Fulbright and Other Scholarly Awards

Academic Affairs Process and Procedures

Effective date: January 2016 / Updated September 2022

Grand Valley State University strongly supports the U.S. government’s Fulbright programs in international education that provide merit-based competitive grants to open opportunities abroad in teaching and research. Tenured and tenure track faculty members are especially encouraged to apply to the program. Faculty are encouraged to combine a Fulbright grant with a sabbatical leave whenever possible, understanding that different criteria exist for each award. Refer to policies on Grand Valley State University’s website for full information on criteria, eligibility, and approval process.

Fulbright Award granted outside an approved sabbatical leave – refer to Board of Trustees Policy BOT – Regular Faculty Benefits

A Fulbright grant provides a per diem stipend which can be used for travel and housing in the host country, but generally does not fully cover a person’s expenses. To assist Fulbright grant recipients, Grand Valley State University will pay the difference between the grant amount and the tenured and tenure track faculty member’s base salary, minus adjunct replacement costs. Although faculty members will be on leave from the University, they will continue to receive full benefits and earn credit toward tenure or promotion for the time period covered by the grant. (See Board of Trustees Policy BOT


Suppose a Fulbright award includes a $10,000 stipend for room and board and a $5,000 grant for the Fulbright work. The $5,000 grant would be considered a “salary grant” and your full base salary for the paid leave period would be reduced by that amount. It would also be reduced by any costs for adjunct coverage. However, the room and board stipend would not affect your pay from Grand Valley State University.

Fulbright Award granted with an approved sabbatical leave – refer to Board of Trustees Policy BOT – Regular Faculty Procedures for the Awarding of Sabbatical Leave

Faculty approved for a sabbatical leave shall receive full salary when on leave one academic semester and 50% of base salary when on leave two academic semesters (or up to three academic semesters for faculty on a 12-month appointment). Applicants for sabbatical leave must specify other salaries, grants, fellowships, or financial support they expect to receive (or do receive) during the period of the sabbatical leave. The combined incomes from such sources and the sabbatical grant shall not exceed the faculty member’s normal salary plus expenses incurred because of the sabbatical leave. The recipient is expected to return to a regular appointment with the University for a least one academic year (or twelve months in the case of faculty on twelve-month appointments) after the sabbatical period. (See Board of Trustees Policy BOT


If the Fulbright award is in conjunction with a full-year sabbatical leave, a faculty member’s salary is reduced by 50% during that time period. Pay will not be further reduced to make up for a “salary grant” unless that grant is more than 50% of your normal base salary. Reductions for adjunct coverage may be needed, however.

Grand Valley State University recognizes other competitive scholarly awards that are, like the Fulbright, widely recognized and highly respected and will try to make similar kinds of accommodations for them. A partial listing of such fellowships follows:

  • Andrew W. Mellon
  • John Simon Guggenheim
  • Rhodes Scholarship
  • Frederick Burkhardt
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • American Association of University Women International

Page last modified September 16, 2022