Open for applications

Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership - 2021


Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership (funded by The Centenary Foundation and supported by the Australian Scholarships Foundation)

The Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership is the first Fulbright Scholarship for the not-for-profit sector in Australia. It provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an emerging leader in the charitable not-for-profit sector to undertake a program of research and/or professional development in the United States for a period of 3-4 months.

Applications close 6 July 2020.

Scholarship Overview

What is Fulbright? 

A Fulbright award is more than a Scholarship – it is, in the words of Senator Fulbright, a means of fostering “leadership, learning, and empathy between cultures… It is a modest program with an immodest aim – the achievement in international affairs of a regime more civilised, rational and humane than the empty system of power of the past.” Since its establishment, the Fulbright Program has grown to become the largest educational exchange program in the world, operating in over 160 countries.

Fulbright Australia offers Fulbright Scholarships to Australian citizens across all career stages. Awardees take part in a bi-lateral academic and cultural exchange, pursuing research or study at a U.S. institution, experiencing life in the United States of America, and bringing back their knowledge and experience to share with their communities in Australia. Since its inception in Australia in 1949, Fulbright Australia have awarded over 5,000 scholarships, creating a vibrant, dynamic, and interconnected network of Alumni.

Why apply for the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership? 

This scholarship provides an exceptional opportunity for personal / professional development and broader impact through research, experiential learning or management training at an approved U.S. institution or charitable organisation. It offers the unique opportunity to exchange ideas and information with industry leaders in Australia and the U.S., and join the prestigious alumni of Fulbright Scholars worldwide.

Successful applicants will undertake research and/or professional development which addresses contemporary issues of relevance, innovation, knowledge development, impact on policy and practice in the NFP sector across any discipline or service area. For example, in 2010, the Productivity Commission delivered a seminal report outlining the “Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector”. The report made a series of recommendations which can be viewed at

The 2021 Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership is generously funded by The Centenary Foundation.



  • monthly stipend for living expenses
  • travel allowance for international flights to/from the United States
  • dependent allowance (if applicable)
  • ASPE medical coverage of up to A$100,000 (for the scholar only)
  • attendance at the Orientation Program, Showcase & Gala Presentation Dinner
  • enrichment activities in the United States with other international Fulbright scholars
  • access to a professional network of distinguished Australian and American Fulbright alumni
  • ongoing assistance from Fulbright Australia with visas, enrichment opportunities and pastoral care
  • media and publicity support



Who Should Apply:

In order to be competitive for the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit leadership, applicants will have:

  • an undergraduate qualification plus a minimum of ten years work experience
  • a record of achievement gained from a minimum of three years employment at a mid to senior level position (Manager/Director) within the NFP sector
  • an established leadership profile within the sector and a record of achievement (ideas and/or programs)
  • demonstrated active participation/leadership on sector issues and policy development
  • demonstrated impact through personal leadership, initiative and innovation in program development and delivery
  • recognition by sector peers as a leader through election to office, awards/prizes/other recognition, etc
  • high potential for further achievement, evidenced by reputation for integrity, general positive values and motivation to make a difference

Innovative applications which articulate key issues with the potential to lead to ongoing collaborative partnerships; develop skills and capabilities of the person and the NFP Sector, and which lead to a stronger bilateral relationship between Australia and the United States will be highly regarded.


Meet our Fulbright Scholars:

Read more here and watch interviews with Tessa and Andrew, inaugural recipients of the scholarship.

Click here to find out more about our past ten recipients and their ground-breaking work.

"The opportunity to take six months out from a busy job is rare enough. The opportunity to use that six months to develop a whole new area of expertise; to visit hundreds of colleagues overseas; to engage with challenging ideas and stimulating approaches; to reflect on organisational and political culture; and to consider new ways of working towards shared goals of social justice, self-determination and community development, is incomparable. The Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-profit Leadership gave me that opportunity."

~ 2013 (inaugural) recipient - Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine, CEO, National Centre for Health Justice Partnerships. Click here to read her final report.

"The Fulbright scholarship opens doors; doors to people, doors to amazing insights, and even a door that creates the time and space for you to explore a topic deeply. Even if I had managed to give myself four months of time to work on my topic, I would never have access to the same calibre of people. Everyone knows the Fulbright brand and they go out of their way to help you. With this opportunity, Fulbright let’s you build your skills and networks so you can come back and have the impact you want in the communities you work in."

~ 2018 recipient - David Ireland, Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland Business School (UQBS) and Chief Innovation Officer, ThinkPlace.

"The Fulbright scholarship has the potential to significantly and positively impact proposals for the establishment of a national disability research and innovation agency in Australia. It provides an incredible opportunity to inform my work on developing policy and research that stimulates and rewards innovation in the context of current reforms to the Australian disability sector."

~ 2018 recipient - Gordon Duff, General Manager, Sector Development and Research for National Disability Services. Gordon will travel to the U.S in March to complete his Fulbright.


Scholarship Timeline:

6 July 2019 at 11:59pm AEST Applications close
August - September 2020 *Shortlisted candidates are interviewed
October 2020 All scholarship applicants are notified of the selection outcomes
February/March 2021 Formal awarding of successful applicants at Gala Presentation Dinner (awardee attendance compulsory)

Please note, Fulbright Scholarships are to be taken-up in the year following application. Programs cannot be deferred and must be commenced between 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022.


How to Apply:

  • Prior to applying, we strongly encourage applicants to read the Eligibility & Conditions section of the Australian Applicants page.
  • Applications must be completed and submitted via Fulbright's online portal. Applications emailed or posted to the Commission cannot be considered.
  • To discuss your application aspirations with someone in your area, please consider reaching out to one of Fulbright Australia's Campus Advisers.
  • Please download the Australian Applicant checklist to include with your application.
  • Please also download the 2020-21 Scholar instructions for a step-by-step guide on the online application process. Follow the prompts within this document to begin your application (see page 4).

Please note, you will automatically be considered in the general Scholar Award pool as well.



More Information:

Click here for more information regarding eligibility, selection criteria, terms and conditions, and the scholarship timeline.

Click here for information specific to the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership and download the flyer here.

If you have a query that isn't asnwered by our Fulbright FAQs page, please contact Fulbright Australia for assistance (email is the most efficient means of contact in the first instance).


Application Deadline:

Applications for the 2021 Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership close Monday 6 July 2019 at 11:59pm AEST. APPLY NOW.

Closing Date : 06/07/2020
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Subject Area : HR Technology Project Management Community Leadership Leadership & Management Mentoring & Coaching Personal Development Finance & Investment Governance & Board Law Marketing & Fundraising Other
Course Type : Other Residential Long Course Research
Location : Outside Australia QLD NSW VIC TAS NT SA WA ACT