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Fulbright Scholarship : Eligibility, Benefits & Deadlines

Updated on 08 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Fulbright Scholarship is an endowment program that aims to improve intercultural ​relations and diplomacy between citizens of the United States and other foreign nations. This initiative was launched by American senator J. William Fulbright post-world-war II in 1946.

Graduate students from various streams like agriculture, environment, humanities, business, science, and technology, among others, can actively utilize Fulbright scholarships. Additionally, artists and other professionals, researchers, and postgraduates are also covered under this scheme.

Through this program, people from over 160 countries can receive grants to study or research in the US. Since this Scholarship‘s initiation, it has become one of the most widely recognized academic programs worldwide.

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Fulbright Scholarship for Indian Citizens

The Fulbright Program operates under the Council of International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). But for Indian students, United States-India Education Foundation (USIEF) is the governing body.

Their goal is to help Indian students and professionals to get grants to aid their overall growth. Several Fulbright scholarships and fellowships are categorized based on the purpose of use.

  1. Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships
  2. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship
  3. Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
  4. Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program
  5. Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers
  6. Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program
  7. Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program
  8. Fulbright Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  9. Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships
  10. Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships

1. Fulbright Nehru Scholarships – Highlights

The Fulbright Nehru program is for Indian students and professionals. It is based on strict evaluations done through applications and interviews. The candidate must show up at the USIEF(United States-India Educational Foundation) head office in New Delhi.

If qualified, chosen applicants get complete guidance for the process of Visa approval, health insurance, travel, and other queries. There are several types of Fulbright Nehru Scholarships. Here are these at a glance. 

Fulbright Nehru Master’s Fellowship
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3-year work experience
Tuition fees, living arrangements, and health coverageMay 16, 2022 (for 2023-24 awards)
Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research FellowshipsResearch experienceMonthly stipend and other allowancesJuly 15, 2022
Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
  • PhD or DM degree dated not more than four years ago
  • Publications in journals
Monthly stipend and other allowancesAugust 17, 2022
Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence FellowshipsFive years of relevant experience and a PhD degreeMonthly stipend and other allowancesJuly 15, 2022
Fulbright-Kalam Climate FellowshipGranted at the three levels- Doctoral, Postdoctoral, Academic and Professional ExcellenceMonthly stipend and other allowancesSeptember 15, 2022
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship ProgramProvides a year of professional enrichment in the US for experienced professionals Tuition fee, living allowance and other expenses

2. Fulbright Nehru Master’s Fellowship

This fellowship program is for one to two years. It is reserved for candidates who wish to return to India on the grant’s completion and contribute to the betterment of society.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates should hold a US equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree
  • Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree of four years or a Master’s degree/full-time postgraduate diploma
  • Candidates should have worked for at least three years in their specific field
  • Candidates must have experience in community service and leadership
  • Candidates should not have a degree of education from the US prior to the application
  • Working candidates must get their employer’s endorsement


  • Grants to cover tuition fees and living arrangements
  • Travel grants from home country to the institution location
  • Health coverage as per US guidelines
  • J-1 Visa support

Application Deadline – May 16, 2022 (for 2023-24 awards)

3. Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships

It is applicable for candidates in the pre-doctoral phase of their PhD program from an Indian institution. The program’s duration is about six to nine months. If a candidate holds a letter from a US institution, it should be mentioned beforehand.


  • The candidate should have research experience and be enrolled in a PhD program in India
  • The thesis submission date should be after three months of the grant end date
  • A portion of the writing sample from the research paper should be uploaded while filling out the application form
  • Employed candidates should get an endorsement indicating that they will be granted a leave for the program duration


  • J-1 Visa support
  • Round trip air travel charges
  • Accident and sickness benefits as per US guidelines
  • Monthly stipend
  • Other allowances

Application Deadline – July 15, 2022

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4. Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

This Fellowship is meant for researchers and faculty who have recently begun their research careers. The duration of this program is from eight months to two years.


  • Candidates must possess a PhD or DM degree dated not more than four years ago
  • Publications in journals and proof of professional/academic achievements
  • Candidates should upload the latest publication on the application form
  • Employed candidates should receive endorsement from the administrative authority on the FNPostDoc letter of support from the home institution 


  • J-1 Visa support
  • Health coverage as per US norms
  • Monthly stipend
  • Settling-in allowance
  • Professional allowance
  • Dependent allowance for one member given that the individual stays with the grantee for over 80% of the program duration.

Application Deadline – August 17, 2022

5. Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships

This Fellowship is for professionals, researchers, and faculty who aim to research, teach, or both at any US institution. The duration of this program is four to nine months.


