The U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program 2020-2021 provides approximately 470 research, teaching or mixed research/teaching awards in around 125 countries across the world.
Fully funded U.S. Fullbright scholarship opportunities are available for college/university faculty/administration including professionals, scientists, lawyers, journalists, artists, independent scholars, deserving talented students etcetera.
Fulbright is an international educational student/faculty exchange program offered by the U.S. Department of State Bureau. The Fullbright Scholarship program is sponsored by the government of the U.S. and aims at increasing understanding between the U.S. residents and the individuals of various other countries.
The Fulbright Ship Program was introduced under legislation put forward by the Senator of Arkansas, J. William Fulbright, in the year 1946.
The Fulbright Scholarship Program grants roughly 8,000 awards yearly. Approximately, 900 visiting scholars, 1200 U.S. scholars, 1600 U.S. students, and 4,000 foreign students receive awards. In addition, several hundred U.S. and international teachers and professionals receive Fulbright awards.
Since the establishment of the Fulbright Scholarship Program in the year 1946, around 370,000 ‘Fulbrighters’ have participated and received the Fulbright awards.
2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program Coverage & Benefits
- Benefits of the Fullbright scholar program vary by the type of award/grant
- Benefits of the Fullbright grants/awards vary by country
- Usually, the Fullbright scholarship program covers the expenses of travel/residence
We recommend checking the description of the Fullbright scholar’s program in the list of awards/grants or get in touch with the program officials who’re responsible for the specific type of grant/award you’re interested in.
2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program Policy
- The Fulbright Program is known to be governed by the procedures and policies put forward by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) is a 12-membered board that is appointed by the President of the U.S.
- The Fulbright scholarship programs are available to individuals without any discrimination of color, race, national origin, age, gender, religion, disability, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, sexual orientation etcetera.
2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program Eligibility Criteria
Applicants of the Fulbright Scholar Program are generally required to fulfill each and every criterion of eligibility around the time of application submission for the Fullbright Scholars Program, unless and until particular exemptions are applied.
- U.S. citizenship is not enough. In case, you don’t own U.S. citizenship, and you want to apply for an international U.S Fullbright Scholars Program, you’re required to visit the visiting Fulbright Scholar Program.
- If you’ve already received a Fulbright Scholarship program, then you’re required to wait two years after the completion of your previous award/grant before applying for another Fulbright scholarship.
- Fulbright scholarship program applicants who have lived abroad for a period of five or more successive years in a period of six years prior to the date of application submission are not eligible.
- Fresh college/university graduates with limited working experience are considered ineligible for a Fulbright award/grant. Such applicants are encouraged to visit Fulbright Student Program.
- Graduate students or Ph.D. students who’re looking for funds to complete their degree are considered ineligible for a Fulbright award/grant. Such students should visit Fulbright Student Program.
- Fulbright Scholarship program selected candidates are required to showcase sound physical/mental health via health certificate. Therefore, such applicants are required to present a complete record of their Medical History or health Examination Report.
- Fulbright Scholarship program candidate shall not permit any type of missionary, pastoral or professional religious pursuits.
- Fulbright scholarship program applicants shall not permit activities for which a legal license is required such as a nursing or medicine practice license.
- Fulbright Scholarship program applicants are required to showcase any previous convictions of a misdemeanor or a felony, including Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI), except minor traffic/driving violations. After the submission of application, candidates are required to notify (in writing) IEE in case, they’re indicted for, arrested for, charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Employees of the U.S Department of State, Public or Private Organizations, or their families (such as a spouse or a dependent child) are ineligible to apply for a Fulbright scholar program unless and until the termination of such employment after a year.
- Applicants who have previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces will be preferred, given that their qualification is approximately equal to that of other applicants.
2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program-specific Requirements
- Degree Requirements: Fulbright Scholarship program candidate must read the descriptions available on websites of universities where a specific Ph.D. degree or equivalent professional degree such as a Master’s degree is required.
- Early Career & Post-doctoral Candidates: Such candidates are required to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship program only if they’ll be able to complete the requirements of their degree by the 1 of February. If not, they’re required to address the expected date of the completion of their degree.
- Teaching Experience: All relevant Fulbright Scholarship programs are available at the post-secondary level; however, they may vary by discipline requirements or experience.
- Language Requirements: Usually, English is considered sufficient for the purpose of teaching. However, command over foreign languages may be required depending upon the type of country, grant or the nature of the project such as research or teaching activities.
U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program Online Application Process 2020-2021
The online applications for the 2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program must be completed and submitted before the deadline
It is also recommended that the applicants of the Fulbright scholarship program must go through the particular award descriptions and eligibility criteria thoroughly since only eligible, complete applications will be put forward for the purpose of consideration.
