Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 am a Belgian or Luxembourgish citizen. Can I apply for the Fulbright Schuman Program?

Yes. The Fulbright Schuman Program is open to all EU citizens. If your research proposal does not focus on EU-U.S. relations, we recommend checking the national Fulbright awards for Belgian and Luxembourgish citizens.

When do I need to apply for a Fulbright grant?

Applicants can apply for a Fulbright award between September 15 and December 1 with the intention to carry out a program in the next academic year. All departures must take place between August and March of the academic year you are applying for.

I intend to pursue a medical residency or clinical medical research or training in the U.S.? Can I apply?

No. 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).

When is the deadline to submit an application?

Every applicant needs to complete an online application by December 1 at 12 PM (Central European Time) including the required documents. Incomplete applications will not be considered for an award.

Is the entire application in English?

Yes. The online application needs to be completed in English including the required documents. Exceptionally, you may include transcripts and the diploma of your most recent degree in either Dutch, French or German, however, it is recommended to submit an English version of these documents. Any documents in other languages should be submitted along with a certified English translation.

The online application has asked me to do something different from 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. If you have questions about your eligibility, you can send us an email.

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 on the grant page.

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. This typically happens when you have not selected “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.

How do I add the required letters of recommendation to my application?

Letters of recommendation need to be submitted online by your chosen recommenders. In the online application, you will find a section called ‘Recommendations’ where you can register your chosen recommenders. Once registered they will receive an automatic email with the request to upload their letter of recommendation which we will be added to your application. After registering, you are able to track the status of these letters and send reminders. These letters need to be submitted in your application by the December 1 deadline.

Can I submit more than three letters of recommendation?

Although it is technically possible to register more than three recommenders in the online application, only three letters will be taken into consideration.

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. Atypical 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.

When do I need to provide proof of affiliation/acceptance to a U.S. host institution in my application?

Student applicants (Foreign Student Program) are encouraged to submit an affiliation/admission letter by December 1 when possible. Scholar applicants (Visiting Scholar Program) are required to include an affiliation letter in their application by the December 1 deadline.

It is recommended to have academic or professional experience of 3+ months in two or more EU Member States. How can I fulfill this requirement?

Examples that meet this requirement include spending a semester abroad for research, interning or working in another member state, or pursuing a full-time degree in another country for at least 3 months continuously and per country.

As a participant in the Fulbright Program, will I be subject to the two-year home requirement after my grant?

Yes. All Fulbrighters are J-1 Exchange Visitors subject to a two-year home residency requirement also known as the foreign residence requirement under U.S. law, Immigration and Nationality Act, section 212(e). A two-year pe­riod of home residency is required before you may apply for a non-immigrant (e.g. H, L) visa as a temporary worker or for permanent residency in the United States. This requirement does not prevent you from reentry into the United States within the two-year period to attend conferences, tourism, or further study.

What is the difference between the Study/Research Objectives essay and the Personal Statement (students only)?

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. We generally recommend limiting each essay to one or two pages.

What is an Americanized resume?

While many examples of an ‘American’ style resume can be found online, there are some general guidelines that are different from a typical ‘European’ style resume. An American resume begins with your name and contact information (address, phone number, email address) at the top of the page. Most resumes will include sections about the applicant’s education, work experience and skills. Do not include personal information such as a photo, date/place of birth, nationality, or marital status. In most cases, it is recommended to have a resume or CV that is no longer than one or two pages, however, we understand that this can be more challenging in an academic context.

I have not yet completed my Ph.D. program. Can I apply for a Post-Doctoral Research grant?

In order to be eligible for this grant, a Ph.D. degree is required. If you will have your Ph.D. degree in hand before or by the time of departure to the U.S., you are eligible to apply as a scholar.

Do I need to apply in the student or scholar category as a researcher?

If you are currently a doctoral student who will only graduate after the intended research stay in the U.S., you need to apply in the student category. If you have already completed your Ph.D. degree or will complete your Ph.D. before or by the intended time of departure to the U.S., you will need to apply in the scholar category. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about your specific situation.

Can I be affiliated with multiple host institutions during my stay in the U.S.?

The majority of applicants only seek affiliation at one host institution for their entire program. It may be possible to have a dual affiliation under exceptional circumstances, however, this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and approval is not guaranteed.

What is a writing sample?

A writing sample is only required for doctoral students and can be a research essay, paper, or article that you have written during your studies. There is no preferred length for this document and most applicants submit an article or an abstract of a paper they have written related to their conducted research.

My doctoral program did not include coursework. Which transcripts do I need to provide?

If you did not complete any coursework during your Ph.D. program, you can alternatively submit transcripts from an earlier program (e.g. master’s degree).

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.

Does the Fulbright Commission cover the cost of tuition or other fees at my host institution?

No. The Fulbright Commission provides a scholarship (including a travel stipend) and other in-kind benefits directly to the selected grantee.

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.