Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program (DAI)

Program Overview

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers (Fulbright DAI) brings together primary and secondary school teachers to the United States for one semester, from August 2022 to December 2022. Teachers pursue individual inquiry projects, take courses for professional development at a U.S. host university, observe and lead master classes and seminars for teachers and students at the host University or local primary and secondary schools, and share their expertise with U.S. colleagues and other participants.

Fulbright DAI is a non-degree program. 

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.


Further information about the program is available on the program's website: irex.org/fulbright-dai

Grant Benefits

  • ​​​​​​Monthly maintenance allowance, fixed according to IIE estimates;
  • Housing at the U.S. academic institution;
  • Academic program fees for participation (as auditors) in U.S. University graduate or upper-undergraduate level courses in Education.
  • Round trip airfare from Israel to the US academic institution for the grantee only;
  • Basic health insurance for the grantee only for the duration of the grant;
  • J1/J2 visa administration;
  • Pre-departure orientation meeting in Israel;
  • A workshop in in Washington D.C.;
  • Each Israeli participant will be credited 30-hour professional development  (‘Gmul Hishtalmut’) by the Department of Professional Development for Teaching Personnel. 
  • The opportunity to apply for alumni small grants.

Eligibility Criteria

The program is aimed mainly at current, full-time primary and secondary 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

Evaluation Criteria

  • Candidates should be able to demonstrate commitment to primary or secondary education and the potential for developing long term linkages between U.S and home country schools.
  • 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.

Conditions of award

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Awards cannot be deferred to future program cycles.
  • Fellows will be asked to act as Fulbright Israel Programs Ambassadors  – to share their experiences with others, to disseminate fellowship information among colleagues and potential candidates and to participate in information sessions for new candidates that may be held in their region. Alumni will also be invited to attend Fulbright Israel's activities and events and, from time to time, asked to assist in the reviewing process for incoming candidates. 

The Interview Process

The most highly-ranked candidates will be invited for an interview in Israel. All interviews are held on the same day. In order to be considered for an award, applicants must be available for interview in person on the date fixed by USIEF.

The Foundation reserves the exclusive right to determine, within the framework of applicable law and regulations, the qualitative standards for the evaluation of applications.  The Foundation is not under any obligation to provide the reasons for its decisions regarding the allocation of Fellowships.

Timetable for 2021/2022

April 20, 2021

Application deadline

May 2021

Selection Committee reviews applications

June 1, 2021

Interviews, selection and nomination of semi-finalists

June-November 2021

External application review in the U.S.

December 1, 2021

Final date of placement decision announcement

December 22, 2021

Nominees confirm acceptance of award

August 2022

Program begins