Furthermore, Application Instructions for the Fulbright scholarship program and Disciplines & Specializations List for the 2020-21 program will be available soon.
2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Program Requirements for all candidates
- Fulbright Scholarship Program Online Application
- Project Statement: Requirements
- Resume or Tailored Curriculum Vitae: Requirements
- Letters of recommendation: Requirements
- Portfolio (In case of applicants looking forward towards in Arts, Architecture, Writing, Music, Dance, Film-making, Theater Arts, Journalism, Crafts, Visual Arts, etc.): Requirements
See award description in order to learn whether the following documents are required for your application:
- Invitation Letter: Check section Invitations and Developing Contacts
- Language Criteria: Check section Language Instructions
2021 Fulbright Scholarship Program Timeline for application and result announcement
In the conduction of peer reviews of applications for the Fulbright Program, CIES/IIE follows the policies or procedures put forward by the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board.
The selection and non-selection policy stipulate, “It is the policy of the Board not to give to individual applicants, to others inquiring on their behalf, or to the public generally, the specific reasons for selection or non-selection of applicants for U.S. Fulbright Scholar awards under the program.” (Policy Statements of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Sec. 145)
The timeline for the start of applications for U.S. Fulbright Scholarship program 2020-2021 and the result announcement timeline is available here:
- February: Competition for the program opens.
- September: CIES/IIE reviews program applications for completeness and eligibility. In case of a missing application component, applicants are immediately notified to provide additional documents. Completed applications are forwarded for peer review.
- October-November: Peer Review Committees review applications by discipline and determine if or not applications are eligible for consideration in the particular host country.
- December: Candidates are informed by e-mail if or not their application has been considered for further recommendation. In case, you’ve changed your e-mail address after application submission, let CIES/IEE know your current e-mail address.
- December-May: Binational Fulbright Commissions or U.S. Public Affairs Section review applications and pick applicants for selection.
- January-June: All recommended applicants are put forward to the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board for further evaluation. CIES/IIE informs applicants by e-mail if or not they’ve been selected to receive a Fulbright grant/award.
- June onwards: Details of the grant/award are finalized. An orientation ceremony may also be organized for candidates selected to receive an award/grant.
2021 Fulbright Scholarship Program FAQS
Where can I get U.S. Fulbright application form for the program?
Applicants can create an account here for the Fulbright Scholarship online application. You’re required to read all the U.S. Fulbright application requirements/guidelines available on their official website.
Am I required to learn a foreign language for the Fulbright Scholarship Program?
Most of the Fulbright Scholarship programs require command over the English Language, with exception to Africa or Latin America. However, in case you’re applying for a teaching or a research grant/award, your language proficiency must meet the given project description.
Is an invitation letter necessary to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship Program?
The preference for an invitation letter may vary from one country to another or depending upon the type of Fulbright program; however, we’ve clearly mentioned the requirement for an invitation letter in every program description. In case of any questions, feel free to contact our program officer.
How do I get an invitation letter for the Fulbright Scholarship program?
In order to get an invitation letter for Fulbright program, determine a suitable faculty member for a particular field or discipline, and write him/her a complete description of who you are (you may attach a resume) and what you intend to do while you’re in that specific country. By this, you will be able to get an acceptance letter to apply for the Fulbright Scholarships program.
Are there any summer Fulbright programs?
The time period of a Fulbright scholarship program usually follows the academic calendar, so, provided that universities conduct a session from May to September, you may get an award/grant in the summer season.
Am I allowed to take my family with me?
This totally depends upon the host country and the type of Fulbright Scholar program you’ve received. You’re required to check program description and country requirements for that particular award. However, there aren’t any additional financial/economic benefits awarded.
Is it possible for me to apply to more than a country for Fulbright?
You can apply to more than one country only via the Global scholar award or Multi-country Fulbright Awards. You’re required to check the Awards Catalog for further details.
How can I submit a successful application of the Fulbright Scholarship Program?
There are no specific “rules” or “formulas” as to how to make Fulbright Scholarship program application successful, since what may be successful for you, may not be for others.
However, make sure that your application is complete, fulfill the required eligibility criteria, state who you are and how you’ll spend the grant. You may also contact your Program Officer to determine what makes an application stand out.
Who should write my letter of reference for the Fulbright Scholarship Program application?
It is better to have your letter of recommendation written by someone with a known reputation; however, he or she must be someone who knows you, your work and your character.
In case of a teaching award, the letter may also be written by your head of school or dean. Furthermore, we suggest that you submit multiple letters in order to showcase your contacts.
Can I apply for a Fulbright Scholarship if I’m a retired professional?
Yes. We welcome retired professionals, researchers, or scholars from all over the world. However, you must state in your Fulbright Scholarship program application about your retirement and if you get selected then how this program will benefit you, your host country, and the U.S.