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Fulbright Scholarship India: Procedure, Eligibility & Highlights 2023

fulbright scholarship

Scholarships, grants or academic awards are an empowering way to help students attain higher education. It helps cover the cost of tuition by allotting a set amount based on the student’s merit, academic performance, leadership qualities, community services and financial background. Fulbright Scholarships, a part of a Cultural Exchange Programme in the United States, work similarly. They aim to strengthen intercultural relations between countries while encouraging students to continue their education by aiding their financial costs. We have put together the types of scholarships under this programme, their eligibility, deadlines and other details in this guide. Continue reading to learn more!

What Is The Fulbright Scholarship?

Started in 1946, the Fulbright Programme is an initiative of the US government to provide an opportunity for graduate students, professionals and striving artists from various countries across the globe to continue their studies in the United States. Approximately 8,000 grants are offered to American citizens and international students annually. Since the beginning, over 3,70,000 students, research associates, teachers and professionals have benefited through the Fulbright Programme. As a collaborative effort, the Indian government has established independent Fulbright Commissions to manage the programme better.

List Of Fulbright Scholarships

Indian students are eligible for several scholarships under this programme. A list of the most beneficial ones is given below.

  • Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship – This scholarship is granted to students pursuing a master’s in the United States for a maximum of 2 years. The candidate’s leadership qualities and academic record are considered.
  • Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships – Specifically designed for students of pre-doctoral research programmes, this scholarship extends to students an opportunity to affiliate with some of the best American universities for a fellowship of 6 – 9 months.
  • Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships – Working professionals, professors or scholars who aspire to teach and research in the universities in the US are eligible for this scholarship for 4 – 9 months.
  • Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships – This Fulbright Scholarship aims to enhance the research capacities of researchers in India and is offered for 8 to 24 months.
  • Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar – A two-week seminar is sponsored by the organising body to help students learn more about their fields.
  • Fulbright Kalam Climate Fellowship – Initiated by the United States Indian Educational Foundation, this award aims to identify students involved in researching resources in India. A few scholarships under this are offered to students from other countries as well.
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program – It aims to provide professionals with the opportunity to pursue non-degree graduate studies. 


A range of programmes under the Fulbright Scholarship are offered to both American and international scholars. Under the Indian government, deserving graduates are selected to pursue their education and research in the US. A list of some of the common eligibility criteria for Indian aspirants is given below. However, students must note that individual programmes under the scholarship may differ in their requirements. 

  • Four-year undergraduate degree or full-time master’s degree.
  • A minimum of 55% of grades in the undergraduate degree are acquired from a recognised or accredited university.
  • Three years of work experience in the same field.
  • Leadership qualities and community service.
  • The candidate must not be enrolled in any university in the United States previously.

What Are The Eligible Fields For The Grant?

The Fulbright programme covers a wide range of fields under it for Indian students. A list of these fields is as follows –

  • Arts and Culture Management
  • Women’s Studies/Gender Studies
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Public Health
  • Energy Studies
  • Neurosciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Materials Science (Environmental Applications)
  • Sociology
  • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Physical Sciences
  • Bioengineering
  • History
  • International Law
  • International Security and Strategic Studies
  • Climate Change Sciences
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Economics
  • Education Policy and Planning
  • Public Policy

How To Apply? 

The application process for each scholarship differs since it aims to benefit various categories of students, teachers, professionals and scholars. Students must evaluate the application process for the most suitable scholarships and apply accordingly before the deadline. However, a few tips to keep in mind while applying are compiled below –

  • Submit your application online.
  • Carefully evaluate the application’s instructions to avoid discrepancies during your scholarship process.
  • Refer to the official documents checklist provided by the government to compile documents.
  • Additional documents, like the Applicant Annexure and the Employer’s Endorsement Form, may be required for specific scholarships. Thus, students are advised to begin the process as soon as possible.

Application Timeline

Following the timeline and given deadlines is extremely crucial when it comes to grants, scholarships or awards. The deadlines for the academic session 2024 – 25 for some of the most beneficial scholarships under the Fulbright programme are compiled in the table below. Preceding this, the steps of the application are elaborated. However, applicants are advised not to wait until the last minute and complete their application as soon as possible since it will give them time to deal with any discrepancies that may arise. 

