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Duke Named Top Producer for Fulbright Student Awards

Twenty-one Duke students and alumni were offered Fulbright awards to study, research and teach during the 2020-2021 academic year

Fulbright students together at a pre-pandemic conference.
Fulbright students together at a pre-pandemic conference.

For the 15th year, Duke University is one of the top producers of U.S. Fulbright student scholars, according to the U.S. Department of State. 

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program. The success of the top-producing institutions is highlighted in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board offered 21 U.S. Student Fulbright awards to Duke students and alumni. Twelve were invited to serve as English teaching assistantships (ETAs), five were extended independent research awards and four took up graduate study awards. 

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service.  In response to COVID-19 program adaptations, the 2020-2021 top-producing data reflects the total number of awards offered, rather than the number of awards accepted as has been the criteria in past years. 

“We’re so proud of our 21 finalists. It’s hopeful and rewarding work to support our undergraduates, alumni and graduate students as they share their professional and personal ambitions,” says Bevin Tighe, program coordinator for Nationally Competitive Scholarships at Duke. “The potential and accomplishments within Duke’s community are really stunning and their commitment to better understanding across borders and cultures is inspiring.”

Over 2,200 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English and conduct research abroad each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world. 

The Fulbright Scholarship application process is open to Duke seniors, graduated alumni and graduate and professional students. The program is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries.

For more information about the Fulbright Student Program, visit