Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship 2017/2018

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Application Deadline:October 11, 2016 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time 

The Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship, a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and storytelling in one, two, or three countries on a globally significant theme. This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society. Storytellers publish stories on the Fulbright-National Geographic Stories blog.

The wide variety of new digital media tools and platforms has created an unprecedented opportunity for 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.

For the 2017-18 competition, the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship will accept proposals to undertake an in-depth examination of a globally relevant issue. Multi-country projects will compare and contrast how an issue or set of issues is experienced across borders. Utilizing a variety 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. Stories deemed by National Geographic to be of interest or merit may be considered for publication on other National Geographic platforms.

In addition to receiving Fulbright benefits (for travel, stipend, health, etc.), and materials and reporting special allowance, Storytellers will receive instruction in story-telling techniques, including effective blog writing, video production, photography, and other relevant training by National Geographic staff prior to their departure. National Geographic will also provide editorial mentorship for Storytellersduring their Fulbright grant period. Storytellers will provide material for the National Geographic website on a frequent and ongoing basis throughout their grant term.

Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year will be accepted for the following themes:

  • Our Human Story
    Themes: Culture/Geo-politics, Contemporary Social Issues, Democracy and Human Rights, Religious Freedom
  • Critical Species
    Themes: Conservation of Species, Extinction
  • New Frontiers
    Themes: Innovations in areas of Health, Medicine, Technology, Energy, Economic Development/Prosperity

Eligible Countries

Applications will be accepted for Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowships in any country to which there is an active Fulbright U.S. Student Program with the exception of China. Click here to see which countries are eligible.


Candidates from all fields are encouraged to apply.

Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience and talent in storytelling. Candidates must have completed at least an undergraduate degree by the commencement of the Fulbright award.

Application Procedure:

All application materials, including academic transcripts and letters of reference must be submitted in the Embark Online Application and Reference System by October 11, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Hard copy submissions will not be accepted.

Please review the instructions thoroughly before beginning the Embark online application as the application components are distinct from the general application. Because of grant start dates, Fulbright-National Geographic Storytellers are not eligible for Critical language Enhancement Awards.

Please carefully review the following as the requirements differ from those of the traditional Fulbright grant:

Applicants must select “Academic” in the Grant Category section of the application and select “Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship” in the Special Opportunity field.Fulbright-National Geographic applicants with questions should email Susan Muendl at smuendl@iie.org.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship 2017/2018


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