The Fulbright Scholarship is one of the most rewarding educational grants which supports exchange between the U.S. and international participants. It is available to graduate students, artists, and young professionals from all fields of study except medicine.
International students from more than 155 countries can study in USA for at least one year or more. if they qualify for a Fulbright scholarship, which covers almost all expenses including tuition fees, a living stipend, and travel expenses.
|Type of Funding||Government|
|Eligible Candidates||Graduates, Teachers, Artists, Professionals|
|Number of Grants Awarded Annually||8,000|
|Available to International Students||Yes|
|Application Deadlines||Varies with each country|
Fulbright Scholarship Program: Overview
The Fulbright Program is an initiative that was introduced after World War II, by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright. Currently operating in more than 155 countries across the globe, the Fulbright Scholarship is one of the most prestigious programs which supports exchange between the U.S. and international participants in the fields of sciences, business, public service, government, and the arts.
Since its foundation, the Fulbright Scholarship has evolved into one of the largest academic and cultural exchange programs across the globe. More than 310,000 teachers, researchers, graduate students, and professionals have participated in the Fulbright program.
The Fulbright Program for Foreign Students:
- It provides an opportunity to graduate students, young professionals, and artists from various countries to study and carry out research in the U.S.
- Usually covers charges for tuition, travel, living expenses, health insurance in USA, etc
- Awards scholarships to nearly 4,000 international students every year
- Is governed by bilateral Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies
- Accepts and encourages applicants from all academic fields, including interdisciplinary ones, except medicine
Program Eligibility & Deadlines
The eligibility and requirements of becoming a Fulbright sponsored student vary drastically depending on the candidate’s country of residence.
The deadlines for submitting required documents for various Fulbright scholarships are usually between the months of January to June. However, scholarship deadlines have varying dates with respect to the country you apply from and the nature of scholarship being offered.
The following basic documents are required for making a Fulbright scholarship application:
- Official Transcripts
- Online/Paper Application
- Letters of Recommendation (3)
- GRE score
- English Language Proficiency Score (TOEFL)
The requirements mentioned above do not include all the documents necessary for a complete Fulbright scholarship application. Requirements will vary depending on the applicant’s country of residence and nature of the application.
Fulbright Scholarships for Indian Citizens
The United States-Indian Educational Foundation (USIEF), is a body governed by a bi-national Board of Trustees that oversees and ensures efficient achievement of the goals set by the Fulbright Program in India.
USIEF is the Fulbright Commission of India, which was established in 1950. Since then, it has awarded nearly 11,128 Fulbright Fellowships to Indians and Americans.
Given below is a list of prominent Fulbright Scholarships for Indian nationals
- Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships
- Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship
- Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
- Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program
- Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers
- Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program
- Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program
Fulbright India Statistics
In 2016, USIEF awarded 124 Fulbright grants for Indian Citizens in 2016. The breakdown for the same is mentioned below:
|Type of Award||Number of Awards Granted|
|Academic & Professional Excellence Awards||26|
|International Education Administrators||10|
|Postdoctoral Research Fellowships||18|
|Doctoral Research Fellowships||28|
|Master’s for Leadership Development||10|
|International Leadership in Education Program||5|
|Distinguished Awards in Teaching||2|
|Hubert H. Humphrey||6|
|Teaching Excellence and Achievement Award||8|
|Foreign Language Teaching Assistant||12|
A total of 134 Fulbright grants were administered by USIEF for Indian citizens in 2017
|Type of Award||Number of Awards Granted|
|Academic & Professional Excellence Awards||28|
|International Education Administrators||12|
|Postdoctoral Research Fellowships||13|
|Doctoral Research Fellowships||31|
|International Leadership in Education Program||4|
|Distinguished Awards in Teaching||3|
|Hubert H. Humphrey||7|
|Teaching Excellence and Achievement Award||6|
|Foreign Language Teaching Assistant||11|
|Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowships||6|
Fulbright-Nehru Scholarships allow the most exceptional academics, students, and professionals in India and America to research, study, and teach in the host country.
The selection process is based on a rigorous evaluation of the participant’s application and interview. Upon selection, the selected scholars are provided guidance with the visa process, securing health insurance and various other benefits.
There are 5 types of Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships:
- Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships
- Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships
- Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
- Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships
- Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar
Basic Eligibility Requirements
General eligibility requirements for Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship applicants from India are:
- The candidate must be residing in India during the time of application.
- The candidate’s academic/professional history should be outstanding.
- Applicant’s knowledge of the English language must be at a level that allows successful completion of the program undertaken and unhindered adjustment to life in the U.S.
- Upon acceptance for an interview, the candidate must be available at the USIEF office in Delhi.
- The candidate must be in good health.
- The candidate is not allowed to apply for a green card (permanent residency) in the U.S.
- The candidate will be required to give an undertaking confirming their return to India after the completion of their fellowship.
Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship: 2020 Deadlines, Eligibility, and Benefits
The table below portrays important information related to various Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship programs.
|Name of Scholarship||Benefits||Eligible Courses||Award Duration||Deadlines for 2021-2022 awards|
|Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships||J-1 visa assistance; Round-trip economy class air travel expenses; Tuition & fees (might not cover the entire sum); Health insurance & accident costs||Arts and Culture Management including Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies; Economics; Environmental Science/Studies; Higher Education Administration; International Affairs; International Legal Studies; Public Administration; Public Health; Urban and Regional Planning; and Women's Studies/Gender Studies.||One-Two Years||May 15, 2020|
|Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowships||J-1 visa support; Monthly stipend; Round trip economy class air travel; Applicable allowances and modest affiliation fees; Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges per U.S. Government guidelines||Agricultural Sciences; Anthropology; Bio-engineering; Computer Science (including, but not limited to, cybersecurity, digital economy, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics); Economics; Education Policy and Planning; Energy Studies; History; International Law; International Security and Strategic Studies; Materials Science (with emphasis on environmental applications); Mathematical Sciences; Neurosciences; Performing Arts; Physical Sciences; Public Health; Public Policy; Sociology; Urban and Regional Planning (with emphasis on smart cities and waste management); Visual Arts; and Women's and Gender Studies.||6-9 months||May 15, 2020|
|Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships||J-1 visa support; a monthly stipend; Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges per U.S. Government guidelines; round-trip economy class air travel; a modest settling-in allowance; a professional allowance; dependent allowance & international travel for 1 dependent (optional)||Agricultural Sciences; Anthropology; Bioengineering; Computer Science (including, but not limited to, cybersecurity, digital economy, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics); Economics; Education Policy and Planning; Energy Studies; History; International Law; International Security and Strategic Studies; Materials Science (with emphasis on environmental applications); Mathematical Sciences; Neurosciences; Performing Arts; Physical Sciences; Public Health; Public Policy; Sociology; Urban and Regional Planning (with emphasis on smart cities and waste management); Visual Arts; and Women's and Gender Studies.||8-24 months||July 15, 2020|
|Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships||J-1 visa support, a monthly stipend, Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges per U.S. Government guidelines, round-trip economy class air travel (two round-trip economy class air tickets for Flex), a modest settling-in allowance, and a professional allowance.||Agricultural Sciences; Anthropology; Bio-engineering; Climate Change Sciences; Computer Science (including, but not limited to, cybersecurity, digital economy, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics); Economics; Education Policy and Planning; Energy Studies; History; International Law; International Security and Strategic Studies; Materials Science (with emphasis on environmental applications); Mathematical Sciences; Neurosciences; Performing Arts; Physical Sciences; Public Health; Public Policy; Sociology; Urban and Regional Planning (with emphasis on smart cities and waste management); Visual Arts; and Women's and Gender Studies.||4-9 months||July 15, 2020|
|Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar||Round trip economy class air travel from India to the U.S.; travel within the U.S.; lodging and an allowance for every day.||-||Two-week seminar||September 2, 2020|
Fellowship Specific Eligibility Requirements
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships:
In addition to the general eligibility requirements, the following are additional eligibility requirements that candidates applying for Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships need to meet:
- The applicant must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree from any recognized Indian university. If the bachelor’s degree is less than four-years, the candidate must have completed a master’s degree.
- The candidate should possess a paid work experience of at least three years prior to the submission of their application in a field relevant to their college/university education.
- The candidate must exemplify experience in leadership and community service.
- Applicants must not possess any previous degrees from the U.S. and mustn’t be enrolled in any American degree programs.
- If the candidate is still employed, s/he should carefully follow the instructions regarding employer’s endorsement.
Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowships:
- Candidate must have done relevant research in the desired field and should be registered for Ph.D. at a recognized Indian institution on or prior to September 1, 2018. One of the recommendation letters on the online application form should come from the Ph.D. supervisor and must mention the date and the topic of research.
- Expected thesis submission date shouldn’t be earlier than three months after the Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral grant end date.
- A writing sample (published paper/master’s thesis extract) must be uploaded by the applicant while filling the online application form.
- If the candidate is employed, they should carefully read the information regarding the employer’s endorsement and follow the instructions accordingly. If applicable, the candidate needs to get FNDR Employer’s Endorsement Form (available at USIEF website) filled by their employer.
Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships:
- The applicant must have completed their Ph.D. not more than four years prior to the date of application. All candidates are required to upload their Ph.D. degree/provisional certificate while applying.
- Candidates must have published articles in renowned journals and should portray academic supremacy.
- If the candidate is employed s/he must follow the employer’s endorsement instructions carefully.
Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships:
- In addition to five years of experience in research/teaching, the candidate must have a published work or a Ph.D. degree.
- For candidates who are not in academia, possession of a master’s degree or equivalent published work in addition to five years of relevant work experience is required.
- A recent publication must be uploaded by the candidate in the online application.
- Candidates who are employed must follow the employer’s endorsement instructions carefully.
Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar:
- The applicant should be a college or university administrators (deans, department heads, vice-chancellors, etc) at mid-level or senior level in India.
- Must possess at least two years of experience in the relevant field.
