The Fulbright Commission in Ireland is a bilateral partnership supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government designed to increase mutual understanding.
In 2018, the Creative Ireland Programme and the Fulbright Commission in Ireland concluded an Agreement to provide financial support to fellowships known as The Fulbright Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships. The objectives of these fellowships are:
- To harness the transformative potential of arts, culture, creativity, scientific inquiry and heritage preservation through research collaborations;
- To provide post-graduate students with dedicated access to the internationally renowned research collections held at one of three world-class museums in the U.S.;
- Through such access, to enhance the depth, range and quality of research activities conducted by Irish students in the United States; and
- To create opportunities for collaboration between Irish, U.S., and other international scholars at those institutions
The participating museums are the Smithsonian Institution (comprising 17 museums and galleries), the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The roll-out of this successful partnership has seen a number of candidates studying for their PhD undertake valuable placements in the receiving US museums during 2018 and 2019. They have provided very positive feedback of both the experience and its value to Ireland.
Building on this success, the Creative Ireland Programme signed an additional Agreement with the Fulbright Commission to create an additional fellowship that encompasses experienced professionals operating in the cultural /cultural heritage and creative sectors. The Fulbright and Creative Ireland Professional Fellowship offers opportunities for example to staff working in education and learning units in the National Cultural Institutions or regional cultural heritage facilities who may have many years’ experience in their field but are not undertaking a doctorate, to apply. It also offers the broader cultural and creative sector an opportunity to apply. This professional fellowship isn’t confined to prescribed host US institutions, and it is a matter for applicants to identify a suitable host institution with support from the Fulbright Commission.
In June 2020, the Fulbright Commission announced the latest recipients of their world famous awards programme that give 36 Irish academics and post graduates the opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the most prestigious universities in America.