Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

Important Dates

Visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org/ for details.

Online application availability: Spring

Application Deadlines:
Campus deadline: Early September
National deadline: Early October

Notification of qualifying candidates: End of January

Notification of winning candidates: March - May

Scholarship Overview

Participate in an academic year of overseas travel and storytelling in one, two, or three countries on a globally significant theme!

A wide variety of media tools and platforms have created an unprecedented opportunity for all people from all disciplines and backgrounds to share observations and personal narratives with global audiences online. These storytelling tools are powerful resources as we seek to expand our knowledge of pressing global issues and build ties across cultures. 

Utilizing a variety of of storytelling tools -- including text, photography, video, audio/podcasts, public speaking, maps, graphic illustrations, and/or social media -- Storytellers will share their stories and the stories of those they meet and publish their work on National Geographic platforms, including a dedicated program blog. 

Storytellers may propose to undertake an in-depth examination of a globally relevant issue, and multi-country projects will contrast and compare how a theme or set of themes are experienced across borders. For a list of broad themes supported this year, visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org/


Information for Applicants

  • Eligibility

    Applicants must be:

    • Graduates with bachelors degrees or equivalent (can apply as a senior), or graduate students
    • US citizens
    • Applicants to the Fulbright open study/research and arts award


    Who cannot apply:

    • International students and permanent residents
    • All employees of the Department of State, the US Agency for International Development, and related private and public agencies; spouses and dependent are also disqualified
    • Students with doctoral degrees
    • Anyone who has resided abroad for 5+ consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the application deadline
    • Applicants to the Fulbright ETA Program


    For more information about eligibility requirements, visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/eligibility

  • Additional Requirements

    Language requirements:
    Applicants must meet the language requirements of the award to which they are applying. Language requirements depend on the host country you choose.

    • The ability to communicate effectively is critical to success in any country to which the storytellers will travel.
    • Applicants with relevant language skills may receive preference in the application process.
    • Project feasibility will be based, in part, upon applicant language capabilities.


    An institutional endorsement is required to apply for this award. 

    Applicants enrolled at UAA should submit their application through UAA. Non-enrolled applicants may submit applications "at-large." 

    Seek advising early in the application process. Schedule an advising appointment with the Fulbright Program Advisor, TBD to discuss intent to apply.

    Interview requirements:
    Campus interview: Yes
    National interview: No

  • Award Benefits
    • Round-trip transportation to and from the host country
    • Funding to cover room, board, and incidental costs based on the cost of living in the host country
    • Accident and sickness health benefits
    • Materials and reporting special allowance
    • Instruction in story-telling techniques by National Geographic staff prior to departure
    • Editorial mentorship from National Geographic during the grant period

    The award cannot be deferred or renewed.

  • Candidate Profile
    • Quality and feasibility of the proposal as described in the Statement of Grant Purpose the Personal Statement
    • Ability of agencies abroad to support the project, if necessary
    • Excellent academic and/or professional record
    • Good personal qualifications, including specific skills related to storytelling, such as experience with audio/video, still photography, and video/audio/editing software
    • Sufficient language preparation for the award you applied for
    • Candidate and project will help to advance the Fulbright aim of promoting mutual understanding among nations
  • Application Procedure
    1.  Find a faculty member willing to serve as your mentor throughout the application process.
    2. Schedule an advising appointment with the Fulbright Program Advisor, TBD, the semester before you plan to apply for the award.
    3. Register at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/ and start completing the application.
    4. Start developing your Personal Statement and your Statement of Grant Purpose according to the Fulbright National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship guidelines.
    5. Start securing an affiliation letter, specific requirements of which are found at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/.
    6. Start preparing the components of your storytelling portfolio according to the guidelines specified by Fulbright.
    7. Three recommendation letters are required. Select recommenders who can comment on your ability to carry out the project being proposed, your intellectual and professional preparation, and your ability to represent the US abroad. At least two of these recommenders should evaluate your ability to produce the type of digital storytelling proposed in your Statement of Grant Purpose.
    8. Submit a complete application, including all letters of recommendation and affiliation letter, by the campus deadline.
    9. Prepare for an individual campus interview, which will take place 1-2 weeks after the campus deadline. The Fulbright Campus Interview Committee will submit an official institutional endorsement of your application at the end of your campus interview.
    10. A Fulbright National Screening Committee will conduct a preliminary elimination based on your credentials in December and determine if your application will be forwarded to the embassy(ies) of the country(ies) where you are proposing to conduct your project for final review.
    11. You will be notified of the status of your application in January.
    12. Candidates whose applications are forwarded to the appropriate embassy(ies) for final review will be notified of the final decision in March - May.


    About 2% of applicants receive an award.

  • Advising

    Fulbright Program Advisor:


    In the meantime, contact Ray Ball at rball11@alaska.edu

    Information sessions:
    Fulbright regularly offers webinars and information sessions at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/information-sessions.