  • Candidates should have five years of relevant experience and a PhD degree
  • Non-academic candidates must have five years of relevant experience in addition to a Master’s degree
  • Candidates should add a file of the latest publications on the application form
  • Employed candidates should show proof of endorsement and be granted leave on the Letter of Support issued by the Home Institution


  • J-1 Visa support
  • Monthly stipend
  • Economy air travel for round trip
  • Accident and sickness coverage as per US guidelines
  • Professional and settling-in allowance
  • For eight or nine-month grants, one dependent allowance and international travel are included. Applicable if the dependent stays with the grantee for more than 80% duration.

Application Deadline – July 15, 2022

6. Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar

This type of Fulbright scholarship is meant for college administrators and educators to get familiar with the US education process.


  • Candidates should be working at an Indian institution in a mid to senior-level position
  • Candidates should have been working in the same field for at least two years
  • Should be responsible for the growth of the international department of their institution
  • Proof of high-level professional/academic achievement


  • J-1 Visa Support
  • Accident and sickness coverage complying with US norms
  • Economy round trip travel
  • Within US travel
  • Lodging and a per diem

Application Deadline – October 14, 2021 (for 2022-23 awards)

How to Apply for a Fulbright Scholarship

Candidates can apply online by filling out the application form for Fulbright scholarships by accessing the official USIEF website. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to apply.

Step 1 – Select the relevant applicant link based on your choice of Fellowship.

Step 2 – Here, you will see two options for existing and new users. Click on ‘Create an Account’ to continue further.

Step 3 – For the registration process, fill in details like First Name, Last Name, email address, and Date of Birth.

Step 4 – After clicking on ‘continue,’ you will receive a PIN code on your registered email address.

Step 5 – Now, pick a password that complies with all the complexity guidelines.

Step 6 – You will see that the screen shows no current applications. To move further, click on ‘Start New Application.’

Step 7 – After verifying the session year, click on ‘Create Application.’

Step 8 – After opening the application, you can see that the Welcome page lists down several guidelines. After reading them, click on the checkbox next to ‘Yes’ and then ‘Continue.’

Step 9 – Read through the Preliminary Questions and Employment Eligibility.

Step 10 – Verify that you have read the sections denoted to Data Privacy and Reference Materials Waiver.

Step 11 – Now, you can fill in the Personal and Biographical information to move forward.

Step 12 – Cover all application form pages, recheck for any mistakes, and save them.

However, do note that for the Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship Programme, you will have to download the application form from the official website. You can send it to humphrey@usief.org.in with the needed attachments.


Essential Documents Needed for a Fulbright Scholarship

Documents required for completion of the Fulbright Scholarship application process are:

  • TOEFL/GRE Score
  • A personal statement defining your goal and achievements
  • Diploma/Degree certificates
  • Scanned transcripts and mark sheets
  • Letter of References from the home institution – Three in number
  • FNDR endorsement form approved by the employer
  • FNDR application annexure
  • Passport
  • Optional – Letter of Invitation from the US-based university

Selection Criteria for Fulbright Scholarship Program

The below-mentioned factors are considered while considering the candidate’s application and interview.

  • Strong communication skills
  • Academic and professional credibility
  • Committed to serving the community and nation
  • Reason for pursuing research in the US
  • The credibility of the Fulbright project in question
  • Capability to continue as a cultural ambassador outside of their field
  • Adaptability to a new culture
  • Motivation, maturity, and leadership skills
  • Benefits and future impact created by the Fulbright Scholarship Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for multiple Fulbright scholarships in 1 year?

No, you can only apply for one Fulbright Scholarship per session.




On what basis are Fulbright scholars selected?

Fulbright scholars are selected purely on merit. The candidate should possess a good command of English, possess good health, and show dedication towards their nation and community service. Additionally, the applicant should meet all guidelines of their chosen program.




How long does the application review generally take?

Application review can take up to three or four months after the deadline. You can access the particular Fellowship’s page on the official USIEF website to check the same.




How long does the Fulbright program last?

A Fulbright scholarship grant can last from two months to two years based on the program you are eligible for.

How to apply for a Fulbright scholarship?

One can apply by filling out the application form for Fulbright scholarships by accessing the official USIEF website if they meet the eligibility criteria.

How to write study objectives for a Fulbright scholarship?

The study objective is an important document that you need to submit with your scholarship application. It concretely identifies your objectives for pursuing the said program and what you aim to take away. Explain how this program aligns with your future objectives.

How to write a personal statement for a Fulbright scholarship?

While the study objective requires one to talk about their specific program and desired takeaways, a personal statement, as the name implies, needs to describe your personality and important undertakings that have shaped you.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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