Procedures for Fulbright Awards

Scope: All full-time Purdue-West Lafayette tenure track and clinical faculty.

Proposed Policy: Purdue University will maintain the current academic year base salary for all full-time tenure track and clinical faculty who win a Fulbright US Scholar Program Award for the duration of their award in those cases where the Fulbright Scholar award/stipend amount falls below that of their academic year base salary.

Rationale: Purdue identifies Fulbright Scholar Awards as one of its 23 highly prestigious awards on the Office of the Provost webpage. Fulbright Scholar Awards are recognized by MUP, TARU, and other organizations as a metric for measuring university performance and are highly sought after for their effectiveness in supporting the university’s efforts of internationalization and intercultural learning. Purdue has historically had fewer Fulbright Scholar applicants/awardees than our peer institutions. One of the top reasons faculty do not apply for Fulbright Scholar Awards is the lack of information about  Purdue’s policy on a number of issues peculiar to Fulbright (ranging from salary, benefits, insurance, tenure and promotion, replacement costs, etc.). In particular, faculty often incur additional personal expenses from the unique nature of the Fulbright Scholar Award (whose stipends can be slightly lower than base salary, housing costs, costs of partner/family airfare, child education, etc.). As one Dean expressed, it “nobody should take a pay cut after winning a Fulbright. 

Eligibility. All full-time Purdue West-Lafayette faculty are eligible to receive academic year salary support (“top-off”) for Fulbright Core US Scholar Program Awards (other Fulbright awards such as the Fulbright Specialist Program, Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, International Education Administrators Program, and Fulbright Nexus Program are not eligible).

Funding: Top-offs are subject to the review and approval of the Dean (with the expectation of approval) and should whenever possible be approved in advance  of an external application or award. Approval will guarantee that the College will make up the difference between the award amount and the faculty member's AY base salary, while continuing to provide the associated/prorated benefits. The funding is a part of the budgeted salary held by the department/college.

Benefits. Leaves resulting from Fulbright US Scholar Programs will be handled as research/engagement leaves with partial pay or without pay (depending on the amount of funding received from Fulbright). A Fulbright fellow keeps all benefits even when he/she falls below 50% FTE at Purdue; in particular, health benefits are maintained with both the university and employee paying their share. Retirement benefits will continue only on the Purdue paid portion of the leave.  

Process: Once the faculty member receives the award, they should share the Fulbright award document with their Business Office, Department Head, and Dean. Fulbright Scholar Awards should be taken in conjunction with sabbaticals whenever possible and would then follow university sabbatical guidelines (total compensation cannot exceed the full-time salary rate for the period of the leave). When the leave doesn’t coincide with a sabbatical, the salary amount not covered by the award will be covered by the Department/College. The appropriate FTE will be calculated and submitted on the Request for Research Leave of Absence. 

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