The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Fulbright Commission have signed an agreement to set up a Fulbright scholar grant in Arctic Studies. Through this agreement the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will fund US scholars to teach and conduct research in Arctic issues at Icelandic universities over the next three years.
The Arctic is a priority in Icelandic foreign policy, as one of the government's emphasis is to increase knowledge of the Arctic through research and education and scholarly activities.
„The government is focusing on strengthening trans-Atlantic relations and I am pleased that with this agreement we are taking a small, but important step to strengthen scientific and academic cooperation in an area which is of great importance to both Iceland and the US,“ said Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.
He noted that both countries are interested in strengthening ties in this area, i.a. by sharing knowledge and experience in fields of mutual interest. „The cooperation agreement will strengthen educational institutions in Iceland and raise Iceland's profile as an interesting option for international students and scholars. We are extremely happy to work with the Fulbright Commission on this, an institution that has done very important work for decades,“ concluded the Foreign Minister.
It is expected that an American scholar will teach and conduct research at an Icelandic university for a year at a time and promote Arctic studies.
The Fulbright Commission has operated in Iceland since 1957, according to a bilateral agreement between Iceland and the US. The Commission's goal is to foster cultural understanding and cooperation between the two countries in education, research and art. Since 1957, 900 Icelanders and 500 US citizens have received grants through the Fulbright cooperation. See further information about former grantees and current grantees at the Fulbright website.