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Fully Funded Scholarships for Indian Students

Updated on 18 March, 2024

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Higher education abroad can get very costly, and the search for fellowships and fully-funded scholarships for Indian students can be exhausting. But one scholarship that is quite prestigious and that one can avail of is the Fulbright-Nehru fellowship that started in 1950. 

Additionally, the USIEF has meted out around 21,000 grants ever since it was founded, and it is an excellent opportunity to attain your academic dreams.

Fully-funded scholarships for Indian students

Two of the best fully funded scholarships for Indian students to study abroad include:

1. Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships 

2. Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships

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Country for eligibility

The Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships are meant for Indian students to pursue a master’s or a doctoral program in the USA. Not all universities fall under its aegis, so you must keep that in mind.

Level of scholarship

The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship is awarded to students who seek to pursue a postgraduate degree. To be eligible you need to have completed an undergraduate degree.

On the other hand, for the Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowships, you must have completed your postgraduate program to apply. 

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Fulbright Nehru Fellowship tenure/duration

The approximate tenure for these fully funded scholarships for Indian students is:

1. The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship: one to two years

2. The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship: six to nine months

Fulbright Nehru Fellowship– Fields of study

1. The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship

a) Arts and Culture Management including Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies

b) Economics

c) Environmental Science/Studies

d) Higher Education Administration

e) International Affairs

f) International Legal Studies

g) Journalism and Mass Communication

h) Public Administration

i) Public Health

j) Urban and Regional Planning

k) Women’s Studies/Gender Studies 

2. The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship

a) Agricultural Sciences

b) Anthropology

c) Bioengineering

d) Chemistry

e) Computer Science

f) Economics

g) Education Policy and Planning

h) Energy Studies

i) Geography

j) History

k) Language and Literature

l) Women’s and Gender Studies

Number of scholarships available

Every year, around 850 non-US citizens worldwide are granted Fulbright Scholar awards, which include the above-mentioned fellowships. These awards are given out to individuals from over 100 countries. Faculty and professionals are awarded as well.

This means that you have a good chance of receiving these fully-funded scholarships for Indian students to study abroad.

Application duration

1. Notification

The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship

The important dates that must be followed for application to such fellowships are as follows:

a) End June 2022: You will receive the news about the shortlisted candidates

b) End August 2022: Interviews

The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship

Late September: You will receive the news about the shortlisted candidates

Early October: Interviews

2. Application deadlines

Application deadlines are not to be missed out by the aspiring candidates. The fellowship deadlines for master’s and the doctoral programmes are listed below:

a) The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship: May 16, 2022

b) The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship: July 15, 2022

Mode of application

To apply for these fully-funded scholarships, you must take the same steps for both fellowships. The mode of application is online. Hence, all you have to do is apply here.

Eligibility criteria and additional requirements

To receive these scholarships to study abroad, you need to meet the following requirements:

1. The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship

a) Complete the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a reputed university

b) The minimum percentage needed by you to get considered for this fellowship is 55%.

c) You can either have a four-year bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree

d) A full-time postgraduate diploma is also recognized

e) Possess three years’ worth of full-time paid work in the proposed field of study

f) Should have leadership skills 

g) Must demonstrate community service

h) Cannot have another university degree from the USA already

2. The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship

a) Should have relevant research experience

b) Applicant should be registered as a PhD student before November 1, 2021, for the 2022-23 intake

c) One of the letters of recommendation must be from the PhD supervisor

d) The PhD thesis date should be at a minimum of 3 months after the end of the scholarship program

e) You must upload a copy of all your published papers or extracts from Master’s/M. Phil thesis (not more than 20 pages)

Apart from the above-listed requirements, you should meet the following criteria:

1. must be a responsible Indian citizen who can contribute to a full and fair picture of the culture and civilization of India, and thereby help to promote understanding and friendship between the peoples of the United States of America and India; 

2. He or she must not be residing in the U.S. during the recruitment and placement cycle (February 2022-July 2023);

3. Indian citizens with active permanent resident

4. status of foreign countries are not eligible to apply

5. possess a high level of academic/professional achievement;

6. display English language proficiency to undertake the proposed program and adjust to life in the U.S.

7. must inform USIEF well in advance in case of travel abroad during the application cycle

8. must be eligible for leave if employed;

9. possess good health;

10. Must not possess permanent residence (green card) in the United States

12. Provide the undertaking to return to India on the completion of the fellowship.

Value of scholarships

Both the fellowships are quite prestigious and provide the following aid to the scholar:

1. J-1 visa support

2. Round-trip economy class air travel fare

3. Fully funded tuition fees

4. Living costs

5. Accident and sickness coverage 

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Selection process

To receive these fully-funded scholarships, you must know the selection process. Here’s all you need to know:

1. Experts in the field will review your application

2. You will need to appear for an interview if selected, with the USIEF National Selection Committee

3. They will judge your academic credentials and professional ability

4. The merit of the proposed Fulbright project will be assessed

5. The panel will evaluate communication skills

6. Your commitment to community or national service will also play a role

7. You will need to conduct research in the United States

8. Qualities such as motivation, purpose, maturity, leadership, and cultural adaptability will be taken into consideration 

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Requirements for continuing the Fulbright Nehru Fellowship

In terms of the Fulbright-Nehru Master’s fellowships, you need to be part of the pre-doctoral level research. You will not be able to continue the fellowship otherwise.

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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