Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program

Program Overview

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers (Fulbright DAI) brings primary and secondary school teachers to the U.S. for a semester, from Early January 2019 to mid-May 2019. Teachers pursue individual inquiry projects, take courses for professional development at a host university or institute, and observe and lead master classes and seminars for teachers and students at the host University or local primary and secondary schools.

The program brings together international primary and secondary teachers to the United States for a semester-long program, from Early January 2019 to mid-May 2019. Participants pursue individual or group projects, take courses for professional development at a U.S. host university, and observe and share their expertise with U.S. colleagues and other participants.

Current participating countries include: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Finland, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Philippines, Senegal, Singapore, Taiwan and Uganda. About 54 participants will attend the program in 2019, and of those, about two from Israel.

Fulbright DAI is a non-degree, non-credit professional development program at a U.S. university. 


Project Activities:

  • Educator training: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers take part in an intensive five-month professional development program at a US university. The curriculum includes academic coursework, leadership training, and instructional technology seminars.
  • Inquiry projects: Each participant will complete an individual or group project relevant to their education practice. Past projects covered topics such as current methodologies for teaching math, science, music, visual arts, performing arts, and English as a second language; working with special needs students; promoting civic engagement or service learning; environmental education; school management and leadership; and others that meet a critical need in the candidate's home country.
  • Field experience: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers are actively engaged with US schools. They are given opportunities to observe, co-teach, and share their expertise, building collaborative, lasting connections with teachers and students.
  • Best practice exchange: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers study and observe international best practices in education. They also share professional expertise with educators and students in the United States.
  • Civic and cultural activities: Fulbright Distinguished Teachers participate in US cultural activities such as performances, sporting events, visits to US homes, board of education meetings, and trips to notable historical sites.


Program Benefits:

  • J-1 visa support
  • A Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) held in participant’s home country
  • Round-trip airfare to and within the U.S.
  • A Welcome Program in Washington D.C.
  • Full participation (as auditors) in U.S. University graduate or upper-undergraduate level courses in education methods or in teaching subject area
  • Academic program fees (paid directly to the host institution)
  • Housing (generally shared with other participants) and meals
  • Accident and sickness medical coverage (does not cover pre-existing conditions)
  • Transportation to local schools (if necessary)
  • A daily allowance for incidentals during the university academic program
  • A baggage allowance
  • A technology allowance
  • The opportunity to apply for additional funding for professional development activities that support their program while in the United States (e.g. participating in seminars and conferences)
  • The opportunity to apply for alumni small grants for alumni in good standing.


Eligibility and Selection Criteria:

The program is aimed mainly at current, full-time primary and seconday classroom teachers who hold full-time teaching positions in any subject area at an institution serving primarily a local population.
Guidance counselors, curriculum specialists, library media specialists, special education coordinators, administrators and others may apply if they spend at least half of their time interacting with students.
Teacher trainers, Ministry of Education officials, full-time principals or educational administrators, university faculty, private English Language tutors, and teachers from schools primarily serving expatriates are not eligible for the program.

Additional basic eligibility criteria:

  • Five years of full-time experience, or equivalent, in teaching or working with students in another capacity
    (Pre-service practicum years are not included in the five year minimum)
  • Expected service of at least five years of working in elementary or secondary education after the conclusion of the program
  • Proven track record of professional development activities and leadership, including conducting professional development activities for other teachers
  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience
  • Citizenship and passport of, as well as residency in, the State of Israel
  • English language skills adequate to manage coursework, develop lesson plans, and team-teach in U.S. schools
    (Unlike in previous years or on other programs, Israeli applicants to Fulbright DAI are exempt from having to take the TOEFL)


Selection Criteria:

  • Candidates should be able to demonstrate strong leadership potential and the potential to function well in an intensive and collaborative learning environment with teachers from around the world.
  • Candidates should be able to live and work closely with people from a variety of backgrounds and interact in a culturally sensitive way with students (minors) and colleagues in U.S. secondary schools.
  • The ideal candidates will complete and timely submit a professional-looking application, including well-articulated a thoroughly-thought-of inquiry project and essays.
  • Since the aim of the Fulbright Program is to foster cultural understanding between the U.S. and other countries such as Israel, preference will be given to applicants who have not had a substantial recent academic experience in the United States or another English-speaking country.
  • Awards cannot be deferred to future program cycles.


Conditions of Program:

  • Grantees must travel on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa sponsored by the Fulbright program.
  • It is a condition of the visa that after completion of their Fulbright program, including any transfer of visa sponsorship, grantees must return to Israel and reside in the country for two years before being eligible to immigrate to the US, to take up permanent residence there, or to enter the US with a work permit. The purpose of the two-year home residency requirement is to ensure that exchange visitors return home and fulfill the exchange objectives of the Fulbright program.
  • J-1 visa does not allow for paid employment during the program.
  • J-1 visa has a 30-day grace period for return travel, after end of the program.
  • No visa transfers or extensions will be given.
  • Dependents of grantees will enter the US as holders of J-2 visas. Many conditions applying to the grantees as holders of J-1 visas, such as the two-year home residency requirement and other restrictions, also apply to the holders of J-2 visas.


Program Timeline:

15 February 2018 Application deadline
March-April 2018 Interviews, selection and nomination of principals and alternate candidates
May-August 2018 External application review in the U.S.
June 2018 Pre-departure orientation
1 September 2018 Final date of placement decision announcement
15 September 2018 Nominees confirm acceptance of award
November-December 2018 Nominees undergo visa interviews at the U.S. Embassy
Early January 2019 Program begins


Application form:

Online application form

Online application guide

The application deadline for for the 2018–2019 Fulbright DAI Fellowship is February 15, 2018.


The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers (Fulbright DAI) is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), and administered by IREX.

Further information about the program is available on the program webpage on IREX's website:


For further information or inquiries, please contact Sandy Mattar at:

03-517-2131 Ext. 204; or Smattar@fulbright.org.il.