign country.
Please note that Ph.D. students are eligible to apply for this grant even though they are receiving other dissertation funding through NSF or other bodies, as long as need is demonstrated and it is clear that funds will be used for different purposes.
Dual American/Icelandic citizens are eligible.
If the applicant has lived in Iceland previously, this may affect the evaluation, but it does not disqualify an applicant.
Accepted Degree Levels
Special Application Instructions
In the Fulbright online application, in the Award Selection, please select Fulbright/National Science Foundation Arctic Research Award from the drop-down menu.
Foreign Language Proficiency
It is expected that research projects can be successfully completed using English language.
Fulbright Proposal Types
Letter recommended but not required at deadline
Affilation with any university, research organization or other appropriate partner in Iceland. If the primary affiliation is non-academic, a secondary academic affiliation is preferred.
Fulbright-NSF Arctic Research students do not generally have to pay tuition fees for research affiliations.
Fulbright Iceland grants are for one academic year only. All Fulbright benefits cease at the end of the Fulbright grant period.
Hosts should provide primary assistance with finding housing. Universities generally have offices that provide assistance with housing or have sites where available housing is posted. Additionally, the Commission will provide information on websites where housing is advertised and will pass on any adverts that are sent to the Commission. Please check with your host to ensure that housing is provided.
2,000 USD per month for a maximum of 9 months for Master's level students. Stipends are adjusted to the arrival and departure dates of grantees.
2,750 USD per month for a maximum of 9 months for PhD level students/candidates. Stipends are adjusted to the arrival and departure dates of grantees.
1,000 USD travel grant
300 USD baggage stipend
Grantee enrichment activities are also organized by the Commission.
An additional research stipend is available, 500 USD per month.
Iceland Country Overview
Iceland is a small Nordic country, an island republic in the North Atlantic, between the U.S. and the European mainland. Iceland is technologically advanced; English is widely spoken and Americans find Icelandic society and culture relatively easy to navigate.
Icelandic universities offer a variety of master´s programs that are conducted in English. There are also opportunities to conduct exciting research in English, although some research may require knowledge of the Icelandic language. In addition to our general grants, the Commission is very interested in projects that have relevance for the Arctic. Fulbright students who do their Fulbright in Iceland are generally pleased with their stay in Iceland and find it very useful for their academic journey, whether they are planning to study here, do independent research before going to graduate school, or do post-master´s or PhD research.
Student awards are for nine months, beginning between 15 August and 1 September.
Iceland has spectacular nature and offers an opportunity for unique outdoor experiences, including geothermally heated swimming pools, open year-round. There is also a vibrant cultural scene, for example great music and art. For those who plan to stay in Reykjavik, the city is small enough to be easy to navigate, but large enough to have a bit of everything. For those choosing a rural experience, small towns are welcoming and have a vibrant cultural life.
Since the Fulbright Program in Iceland is relatively small, the Commission is able to maintain close ties with grantees during their stay and provide a sense of community among Fulbright scholars and fellows. There are monthly grantee activities sponsored by the Commission, in addition to access to Fulbright alumni events and other social activities. Grantees are always welcome to stop by or contact the Commission.
Want to get a better feeling for being a Fulbrighter in Iceland? Take a look at Fulbright Iceland's grantee series, where alumni talk about their experience of being on a Fulbright grant in Iceland:
Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Additional Online Resources
University of Akureyri: https://www.unak.is/english
Reykjavik University: https://en.ru.is/
Hólar University College: https://www.holar.is/en
Agricultural University of Iceland: https://www.lbhi.is/study_aui
facebook-Fulbright Commission Iceland: https://www.facebook.com/fulbrighticeland
Instagram-Fulbright Commission Iceland: https://www.instagram.com/fulbright_iceland/
Linkedin-Fulbright Commission Iceland: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fulbright-commission-iceland/
U.S Student Grantee Feedback - 2021-2022: https://fulbright.is/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/FY2022-Annual-Report-WEB.pdf#page=12