Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship 2020-2021 Competition

Applications are open for the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship Competition 2020-2021. The Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship, a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, provides opportunities for selected Fulbright US Student grantees to participate in an academic year of storytelling 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.

For the 2020-2021 competition, the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship will accept proposals to undertake an in-depth examination of a globally relevant issue as an enhancement to their Fulbright research or art project. Utilizing a variety of storytelling tools—including, but not limited to text, photographs, video, audio/podcasts, public speaking, maps, and graphic illustrations – Storytellers have the opportunity to share their stories, and the stories of those they meet, through National Geographic and social media platforms.

The National Geographic Society supports research, exploration, and conservation throughout the globe with a focus on projects that emphasize science, technology, and storytelling to help protect species-at-risk, better understand human history and culture and conserve some of our planet’s last wild places.

The Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship seeks researchers with a talent for and interest in storytelling. This application cycle, National Geographic has expressed a strong interest in the project focused on Oceans and Water, with a particular interest in plastics, community coastal and fishery management, and biodiversity. Project proposals on other topics of interest (including but not limited to science, culture, and conservation) will also be accepted for review and may be selected.


United States


  • The Fellowship provides:
    -Travel fee
    -Living stipend
    -Health benefits
  • Allowance for materials and reporting expenses
  • Storytellers will receive instruction in storytelling techniques by National Geographic staff prior to their departure.
  • National Geographic will also provide editorial mentorship for Fellows during their Fulbright grant period.


  • Candidates from all fields are encouraged to apply.
  • The competition is open to applicants for the Fulbright open study/research and art awards to all countries except China.
  • The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated talent for storytelling (including but not limited to publications in print, online or multimedia platforms) and an academic or professional background relevant to their proposed project.
  • Fulbright-National Geographic Fellows must be selected for a Fulbright Study/Research Grant by the eligible country for which they applied and meet the criteria of the Fulbright Study/Research requirements of the host country.
  • 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.

Eligible Regions: Any country to which there is an active Fulbright Open Study/Research Award with the exception of China.

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