Fulbright Arctic Initiative III (FAI III)

(Grantees for the Fulbright Arctic Initiative III have been selected and the competition is closed)

PLEASE NOTE! The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is not to be confused with the Fulbright Norway Arctic Chair grant, which is awarded to one Norwegian and one American scholar each year. The application deadline for that award, for the 2022/23 academic year, is October 1, 2021 for Norwegian scholars, and September 15, 2021 for American scholars. Please find more information about the Arctic Chair grant for Norwegian scholars here, and for American Scholars here.  

Fulbright Arctic Initiative III

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the third round of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative (FAI III) for scholars and professionals from the U.S. and the seven other Arctic Council member countries.  The unique, interdisciplinary cohort of 17 scholars and two co-leads kicked off the program with a three days virtual meeting in March 22-24, and will continue their collaboration over a period of 18 months as per the timeline below. In addition to cohort activities, each scholar will pursue an individual study project in the U.S. or one of the Arctic Council countries.

Representing Norway are scholars Ketil Lenert Hansen of the University of Tromsø and Andreas Østhagen of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. Hansen will visit the Kempe Center at the University of Colorado in connection with his research on violence and health among children and youth in the Arctic, and Østhagen will spend time at both the Wilson Center and Harvard’s Belfer Center to increase understanding and improve dialogue about national interests and security issues among the Arctic states.

Two of the U.S. scholars in the cohort will be conducting research in Norway; U.S. Coast Guard officer Kristopher Thornburg will pursue a project on Collaborative Arctic Awareness: Coast Guard Strategies and Policies with colleagues at the University of Tromsø, while Jaimie DeSimone, an art historian and curator at the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, will identify ways in which art can be a vehicle for both interpreting and informing Arctic policies and policy change, also at the University of Tromsø

Ketil Lenert Hansen
Andreas Østhagen
Kristopher Thornburg
Jaime DeSimone


February 2020 |Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar Competition Opens
September 15, 2020 |U.S. and Norwegian Scholar Application Deadline
December 2020 |Finalists notified of selection decisions
March 2021 |Kick-off Meeting (virtual)
Spring 2022Winter Group Meeting (Tromsø, Norway)
Fall 2022 |Final Group Meeting (Washington, DC)

Fulbright Arctic Initiative III will provide a platform for scholars from across the Arctic region to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and multi-disciplinary research in three main thematic areas. Applicants will select one of the three thematic areas at the time of their application and identify how their individual research will fit into an interdisciplinary investigation of the issues. In addition to identifying a primary thematic area for their research and group work, applicants should also select a secondary thematic area with relevance to their work in order to demonstrate: 1) the interdisciplinary scholarship of their research within a thematic area; and 2) the interdisciplinary scholarship of their research across the FAI III thematic areas:

  • Arctic Security and Cooperation: The Arctic region benefits from innovative models of international cooperation, particularly in the areas of search and rescue, management of the Arctic marine environment, and collaborative governance through oversight bodies such as the Arctic Council.  Individual Arctic states have also created innovative models of co-management and self-government with Indigenous peoples. As the Arctic region becomes more accessible, the need for greater attention to Arctic security in all its dimensions—human security, environmental security, energy security, and traditional security—will continue to grow in importance.
  • Arctic Infrastructure in a Changing Environment: More research is needed to understand the environmental changes taking place in the Arctic and the impacts they are having on the built environment. The prosperity and security of the region depend on sound infrastructure for housing, transportation, communications and energy.  Changes to land and marine environments are placing stress on both coastal and inland communities in the Arctic. At the same time, these very same changes are generating interest in the Arctic for energy and mineral resources, increasing tourism, and opening up new fisheries and transportation routes. The global energy transition is placing greater pressures in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions as sources for renewable energy from wind and hydro, as well as mineral resources. Together, these trends provide new opportunities for sustainable development that have the potential to improve life for Arctic communities.
  • Community Dimensions of Health: The health of children, youth, adults, and the elderly is vital to the security of Arctic communities and the region’s future. While Arctic communities are constantly innovating to address their own needs, environmental fluctuations, underdeveloped infrastructures, food insecurities, economic development, infectious diseases, health disparities, and entrenched institutional systems have created challenges for human health and the diverse ecologies of Arctic peoples. Citizens of the Arctic are looking to engage in research that addresses their concerns and will find ways to improve and sustain human health in the Arctic.

Find more information about the Fulbright Arctic Initiative here.

%d bloggers like this: