Richard Cole
at Harvard University

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Satbir Chowdry
at Columbia University

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All-Discipline Postgraduate Student Awards


Applications for this award are now closed 


In this award category, up to 25 scholarships are offered each year to UK citizens for the first year of postgraduate or doctoral study, or for 'special student research'. Grants are available for academic work in any subject, at any accredited US university.

Candidates choose and apply to US university departments directly and independently.

Please read the above tabs for more information about the benefits of the Postgraduate Student Awards, eligibility and selection criteria, the application process and an awards timeline. You can also read profiles of current and past scholars, as well as a list of FAQs, to help you learn more about the Fulbright Programme.

Please note: the Fulbright Awards Programme also offers field specific postgraduate-level scholarships, including for Medical Studies, Public Policy, Affairs and PlanningJournalism, Executive MPP at NYU-Wagner and MBA at Harvard. If your project falls in any of these categories, you should apply in the other specific category. A variety of other sponsored and subject-specific postgraduate-level scholarships are also available. Please take a look at all of our awards options to see which ones are applicable to you. 


Fulbright Awards offer generous financial support for the one year of postgraduate study in the US. However, Fulbright is much more than a scholarship – we offer our grantees the opportunity to have a transformative cultural and academic experience and provide unrivalled support both during and beyond their Fulbright year. 

Fulbright Awards in this category are for up to $45,000, and are intended as a contribution towards the first year of tuition fees and general maintenance costs whilst in the US. They are paid in instalments directly to the grantee, the first of which is typically given just prior to departure from the UK. A number of memberships, sickness and accident benefit coverage, and visa sponsorship are also included. There is substantial pre-departure support, including a Finalists Workshop (March) and a 2-day Orientation Programme (July). Once in the US, further support is offered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

While a Fulbright Postgraduate Award is one year in length, the benefits do not end there. Receiving a Fulbright Award opens many doors and provides unparalleled global networking opportunities. Over 300,000 Fulbright Awards have been given since the Programme’s inception, and alumni have the opportunity to stay engaged through our extensive alumni networks, including UK Fulbright alumni network. Alumni also remain connected to the Programme through ongoing social and cultural events, volunteer opportunities and mentoring schemes.

Selection Criteria

The Fulbright Awards Programme is looking not only for academic excellence but also:

  • demonstrable ambassadorial skills with evidence of cultural sensitivity and a genuine desire to learn more about the United States and share with American citizens aspects of British culture,
  • experience and interest in a range of extracurricular and community activities,
  • leadership potential, and
  • a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and give back to your home country upon returning.

Selection committees and the interview panels will also be looking for clear reasons for selecting your US university preferences. As a publicly-funded organisation, the Fulbright Awards Programme expects candidates to conduct a thorough university search and to identify institutions which provide cost-effective study opportunities and are a strong fit for their academic, personal and professional goals.

Minimum eligibility for this Award category:

  • UK citizen* (resident anywhere except the United States), and
  • hold or expect to obtain a minimum 2:1 honours undergraduate degree or the equivalent prior to your anticipated enrolment with a US university.

As our aim is to foster cultural understanding between the US and UK, some preference will be given to applicants who do not have extensive experience in the US (6 months or more). If you do have extensive experience in the US we still encourage you to apply. Please explain in your application how further time spent in the US will fulfil the Fulbright mission and not be a duplication of prior visits. 

Please read the Terms and Conditions and FAQs for this Award before making an application. Awards are not available for peripatetic visits or attendance at conferences only, nor for projects based outside of the United States.

*Non-UK citizens are encouraged to use our advisory service in the UK, but to apply for Fulbright scholarships through the office in their country of citizenship (see US nationals, those with dual US-UK citizenship and those resident in the US may not apply in this Award category.


The application process for a Fulbright Award is similar to that of US universities, both in terms of content and timeline. You will complete an online application and provide biographical information about yourself, your academic and extracurricular accomplishments and study plans.  You will indicate one or more institutions (and specific degree programmes, if applicable) to which you have or will apply, and provide reasons for choosing these – if successful, your Fulbright Award will only be tenable at one of these institutions.* Additionally, you will submit a personal statement and study objective statement, and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent on your behalf.

Please follow these steps to apply for a Fulbright Award:

  1. First, review the selection criteria tab above to ensure you are eligible to apply for an Award.
  2. Before beginning an application, read and follow the UK Country-Specific Online Application instructions. Each Commission sets its own policies and procedures and country-specific instructions for using the online application system, so it is critical that you follow the instructions in this document.
  3. After you have read the instructions, you need to register with the online application site. You will be able to log in and out of your account and will not be required to complete the application in one sitting. In addition to biographical and academic data, you will submit a personal statement, study objective statement and your host institution preference(s).
  4. Request three reference letters using the online system. Your reference letters should not be posted as they will be delivered to Fulbright electronically via the online system.
  5. Upload any required supplemental forms including the Commission Form to the online application. (Visual, architecture and performing arts applicants are also required to submit 4 samples of recent work to the Commission. Please follow the submission instructions in the UK Country-Specific Online Application instructions).
  6. Successful applicants will be invited for interviews on the date(s) listed within the timeline tab above. Interviews will be held on the indicated date(s) only and may not be rescheduled. All interviews must be conducted face-to-face.

It is imperative that you follow the UK country-specific instructions; failure to do so will mean that your application may not be considered.

* You must apply for a place at those institutions separately from your Fulbright application. Those who do not secure a place at a US university will not be able to take up their awards.


15 August 2014 - Competition opens; applications available online

8 September - Applicants encouraged to attend Grad School Day to learn about US postgrad admissions processes

26-27 September - Applicants encouraged to attend College Day to visit the Fulbright Awards booth with questions, and to see the breadth of the US education system with over 100 universities exhibiting on the day

31 October - Application deadline

November-January - Applications evaluated, short-list drawn up

mid-January - Short-listed candidates invited to interview

26 Jan- 13 Feb - Fulbright interviews

late February - Notification, finalists invited to Fulbright Workshop

mid-March - Fulbright Finalist’s Workshop in London

March-June - Fulbright and J1 visa paperwork

Early-mid July - Fulbright Pre-Departure Orientation

From mid-July 2015 to 30 April 2016 - Independent departures, Your Fulbright Exchange begins

Upon returning to the UK, candidates will be invited to participate in Fulbright alumni activities including our annual Returners’ Workshop as well as informal social events.

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