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1 Fulbright Study/Research Award in Archeology/History

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
9 Months
No Pre-Departure Orientation
Award Profile

The intent of this special grant is to support research in areas related to both Balkan archaeology and museum and heritage studies. It is a result of the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission’s partnership with the Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF), an NGO whose mission is to support the study, preservation and promotion of cultural and historical (both tangible and intangible) heritage of South-eastern Europe (balkanheritage.org).

The award in 2020 is suitable for individuals whose ongoing research or research interest is related to one of the following topics:

  • Roman civilization in the Balkans (2nd c. BCE - 4th c. CE)

  • Early Byzantine/Early Christian Balkans (4th - 7th c. CE)

  • Inter-relations between Ancient Greek and Thracian civilizations (5th – 2nd c. BCE)

  • Heritage and Museum Studies: National and International Perspectives and Practices

The grantees can spend up to 9 months in Bulgaria working on individual research. They will be supervised and supported by an English speaking academic supervisor and will have the opportunity to take part in an archaeological field school.

The grantee will arrive in Bulgaria in August/September in order to attend the archaeological field school by BHF related to their research area (see list below). The BHF field schools combine lectures on Bulgaria’s history and cultural heritage, archaeological excavations, conservation workshops and study trips to important historic and archaeological sites and museums. Upon completion of the field school, the student will continue with their individual research. The program will back-up the student with access to museums, libraries and specialists in the research field. If appropriate to the research plan, the student could take one university course (at a Bulgarian university) to further broaden his or her knowledge and to provide the student with an academic community. At the end of the academic year, the student shall be expected to produce a publishable paper or conference presentation on the research topic. Knowledge of Bulgarian is not required.

Grant Period

9 Months

Applications will be considered for grant periods of 6 to 9 months. Grant begins in August/September in accordance with the BHF field school of choice.

Pre-Departure Orientation

No Pre-Departure Orientation

Candidate Profile

Well-qualified candidates will be considered at all degree levels (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral), but preference is given to Master’s and Ph.D. candidates.  Applicants should have an interest and background in archeology, anthropology, history, art history, preservation of cultural heritage, museum studies and other directly related fields. Previous experience in Bulgaria and the region is not considered a disadvantage.

Accepted Degree Levels




Foreign Language Proficiency

Not Required

Fulbright Proposal Types

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: No


Grantees will be affiliated with the Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF). List of applicable field schools being conducted on annual basis:

August 2020  Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysos - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros, Thrace. Topic: Ancient Greek & Thracian & field archaeology; Computational photography & museum database.

August 2020  Byzantine Cold Case File: Excavations of an Early Christian Мonastery near Varna on the Black Sea.  Topic: Late Antique & Early Christian & field archaeology; Early Byzantine architecture and monasticism.

August - September 2020  Bona Mansio - Roman Road Station on Via Diagonalis. Topic: Roman and field archaeology; late Roman and Medieval pottery & numismatics.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition

The grant covers all tuition and fees associated with Balkan Heritage Field School, provides a monthly stipend for the research period, and travel/relocation allowance. If during the academic year, courses are available in the relevant field at Bulgarian academic institutions, the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission may cover tuition fees upon approval by the Commission Board.

Country Overview

A mountainous country of seven million people, Bulgaria boasts a rich archeological and artistic heritage, with many well-preserved artefacts and sites from various periods in its history (Thracian, Greek, Roman, Medieval Bulgarian kingdoms, Byzantine, Ottoman, Soviet, post-Soviet). The country is traditionally Orthodox Christian, but has a sizeable Muslim minority. Bulgaria is also known for its vibrant folklore, especially its unique folk singing and dancing traditions. A traditionally agricultural country, Bulgaria produces a number of unique wine sorts (gamza, mavrud).  

Since 1989, Bulgaria has been a parliamentary democracy, joining the EU in 2007. Although it remains the poorest country in the EU and struggles with challenges such as emigration, demographic crises, corruption and rule-of-law, Bulgaria has nevertheless generally been politically and economically stable.

The academic year for most Bulgarian universities begins around October 1 and consists of fall and spring semesters, ending in June. The academic year covers up to 30 weeks. Classes usually meet once a week for 75 minutes or for two 45-minute periods with a 15-minute break in between. Education is highly valued in Bulgaria and a relatively large share of the population has completed secondary or higher education.


Dependent support is not available.

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website


Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

Rada Kaneva