As part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Fulbright Schuman awards scholarships to European citizens to study or conduct research in any academic field at an accredited U.S. institution for a period between four months and one academic year (9 months). Applicants must present a letter of affiliation from an accredited university or non-profit research institution and demonstrate in their Study/Research Objectives Essay that their proposed program/research is relevant to U.S.-EU relations, EU policy, or the EU institutions and to at least two EU Member States.
Doctoral Research (before or as part of ongoing PhD)
Research-focused graduate program
September 15 till December 1 (at noon CET)
Review eligibility requirements below and include all required documents in your online application.
Factors that may make an applicant ineligible for the Fulbright Schuman Program include: current employment/traineeship at the European Commission, strong professional ties to European institutions, current or former residence in the United States, and lack of experience outside of home country. No candidate may receive Fulbright Schuman funding in concurrence with other EC funding (e.g. Marie Curie) for the same activity.
All these documents must be included in your application by December 1 with exception of the affiliation letter. Please note that we do NOT require supplemental forms such as a letter from your home institution or official test results (e.g. TOEFL). You may include test results in the appropriate application fields if you so desire.
HOW TO APPLY
The application period to apply for this grant is between September 15 and December 1 for applicants who intend to start their program in the next academic year.
E.g. if you intend to start a program in the academic year of 2021-2022, you will need to apply for a grant between September 15 and December 1, 2020.
Every applicant needs to complete an online application by noon (Central European Time) on December 1 including the required documents. No papers should be mailed to our office and it is not required for applicants to contact us before starting their application. Incomplete applications will not be considered for an award. When creating an online account to start a new application, preferably use a personal email address instead of a temporary work or school address.
When filling out the initial fields of the online application in the ‘Preliminary Questions’ section, applicants MUST select ‘European Union (Schuman)’ as the Program Country. This indicates that you are applying for a Fulbright Schuman award and ensures that your application is sent to our office and not to a different Fulbright Commission. We strongly encourage you to send us an email after submitting your application to make sure that our office has received your application for the Fulbright Schuman Program.
There are no requirements for particular fields of study, however, the proposed research project must be relevant to Europe, the European Union, and/or US-EU relations. The program has funded research projects in political science, law, and economics but also in linguistics, social sciences, public health, arts, etc. Are you curious about what others have done? Take a look at what previous grantees have studied or read about their experiences.
Candidates are responsible for applying and securing letters of affiliation or admission on their own. Preference will be given to candidates with two years of relevant professional or academic experience beyond the bachelor’s degree. EU professionals and professionals in training (e.g., decision-makers, policy-makers, individuals in industry, media, politics, academia, and public administration) are encouraged to apply. The most competitive applicants to receive a Fulbright award demonstrate ambassadorial qualities and a genuine interest in cultural exchange and diplomacy. It is important to articulate a clear, creative and feasible plan for your time in the United States and to explain why right now is the perfect timing to pursue this plan and how this grant will ultimately help you achieve your personal and professional goals in the future. We are also looking for candidates who will have a multiplier effect within their U.S. and European communities and who wish to ultimately return to the European Union to share their newfound knowledge and experience after their grant has ended.
Online application opens
Deadline to submit online application (by noon CET)
Top-ranked applicants receive invitation for Skype interview
Successful applicants notified of selection
Successful applicants notified of official approval by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
Start of document collection process for J-1 visa
I am an EU citizen living abroad. Can I apply?
As an EU citizen, you may apply for a Fulbright Award if you are living in any country except the United States. If you are resident in the United States, a dual U.S. citizen, or hold a Green Card at the time of application, you are ineligible to apply.
I do not have EU citizenship, but am currently living/studying/working there. Am I eligible to apply for the Fulbright Program?
No. Eligibility for the Fulbright Program is based on nationality, not residence.
I am a British citizen. Am I eligible to apply for the Fulbright Schuman Program?
Starting from the competition for 2021-2022, British citizens are no longer eligible for the Fulbright Schuman Program since the United Kingdom officially left the Europeon Union as of January 2020.
I am an EU citizen currently pursuing my studies in the United States. Am I eligible to apply for the Fulbright Program?
Candidates already in the United States at the time of application and those who have resided in the U.S. for five or more years in the six-year period preceding the date of application are ineligible to apply. Moreover, please note that preference will be given to those who have not had substantial recent experience in the U.S. with “substantial recent experience” being study, research or employment for a period of aggregating more than an academic year (9 months) during the past five years.
