Grants for (Pre)Doctoral Research

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 at an accredited U.S. 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.

Intended programs
  • Doctoral Research (before or as part of ongoing PhD)
  • Research-focused graduate program
Application period
  • September 15 till December 1 (at noon CET)
Important
  • Review eligibility requirements below and include all required documents in your online application.

Benefits
  • Scholarship of up to 2000 euro per month (USD equivalent)
  • J-1 visa sponsorship
  • Pre-Departure Orientation in Belgium or at local Fulbright Commission
  • Travel stipend of 2000 euro (USD equivalent)
  • Sickness and accident benefits
  • In-country programming (e.g. Gateway Orientations, Enrichment Seminars)
  • Prestigious title and access to alumni network
Eligibility
  • Citizenship in an EU Member State
  • Proficiency in English
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Academic/professional experience of 3+ months in two or more EU Member States recommended
  • Academic excellence or outstanding personal or professional background

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.

Required documents
  • Americanized CV
  • Study/Research Objectives Essay
  • Personal Statement Essay
  • Diploma of most recent degree including transcripts with completed coursework (certified translation in English unless the original documents are in Dutch, French or German)
  • Writing sample (for doctoral students only)
  • Three letters of recommendation (uploaded directly into online application by chosen recommenders)
  • Letter of affiliation or admission from a U.S. host institution. This letter should contain the institution’s letterhead, mention the exact dates (or academic term), the objective of your stay as well as any facilities you will have access to during your grant . Student researchers are encouraged to submit their affiliation letter by the application deadline, if possible.

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

Every applicant needs to complete an online application in English 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.

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.