Grants for Innovation

Grants for Innovation

As part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program or Visiting Scholar Program, the Innovation Grants are designed to support work that can create better transatlantic understanding of issues at the heart of the US-EU relationship, particularly at the intersection of policy and technology. This award will give preference to proposals focused on EU or US-EU approaches to innovative technologies and business models and their integration with new and existing policies and regulations. Successful proposals should address research topics focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and policy, such as but not limited to data privacy and protection. The research funded by this grant should be of common importance for the US-EU relationship and/or EU affairs and tenable in any one or two EU Member States. Candidates are responsible for arranging their own affiliation at a U.S. university or non-profit research institution.

It is not required for candidates to have developed a new technology; the purpose of the grant is for candidates to explore the nexus of policy and technology. How can the U.S. and EU work together to adapt to the challenges and opportunities created by new technologies? There is no template for the ideal candidate; it is up to each applicant to demonstrate their expertise and the relevance of their work to this grant opportunity through their application.


Research with a focus on innovation


September 15 till December 1 (at noon CET)


Review eligibility requirements below and include all required documents in your online application.


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 2022-2023, you will need to apply for a grant between September 15 and December 1, 2021. 

Applicants need to follow the same process as when applying for either a (pre)Doctoral (students) or Post-Doctoral Research (scholars) grant. Please follow the instructions via the links on the right side. In the ‘Country Information’ section of the application you can specify that you are applying for the Innovation Award.

Please note that proposals which fit the description of the Innovation Grants will automatically be considered during the application cycle, thus no separate application is necessary. 


September 15

Online application opens

December 1

Deadline to submit online application (by noon CET)

Late January

Top-ranked applicants receive invitation for Skype interview

Late February

Successful applicants notified of selection

Late March

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.

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 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.

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.

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 of the home institution, the signature form, 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. 

The Fulbright Schuman Program, administered by the Fulbright Commission in Belgium and jointly financed by the U.S. State Department and the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission awards grants to European citizens to conduct research in the United States and to American citizens to conduct research in the European Union.