- Should maintain a high level of academic/professional achievements.
- Must have the responsibility and the will to reform the curriculum of their institute to make it more internationally enhanced by implementing international collaborations, exchange, etc.
Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship: 2020 Deadlines, Eligibility, and Benefits
The Fulbright-Kalam Climate fellowship was launched in 2014 with the objective of addressing and resolving immediate as well as long-term climate change threats in the US and India. The USIEF oversees the exchange of scientific and technical researchers between both countries in order to make a sustainable change. Through the mutual exchange of knowledge and professional talents, the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship supports doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to conduct research in the host country for 6 to 12 months.
Fulbright-Kalam Climate Doctoral Fellowship
These fellowships are for people enrolled in a Ph.D. program at a recognized Indian institute, which supports selected candidates for six to nine months.
Benefits: Monthly stipend; J 1 visa support; round-trip economy class air travel; a modest allowance to settle into the U.S.; a professional allowance; and health care.
Eligibility: Same as Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship.
Duration: Six to nine months.
Application Mode: Online
Application Deadline: July 15, 2020
The Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowships are for pre-doctoral level research. Candidates who have already completed their Ph.D. or are in the final phase of the same will not be eligible to apply for this fellowship.
Fulbright-Kalam Climate Postdoctoral Fellowship
Designed for Indian researchers and faculty who are in the initial stage of their research careers, these fellowships provide the selected candidates with an excellent opportunity to fortify their research capabilities while accessing top-notch resources in their areas of interest.
Benefits: Monthly stipend; J-1 visa support; round-trip economy class air travel; a modest allowance to settle into the U.S.; a professional allowance; and health care. Additionally, depending on the availability of funds, postdoctoral research grantees may receive a dependent allowance and international travel fair for one dependent accompanying the grantee.
Eligibility: Same as Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Fellowship
Duration: Eight to twelve months.
Application Mode: Online
Application Deadline: July 15, 2020
Other Fulbright Fellowship Programs
Apart from the scholarships mentioned above, the Fulbright Scholarship Program includes various other fellowship programs that international students, professionals, and teachers can avail.
Hubert. H Humphrey Fellowship Program:
The program is designed for young and accomplished professionals who have a commitment to their own country’s development. It allows professionals from developing countries to study in a non-degree graduate program for 10 months at a participating university in the U.S.
Application Deadline: May 15, 2020
National Institute on Drug Abuse Fellowship:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Fellowship gives training to people who are focused on substance abuse and the public health concerns surrounding substance abuse. Mental health, social work, psychology, counseling, and medicine are some of the focus areas that these fellowships cover. Candidates who get selected for the NIDA are trained in prevention research, treatment, substance abuse policy research, and epidemiology.
Application Deadline: May 15, 2020
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program:
The FLTA program is funded by the U.S. Department of State. College-level English teachers can apply to this 9-month fellowship which involves them being a teaching assistant at American Universities. FLTA candidates from India will be teaching assistants in Hindi, Urdu, or Bengali classrooms in specific U.S. campuses. FLTA fellowship holders will have an opportunity to enhance their teaching skills, English language proficiency, and have a better understanding of the U.S. culture.
Application Deadline: February 2020
Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International (FDAI) Teachers:
Teachers at all levels from selected countries are given the opportunity to attend a semester-long program at a U.S. university where they can take up individual or group projects, share ideas and experiences with other teachers, and take up courses for professional development.
Application Deadline: March 1, 2020
Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program:
This is a six-week-long non-degree fellowship program that provides a handful of teachers an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the relevant subjects, hone their teaching skills, and gains a better understanding of the USA’s culture.
Application Deadline: April 1, 2020
For further information regarding detailed eligibility requirements, fellowship benefits, and application requirements click here.
History of the Fulbright Program
A year before the Fulbright Program was made official, Senator J. William Fulbright proposed a bill in the United States Congress suggesting that the residue of war property be used in a manner which allows for “promotion of international goodwill through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.”
The bill received a green signal and was signed by President Harry S. Truman on August 1, 1946, inaugurating the Fulbright Program.
Since its foundation, a total of 325,400 people have participated in the Fulbright program, 202,600 of which belonged from countries other than the U.S.
What does it mean to be a Fulbrighter?
For many international candidates, studying in the U.S. is nothing short of a dream. The Fulbright Scholarship program is a source that recognizes that dream and makes it come true for only the most deserving applicants.
- The Fulbright program strengthens and enhances international understanding while striving to provide solutions to critical global issues.
- Fulbrighters across the globe are active participants in fields such as environmental protection, food security, public health, etc.
- They (Fulbright scholarship holders) are the leaders of today, and a better tomorrow.
- Fulbright alumni have made outstanding achievements, been honored with Nobel prizes, become heads of state, and leaders of scientific innovations.
- Fulbrighters are a testament to the power of international exchange and how lives can be transformed through it.
The Fulbright scholarship is an excellent opportunity for students, researchers, professionals, artists, and teachers across the globe who have had outstanding academic/personal achievements. Applications for various fellowships under the Fulbright program are released annually.