The Humphrey Fellowship Program is for experienced professionals interested in strengthening their leadership skills through a mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding about issues of common concern in the U.S. and Fellows’ home countries. As a non-degree program, the Fellowship offers valuable opportunities for professional development through selected university courses, attending conferences, networking, and practical work experiences. During the year, Fellows pursue both their individual program goals and work closely with their Humphrey colleagues in workshops and seminars. Unlike a typical graduate school experience, the Program encourages Fellows to travel away from their host campus to learn more about American culture and to network with their American peers. If you are interested in broadening your perspectives and becoming a global leader, the Humphrey Fellowship is for you.
Basic Eligibility Criteria
- An undergraduate (first university or Bachelor’s) degree
- A minimum of five years of full-time, professional experience
- Limited or no prior experience in the United States
- Demonstrated leadership qualities
- A record of public service in the community
- English language ability
Stage 1: National Screening
The Humphrey Program is facilitated overseas by Binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies. Commissions and Embassies review applications submitted for the Humphrey Fellowship Program, invite selected applicants for interviews, and determine which applications are to be forwarded for further consideration to the Institute of International Education in Washington, D.C. Please contact the Embassy or Commission in your country to learn of its selection criteria.
Stage 2: Screening by the Institute of International Education
Embassies and Commissions must submit their nominations to the Institute of International Education (IIE) office in Washington, DC by October 1. The deadline for applicants to submit their applications to the Embassy or Commission varies by country. Please check with the Embassy or Fulbright Commission in your country to learn of its application deadline.
IIE reviews all submitted applications for basic eligibility and then convenes regional Candidate Review Committees (CRC) to evaluate the applications.
Stage 3: Candidate Review Committees
Candidate Review Committees convene in Washington, DC in December. Independent expert panelists with regional experience who work in academia, international organizations, or non-governmental organizations are recruited to review applications from a particular region of the world.
Stage 4: Approval by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) was created by Congress to supervise the Fulbright Program and other Fulbright exchange activities, including the Humphrey Fellowship Program. The FSB sets policies and procedures for administration of the Humphrey Fellowship Program, has final authority for selection of all Fellows, and supervises the conduct of the Program both in the United States and abroad.
Stage 5: Placement of Selected Humphrey Fellows
After receiving approval from the FSB, the Department of State will announce the final selection results to participating U.S. Embassies and Binational Fulbright Commissions, who will inform candidates of their status. The Institute of International Education places the approved candidates at U.S. universities that have been selected to host Humphrey Fellows. Placements are determined by candidates’ fields of study and the program plan statements expressed in their applications.
The Fellowship provides for:
- Payment of tuition and fees at the assigned host university;
- Pre-academic English language training, if required;
- A maintenance (living) allowance, including a one-time settling-in allowance;
- Accident and sickness coverage;
- A book allowance;
- A one-time computer subsidy;
- Air travel (international travel to and from the U.S. for the Program and domestic travel to required program events);
- A Professional Development allowance for professional activities, such as field trips, professional visits and conferences.
Shortly after arriving in the U.S., Humphrey Fellows will prepare individual program plans for their professional development, detailing their goals and objectives for the year, including courses, seminars, special projects, professional and community activities. The main program components are:
A core part of the Fellowship is a special year-long Humphrey Seminar organized by the host university. In the seminar, Fellows are introduced to the skills and perspectives they will need as global leaders, share approaches to common issues and problems in their regions, and learn about many aspects of U.S. culture and society.
Fellows are placed in groups of seven to fifteen at selected U.S. universities, which serve as their academic and professional base. Fellows audit or register for a partial course load to enable them to travel and network with their American peers and experts in their field of work, attend conferences, and engage in a professional affiliation (work experience) without the pressure of meeting specific degree or diploma requirements.
The purpose of the Humphrey Fellowship is to enrich Fellows’ professional skills and knowledge. The Program provides Fellows opportunities to meet and exchange information and share experiences with their American counterparts and Humphrey colleagues from around the world. Through conferences, networking meetings, seminars and workshops, Fellows expand their perspectives on their work and on global issues. The culmination of the Fellowship year is a six-week work experience, or Professional Affiliation, arranged by the Fellows, that involves them with American organizations and provides another opportunity for meeting and working with their American peers. The Institute of International Education also facilitates professional enhancement workshops that engage Fellows in cross-disciplinary and multi-regional exchanges.
The Washington Global Leadership Forum
All Fellows attend this four-day seminar in Washington, D.C. to learn more about U.S. institutions, federal agencies, and international organizations. Humphrey Fellows meet with representatives of key organizations, participate in sessions on leadership and professional development, and make professional contacts. The Global Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for Fellows to meet their Humphrey colleagues from all 18 host campuses and to initiate the friendships and professional relationships that will continue throughout the Fellowship year and beyond.
English Language Courses
Fellows who are otherwise strong Humphrey candidates but need improved English to benefit fully from the Humphrey experience participate in intensive English language training before the start of their Humphrey Fellowship Program (usually during the summer months). If needed, Fellows can also take additional English language courses at their host universities.
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