  1. Submission of application
  2. Application review
  3. Short-listing done by domain-specific experts
  4. National interviews
  5. Recommended nominees will be notified by USIEF.
  6. Tests – GRE/TOEFL
  7. Finalists will be notified by USIEF.
  8. Academic training (may not be mandatory for all)
  9. Commencement of degree
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship17 May 2023
Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships17 July 2023
Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships17 July 2023
Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships17 July 2023
Fulbright Kalam Climate Fellowship17 July 2023
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program10 August 2023
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program15 June 2023

What Are Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships?

The Fulbright Nehru Master’s Fellowships, under the Fulbright Scholarships, are granted to selected Indian students who wish to pursue their master’s degree in the United States. The eligibility is the same as the one mentioned in the previous sections for any Fulbright programme. The students who fulfil the eligibility criteria are given the opportunity to study at one of the selected US universities and colleges. It covers a majority of the previously mentioned domains as areas of study. The Fulbright Nehru Scholarships are awarded for a duration of one to two years.


  • J-1 visa
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Tuition fees
  • Cost of living 
  • Study-related costs
  • Health insurance/accident coverage according to the US government guidelines

However, students must note that, at times, the programme may not cover the complete cost of tuition and living. Additionally, any dependents are not supported by this programme.

What Are Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships?

The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships are designed for students pursuing their PhD at any recognised Indian institute. All the above-mentioned fields are covered under this programme. The duration of the fellowship is for six to nine months.

Students are required to contact the host institutions before the application. In case they receive an invitation or offer letter, it must be attached to the application form. Other than this, IIE – Institute of International Education, New York, places the candidates at different institutes by applying to four prospective universities on their behalf.


  • J-1 visa
  • Monthly stipend
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Allowance or affiliation fees (depending on the needs)
  • Health insurance/accident coverage according to the US government guidelines
  • Opportunity to audit non-degree programmes
  • Work experience
  • Opportunity to conduct research


The specific eligibility criteria for Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships, other than the one mentioned in the previous sections, are as follows –

  • Applicants should be registered for a PhD programme.
  • They must show adequate research conducted previously to identify resources in India and the US.
  • PhD thesis must be submitted. Candidates are required to submit their thesis at least three months after the grant’s end date. The registration date and expected submission date must be clearly mentioned in the application form.
  • Letter or recommendation from PhD supervisor
  • The candidate must be involved in pre-doctoral level research. Those who have a PhD degree or are in the final stage of submission will not be eligible.
  • Any published or presented research papers must be attached to the application form.

Fulbright Scholarship Highlights

The highlights of this scholarship can be learnt at a glance from the following table.

Funding typeGovernment
Grant typeBased on merit, leadership qualities and community service
Year of establishment1946
Who is eligible?Graduates, professionals, PhD candidates, and teachers
Number of international grants awarded annually4000+
Number of collaborating countries155+


Q1. Can Indians get Fulbright Scholarships?

Ans:  Under the Indian government’s independent Fulbright Commissions, Indian students can apply to acquire Fulbright fellowships.

Q2. Does Fulbright require IELTS?

Ans: All applicants must be proficient in English. It is measured by a minimum of 79 on TOEFL iBT or 6.5 on IELTS.

Q3. How hard is it to get a Fulbright?

Ans: Acquiring a Fulbright Fellowship is quite difficult. On average, around 1 in 5 applicants win a scholarship. However, these chances of winning vary from country to country, depending on the number of grants available.

Q4. What is the monthly stipend for the Fulbright Scholarship?

Ans: Under the Fulbright Fellowship, students receive assistance with visa applications and expenses. Under the scholarship, a student is liable to receive a monthly stipend of $1000 to $2500, depending on the city of residence.

Q5. What is the maximum age for Fulbright?

Ans: There is no specific age limit for participation in the Fulbright programme.

Q6. What is the Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship?

Ans: This fellowship is open to Indian scholars who have completed their PhD and wish to conduct research, gain professional development, or carry out teaching activities at an American educational institute.

Thank you for reading our guide to ‘Fulbright Scholarship India’! Let us know your thoughts or queries in the comments section below.

If you found this blog helpful, check out some others on our website –

  1. American University Scholarships In 2023
  2. All About The ISIC: International Student Identity Card
  3. Education Loan For MBA In The USA For International Students

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Fulbright Scholarship India: Procedure, Eligibility & Highlights 2023

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