The Fulbright Commission awards highly competitive, merit-based grants to international postgraduate students, scholars, and professionals to study, research, and lecture in the United States and for Americans to undertake similar activities outside the US.
It was founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 and is now one of the most prestigious award programmes worldwide operating in over 155 countries; fifty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes and seventy-eight have won Pulitzer Prizes.
The Fulbright Commission in Ireland is a bilateral partnership supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Irish Government's Department of Foreign Affairs (with a Service Level Agreement with the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht for 2014-2017). It is a registered charity with funding derived from Irish and U.S. governments, higher education institutions, public agencies, organisations and donations.
The Geological Survey of Ireland have developed a new collaboration with the Fulbright Commission in Ireland and funds Irish researchers to spend time in a US based research institute, or US researchers to spend time in Ireland.
Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations.
—Senator J. William Fulbright