Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program

Program Overview

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers (Fulbright DAI) brings together primary and secondary school teachers to the Unites States for one semester, from Early January 2020 to mid-May 2020. 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, 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.


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

Grant Benefits

  • J-1 visa support
  • Round-trip airfare to and within the U.S.
  • A Welcome Program in Washington D.C.
  • Academic program fees for participation (as auditors) in U.S. University graduate or upper-undergraduate level courses in Education.
  • Housing and meals
  • Accident and sickness medical coverage 
  • 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 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.

Timetable for 2019/2020

February 15, 2019

Application deadline

March 2019

Selection Committee reviews applications

March-April 2019

Interviews, selection and nomination of candidates

May-August 2019

External application review in the U.S.

September 1, 2019

Final date of placement decision announcement

September 15, 2019

Nominees confirm acceptance of award

November 2019

Nominees undergo visa interviews at the U.S. Embassy

Early January 2020

Program begins



Frequently Asked Questions

I hold dual citizenship – both Israeli and American. Am I eligible to apply for a Fulbright award?
No. Only Israeli citizens are eligible to apply. Israeli citizens holding citizenship of another country other than the U.S. in addition to Israel are eligible to apply.
I am already enrolled in a program in the U.S. May I apply for a Fulbright award to complete my program?
No. Fulbright awards are granted to applicants who have not commenced their programs in the U.S.
I am a qualified medical doctor. May I apply for the post-doctoral program?
Yes, if you intend to carry out research in the United States, which will not involve you in clinical contact with patients. Post-doctoral Fellowships are not available to support clinical internships.
Can I avail myself of a Fulbright award for a project that I want to work on in Israel?
No. Fulbright awards are for study/research in the United States only.
Are Fulbright grants available for attending conferences, seminars and paper presentations in the U.S. and other countries?
Fulbright grants are not awarded for these purposes.
Are Fulbright grants available for Master’s/ Bachelor’s studies in the U.S.?
Fulbright grants are not available for undergraduate studies in the U.S. USIEF offers a Master’s degree program, which is open to candidates in all disciplines, except business administration and, architecture, art and fields in which clinical contact with patients is required.
How do I apply for an award?
You should read the Instructions and Information and submit your Application Form using the Applications Embark online system. Applications which are not submitted online cannot be considered.

For inquiries:

Sandy Mattar, Programs Manager

Tel: 03-517-2131 ex.204

Email: SMattar@fulbright.org.il.

Print page