Established by the United States Congress in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through the exchange of people, knowledge, and skills. It is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
The Fulbright Program awarded approximately 6,000 grants in 2010, totaling more than $322.3 million, to U.S. students, teachers, professionals, and scholars to study, teach, lecture, and conduct research in more than 155 countries, and to their foreign counterparts to engage in similar activities in the United States.
The program is funded primarily through an annual appropriation from Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions also contribute through cost-sharing and indirect support, (e.g., through salary supplements, tuition waivers, and university housing). Most grants require a commitment of one academic year, although in some cases advanced doctoral candidates and candidates in the creative and performing arts may submit requests for grants of not less than six months. Applications are considered from candidates in all fields.
The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies, for periods of six to 12 months. The program aims to deepen research knowledge on and help the nation develop capability in areas of the world not generally included in U.S. curricula. Projects focusing on Western Europe are not supported.
All applicants must:
- Be U.S. citizens at the time of application.
- Hold a B.A. degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant and/or be a master’s or doctoral degree candidate. In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional study and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement.
- Be in good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Certificate of Health from a physician.
- Have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study.