2023-24 UCR Fulbright faculty winners
February 14, 2024

UCR has among the most Fulbright winners in the U.S.

The prestigious Fulbright funds international research; UCR's number of faculty recipients ties for sixth most in the nation

Author: J.D. Warren
February 14, 2024

UC Riverside is among the top Fulbright scholar-producing universities in 2023-24, according to an announcement this week by the U.S. State Department. UCR also has the most Fulbright faculty recipients of any University of California campus for 2023-24.

The Fulbright Program, founded in 1946, includes a monetary award from the U.S. government to conduct cutting-edge research abroad. It is awarded in two categories: For scholars, or faculty, to conduct research, and for students to participate in international exchange programs.

For 2023-24, UCR was among the top 16 doctoral-level universities for the number of faculty awarded Fulbrights. It tied for sixth-most, along with six other universities.

UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox said the Fulbright achievement is another indicator of the growth of UCR’s research enterprise. In the past 10 years, UCR’s research expenditures have grown from $130 million to almost $200 million. This past year, UCR was invited to join the Association of American Universities, or AAU, which includes the top research universities in the nation.

“Fulbright awards are among the leading indicators of research excellence, and the fact that UCR is in the top-most tier is a cause for all of us to celebrate,” Wilcox said. “It cements the reality that our research has among the biggest of footprints internationally.”

Seven UC Riverside faculty members were announced this past summer as recipients of Fulbright fellowships for 2023-24. UCR Fulbright faculty for 2023-24 include Mark Alber, David Biggs, Sherine Hafez, Kimberley Lakes, Kurt Schwabe, Christina Schwenkel, and Jacqueline Shea Murphy.

“One of the great benefits of the Fulbright program is that it allows UCR faculty to build closer ties with overseas institutions around the world; and the partnerships we build often translate into opportunities for our graduate and undergraduate students, especially when they are looking for foreign research sponsors and study abroad opportunities,” said Biggs, a professor of Southeast Asian and environmental history who will study shoreline urbanization in Southeast Asia during his Fulbright fellowship.

Biggs and his colleagues are among around 800 U.S. scholars chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential in 2023-24. Penn State had the most faculty members receiving Fulbrights, with 12. Among UC campuses, UCR’s seven faculty recipients was followed by UCLA with six and UC San Diego, with five.

After UCR Fulbright awards dating to 1958, and more than 100 recipients, UCR was named a top-producing Fulbright institution for the first time, along with 13 other new top-producing universities. The top producers include 170 universities with the highest number of student and faculty recipients. Among those 170 are 99 private universities and 71 public universities.

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community. Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over,” said Lee Satterfield, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.

Fulbright alumni have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

For a full list of top producers, visit the Fulbright program site.

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