I intend to pursue a medical residency or clinical medical research or training in the U.S.? Can I apply?
The Fulbright Program will not fund applicants seeking to enroll in a medical degree program nor does it offer grants to those who wish to conduct clinical medical research or training involving patient care and/or contact. (both human and animal)
Am I responsible for arranging my own affiliation/acceptance to my host institution?
Yes. Applying to a host institution in the United States is a separate, simultaneous process. Please note that if you have chosen a university as your host institution, its accreditation should be recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education. Non-typical host institutions for researchers need to have non-profit status and can be research institutions or facilities, think tanks, museums, libraries or post-secondary accredited educational institutions.
As a participant in the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, will I be subject to the two-year home requirement after my grant?
Yes. All Fulbright grantees must travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa, which requires them to return to their country of permanent legal residency for at least two years at some point after their grant before they are allowed to return to the U.S. to live or work permanently on an H, L, K or LPR visa. More information about the two-year rule can be found here, and a list of documents that fulfill the proof of legal residency requirement for each EU country can be found here.
What is the difference between the Study/Research Objectives essay and the Personal Statement?
The Study/Research Objectives essay should provide a clear and detailed description of your study/research objectives, and your reasons for wanting to pursue them. Be specific about your major field and your specialized interests within this field, but remember that your application will likely be read by a variety of people, including some who are not experts in your field. Describe the kind of program you expect to undertake, and explain how your study plan fits in with your previous training and your future objectives. The Personal Statement is a narrative statement describing how you have achieved your current goals; it should include information about education, practical experience, special interests, and career plans. You can also use the Personal Statement to describe any significant factors that have influenced your educational or professional development and explain your existing practical experience. You must demonstrate in your essays that your proposed research is relevant to U.S.-EU relations, EU policy, or the EU institutions and that your application is relevant to at least two EU Member States. Each essay should ‘ideally’ be no more than one page.
When do I need to provide proof of affiliation/acceptance to a U.S. university in my application?
Students can provide their letter of affiliation as late as May. Scholars must upload invitation letters from their host institutions by the December 1 deadline. An example of a letter of affiliation for research applicants can be found here.
The online application has asked me to do something different to the application instructions on the website. What should I do?
The online application system is used by Fulbright Programs around the world, and application procedures differ greatly from country to country. You must follow the guidelines presented by the Fulbright Commission in Brussels.
Does the Fulbright Commission in Brussels require me to contact them before beginning the application?
We do NOT require applicants to contact us before beginning the application. Please begin your application without contacting us.
Does the Fulbright Commission in Brussels require supplemental forms?
We do NOT require supplemental forms such as a letter from your home institution or official test results (e.g., TOEFL). The required documents that need to be included in your application can be viewed above.
Can I mail physical documents to the Fulbright Commission?
No. The application is completed entirely online.
I submitted an application but never heard from the Fulbright Commission. What happened?
If you have not received any communication from the Fulbright Commission by late January, it is very likely that we did not receive your application. Usually, this is because you did not select “European Union” as the Program Country when initially filling out your application and, as a result, your application was sent to another Fulbright Program office.
What happens if I am offered a Fulbright Award, but not a place at university?
If you are not accepted to a U.S. university, the offer of a Fulbright Award will be withdrawn.
Can I apply to more than one Fulbright Program?
No. Applicants are only allowed to apply for one Fulbright grant per year. Applicants may therefore not simultaneously submit applications for a Fulbright-Schuman award and a Fulbright award administered by their local commission.
Does the Fulbright Commission cover the cost of tuition/fees at my host institution?
No. The Fulbright Commission provides a scholarship (including a travel stipend) and other benefits, as detailed above. However, no additional funds are available for tuition/fees at the host institution.
Does the Fulbright Commission provide additional support for dependents?
No. Although grantees may choose to bring their spouse and/or young children with them on a J-2 visa which can be sponsored by the Fulbright Commission, we do not provide additional financial support for grantees with dependents
Is the amount of the awarded grant calculated based on location in the U.S.?
No. The Fulbright Commission offers standardized monthly stipends regardless of the candidate’s residence in the U.S. Please note that study and living costs vary in the U.S.