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U.S. Student Fulbright Program, 2020-21

Competition Announcement

Are you interested in pursuing a Fulbright grant for year-long independent research, study, creative pursuits, or an English Teaching Assistantship abroad.

The U.S. Student Fulbright Program 2021-2022 competition opened April 1, 2020, and the campus deadline is September 8, 2020. Note to undergraduate juniors—if you want to go abroad on a Fulbright the year after graduation, this is the time to apply. Seniors and graduate students are also very welcome to apply. The competition is open to U.S. citizens who will have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree completed by spring 2021.

A series of virtual information sessions and workshops, as well as individual advising appointments, will be offered by UGA beginning mid-May.

To be added to the student Fulbright listserv and get more information about upcoming Zoom sessions and advising, students should fill out this form:

Fulbright Listserv, Zoom Sessions and Advising Form

Direct questions to UGA’s Fulbright Program Adviser, Maria de Rocher, at

Visit the U.S. Student Fulbright Program’s Website

Scholarship Information

The U.S. Fulbright Student Program awards around 2,000 grants annually and operates in over 140 countries, with the purpose of facilitating cultural exchange and fostering mutual understanding. Grants provide funding for one academic year. Length and start time varies by country, ranging from 8-12 months during the 2021-2022 academic year. Some countries in the Southern Hemisphere will have a start date in early 2022.

  • Research/Study/Arts Fulbright Grants (also called “Open” Grants) provide funding for individually designed academic, research, or artistic projects. Projects may include independent library or field research, university coursework, classes in an art school or music conservatory, special projects in the social or life sciences, or a combination of these. Guidelines for projects vary by country. Applicants are expected to develop their projects independently and establish in-country contacts, usually with advisers at foreign universities (called affiliations) prior to the application deadline.
  • Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs) place Fulbrights in classrooms in about 65 countries to provide assistance to local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. ETAs may also propose research projects or community engagement activities which complement teaching duties. Some regions have less stringent language requirements for ETAs than for other Fulbrights.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen holding at minimum a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent by the beginning of the grant period.
  • For most countries, you cannot hold a PhD (or EdD) by the time of application. Recent MDs, JDs, and DVMs are eligible.
  • For some countries, you must have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language.


  • Grant benefits for all Fulbright U.S. Student grants include: round-trip transportation to the host country; funding to cover room, board, and incidental costs, based on the cost of living in the host country; and accident and sickness health benefits.
  • In some countries, grants may also include: book and research allowances; mid-term enrichment activities; full or partial tuition; language study programs; pre-departure and in-country orientations.

Application Process

  • Candidates can only apply to one country, unless the region allows multi-country proposals (very few do).
  • Application includes a statement proposing a research project and plan of study (ETA applicants explain their reasons for wanting to serve as teachers); a personal statement; three letters of recommendation; transcripts from all universities attended; and, for some countries, a language proficiency report. Arts applicants also submit samples of their work.
  • For research/creative grants, most host countries require a letter of affiliation from a contact within the host country with whom you propose to work. The affiliation is usually a professor from an academic institution but in some cases it can be with a contact within another appropriate institution, such as nonprofit or archive. It is strongly preferred that the affiliation institution is domestic—not, for example, a campus of a foreign university or an international organization.

Keep in Mind

  • The primary aim of Fulbright is to further mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. Develop a specific plan for engaging with the host community through volunteer or extracurricular activities.
  • Make sure your proposal is feasible within an academic year, given your language facility and research methods, as well as the culture, politics, and resources of the host country.
  • Make clear why you need to go to the proposed country to do your research. If the research could just as easily be accomplished in the U.S., such as at the Library of Congress or a research library, you will not be competitive.
  • Write the proposal so that those outside your field can easily understand your methods and significance of your research.


  • Application available online beginning April 1, 2020.
  • Start early! Candidates should try to meet at least once individually with Maria de Rocher by early summer 2020 to review plans. Allow plenty of time for getting feedback on your essays and numerous revisions. Applications for research/creative grants are particularly time-consuming and should be started as soon as possible. Remember to reach out to your host affiliation and three recommenders early.
  • Applications must be submitted in full online by the campus deadline of Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 11:59pm ET. Campus interviews will be conducted by the campus committee between September 18 to September 29.
  • Final applications are due to the national Fulbright committee by Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 5:00pm ET.


Notification comes in two stages. By February 1, 2021, candidates will be notified as to whether they made the first cut by the national screening committee. Those who make this first cut are recommended to the host country, which makes the final decision. Candidates will receive notification of the final decision between March and May 2021.

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