Fulbright International Writing Program

Program Overview

The United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) plans to award one grant to either a writer of short stories or novels, a poet, playwright, scripter or literary translator to participate in the 2019 International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa.  The goal of the program is to provide to its participants a setting for cultural exchange; the time and space to write, read, translate, study, conduct research, and travel; and the opportunity to give readings and become part of the vibrant literary and academic community at the University of Iowa.   The duration of the program is three months, between August – November 2019.  Further information on the IWP may be found on the program website.

Grant Benefits

  • ​​​​​​Monthly maintenance allowance;
  • Lodgings at the University of Iowa;
  • Program, cultural event and administrative fees;
  • Round trip airfare from Israel to the U.S.;
  • Program related local and regional travel;
  • Basic health insurance for the duration of the grant;
  • J1 visa administration;
  • Pre-departure orientation meeting in Israel;
  • A support agency in the U.S. that assists with visas, events and networking.


Eligibility criteria

  • Candidates must be Israeli citizens. Dual American-Israeli citizens or permanent residents of the United States are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants will be considered without regard to race, religion, gender, age, and/or physical impairment.
  • Candidates must be resident in Israel at the time of application and must continue to be resident in Israel until the beginning of the program in August. Candidates working, residing, or studying outside of Israel are not eligible to apply.
  • Individuals who have applied on two occasions in the past and whose applications have not been accepted are not eligible to apply.
  • Candidates must be in good health. The applicant selected to receive the grant will be required to submit a Medical History and Examination Report before the grant can be activated.
  • Prior conviction or current indictment for a felony may result in disqualification.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Candidates’ literary talent and accomplishments will be evaluated on the basis of works published in literary journals; works published as books by commercial publishing houses; plays performed by repertory and/or established theaters, films and television series which have been shown in movie theaters across the country or broadcast on national television; etc.
  • English language proficiency.
  • Leadership qualities.
  • Demonstrable ambassadorial skills required to promote mutual understanding between the United States and Israel (Fulbright Scholars serve as cultural ambassadors and should be prepared to speak about their countries, communities, cultures and research to academic and community groups.)
  • Awards, prizes and grants.
  • The potential for cultural contribution and influence after the end of the program (length of time, quality, magnitude).
  • Since the aim of the Fulbright Program is to foster cultural understanding between the US and Israel, preference will be given to applicants who have not had a substantial recent academic experience in the United States or another English-speaking country.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have not had previous Fulbright grants.
  • The Foundation reserves the exclusive right to determine, within the framework of applicable law and regulations, the qualitative standards for the evaluation of applications.  The Foundation is not under any obligation to provide the reasons for its decisions regarding the allocation of Fellowships.

Conditions of Award

  • Funding is for three months only.
  • The grantee must travel on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa sponsored by the Fulbright program.
    • It is a condition of the visa that after completion of their Fulbright program, grantees must return to Israel and reside in the country for two years before being eligible to immigrate to the US, to take up permanent residence there, or to enter the US with a work permit. The purpose of the two-year home residency requirement is to ensure that exchange visitors return home and fulfill the exchange objectives of the Fulbright program.
    • Two years must pass from the completion of the grantee’s Fulbright program before it will be permitted to return to the US as the holder of a J1 professor/research scholar visa.
    • The above restrictions do not apply to re-entry to the United States as the holder of a J visa in another category (short-term scholar, specialist, international visitor), or as the holder of a student or tourist visa.
    • Unless they have received a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement, Fulbright Scholars, holding J-1 visas, are ineligible to change their status from J-1 to J-2 while in the US.
  • Awards cannot be deferred to the following year.  Awards must be taken up no later than the program start date.
  • The Program does not sponsor J-2 visas for spouses or dependents. Thus, Fellows may not bring spouses or dependents with them to the US.
  • Fellows will be asked to act as Fulbright Israel Programs Ambassadors  – to share their experiences with others, to disseminate fellowship information among colleagues and potential candidates and to participate in information sessions for new candidates that may be held in their region. Alumni will also be invited to attend Fulbright Israel's activities and events and, from time to time, asked to assist in the reviewing process for incoming candidates. 

Timetable for 2019

Earliest date for submission of applications January 1, 2019
Final deadline for submission of applications March 1, 2019
Referees review applications March 2019
Candidates notified of results April 2019
J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board approves selection of candidate May 2019
Participation in the International Writing Program

August- November,2019