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Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply. All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

If you are an undergraduate student, you are eligible to apply in the fall of your senior year.  If you are a graduate student, you are eligible as long as you will not have a PhD degree by the application deadline.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, will hold a bachelor’s degree by the award start date, and do not have a PhD degree, then you are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicant should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Candidates with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The Getting Started page will provide information on eligibility and next steps.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts. Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Artists with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered. 


U.S. Professor/Administrator

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor or administrator at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award, you will need to apply through CIES.

To support your students in applying for a U.S. Student Program award, please connect with the Fulbright Program Adviser at your institution.

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen interested in applying for a Fulbright Award to the United States, you will need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country. Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar or Student Program.


6 Open Study/Research Award for Graduating Seniors

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
September Start
Award Profile

This grant introduces recent American graduates to various regions of Japan to pursue language study and independent research at local universities. The main purpose of the research project is to serve as a vehicle for immersion and engagement with the local community. Successful applicants will be chosen who demonstrate maturity, flexibility, and independence.

Grant Period
September Start

10 months

Grantees must arrive in Japan in September 2022 to participate in the orientation program. They must also participate in a mid-year conference in March 2023.

In-Country Orientation

Fulbright group orientation upon arrival in Japan.

Candidate Profile

Applications will only be considered from graduating seniors who will receive their first bachelor’s degrees between December 2021 and August 2022. Future career and academic objectives are important considerations and should be addressed in the Personal Statement of the application.

Applications from At-Large candidates will not be accepted.

Accepted Degree Levels
Foreign Language Proficiency
Required - Intermediate

At least two years of college-level study is required prior to commencing the grant. Higher level proficiency may be necessary depending on the requirements of the proposed project. 

Fulbright Proposal Types
Independent Study/Research: Yes
Graduate Degree Enrollment: No
No affiliation letter required

In most cases, the Fulbright Commission arranges affiliations with academic institutions throughout Japan, taking the candidate's background and previous experience in Japan into consideration.

However, candidates in the hard sciences and creative arts must arrange affiliations with Japanese academic institutions, and include invitation letters from those institutions with their Fulbright applications. Candidates in other fields whose research projects require specific placements, i.e., a certain academic advisor or institution, must also provide invitation letters. Other than those two instances, preliminary contact with institutions is strongly discouraged.

Grantees do not enroll as degree students at Japanese universities. They structure their own programs, combining language study, selected course study according to their Japanese proficiency, and individual research under the guidance of an assigned professor. Fellows with prior experience in Japan will be strongly discouraged from returning to the locales of their prior studies or residence.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition

Dual citizens of this country are not eligible

Residency in host country not permitted in year prior to grant

Fields of Study

Though applications in all disciplines will be considered, preference will be given to social science and humanities applications in the following five areas:

1.  Japan StudiesStudy of the society and culture of Japan through such fields as history, political science, economics, law, journalism, literature, and sociology.

2. Japan-U.S. Relations in the Indo-Pacific Study of contemporary social, political, economic, and security issues between Japan and the U.S. in relation with the Indo-Pacific region.

3. Critical Issues of Contemporary SocietyStudy of contemporary social issues in Japan and the U.S. Subjects of particular interest include risk or crisis management, ethical and other issues of rapid technological development, urbanization, the family, aging society, economic disparity, and criminology.

4. Global IssuesStudy of issues occurring on a global scale. Subjects of particular interest include public health, trade, labor and mobility, migration, environment, energy, diversity and inclusion, demographic issues and other related topics to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

5. EducationStudy of contemporary issues for all levels of educational systems in Japan and the U.S. A comparative perspective is encouraged. Subjects of particular interest include all aspects of internationalization, global skill competency development, foreign language acquisition, structural and curricular reform, and the role of education in society.

Japanese Language Proposal

Applicants MUST submit a one-page Statement of Grant Purpose in Japanese in addition to the two-page English language version. Both documents should be uploaded in the correlating fields in the Fulbright online application. The translated document should be uploaded as a PDF document.

Institutional Review Board Clearance

For all levels and types of projects, if the proposed research project entails "human subject" issues, candidates should be aware that gaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval after arrival in Japan will be virtually impossible. Candidates should explore obtaining IRB approval from their current universities if at all possible, as this process is not as common or thoroughly developed in Japan.


Persons holding dual Japan-U.S. citizenship or permanent Japanese residency must give up their Japanese citizenship or permanent resident status if they are selected for and accept a Fulbright grant to Japan.

Dependent support is available
Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website