1 Fulbright Study/Research Award in Archeology/History
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodFlexible Start
Grant Length6-10 Months
This special grant aims to support research in areas related to both Balkan archaeology and museum and heritage studies. It grew out 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 Southeastern Europe (www.balkanheritage.org).
The award in 2024-25 is suitable for individuals whose ongoing research or research interest is related to one of the following topics:
- Inter-relations between Ancient Greek and Thracian civilizations (5th – 2nd c. BCE)
- Roman civilization in the Balkans (2nd c. BCE - 4th c. CE)
- Early Byzantine/Early Christian Balkans (4th - 7th c. CE)
- Architecture and arts of late medieval and post medieval Balkans (12th -17th c. CE)
- Heritage and Museum Studies: National and International Perspectives and Practices
- Underwater Archaeology
- Bioarchaeology research based on human remains from the necropoleis of the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to attend information sessions organized by the Balkan Heritage Foundation (www.bhfieldschool.org) online to discuss which field schools and research areas would be most appropriate to this grant.
The grantees can spend up to 10 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. Depending on their field of research they will either start or finish their program with attendance to one of the relevant archaeological field schools by Balkan Heritage Foundation (www.bhfieldschool.org). 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. The field school is to supplement the student’s individual research and provide valuable hands-on experience. The Fulbright program will support 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 their knowledge and to provide the student with an academic community. At the end of the academic year, the student will be expected to produce a publishable paper or conference presentation on the research topic. Knowledge of Bulgarian is not required.
Applications will be considered for grant periods of six to ten months. Grant begins in August/September in accordance with the BHF field school of choice, or later if the grantee chooses to participate in the field school at the end of their grant.
Grantees are encouraged to take part in the orientation seminar for US grantees beginning Sept. 1, which includes language instruction, as well as cultural and social events. The Commission will organize one-day orientations for grantees arriving later in the academic year.
Well-qualified candidates holding a Bachelor's degree will be considered, but preference is given to Master’s and Ph.D. candidates. Applicants should have an interest and background in archaeology, 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
Special Application Instructions
Please indicate in the project proposal that you are applying for the special archaeology/history award offered jointly with Balkan Heritage Foundation. All candidates in archaeology/history or related fields not interested in collaboration with Balkan Heritage Foundation should apply for the general Fulbright Student Research grant in Bulgaria.
Foreign Language Proficiency
Fulbright Proposal Types
Letter recommended but not required at deadline
Grantees will be affiliated with the Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF). List of applicable field schools is available on the BHF website www.bhfieldschool.org. Applicants should indicate their field school preference in their project proposal, but note that schedule and programming changes may occur; the Fulbright Commission and BHF will coordinate final field school choices with the selected grantee.
The grant covers all tuition and fees associated with Balkan Heritage Field School except the tuition fee for Underwater Archaeology in the Black Sea field school that is partly covered (minimum 50%; the balance must be covered by the participant).
- Monthly stipend – $1,200 per month
- Travel and relocation allowance to cover round-trip international travel – $3,000
- Research, book and incidentals allowance – $500
- Bulgarian language training allowance – $500
- Health benefit plan for grantees only
Grantees are responsible for arranging their own accommodation.
Bulgaria Country Overview
A mountainous country of seven million people located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria boasts a rich archaeological heritage and vibrant artistic culture, including its unique folk music and dance traditions as well as contemporary literary and performance practices. Thanks to its striking natural landscape, rich agricultural roots, and four-season climate, Bulgaria is an increasingly popular destination for outdoor and culinary tourism. Bulgaria also has a strong ICT and start-up sector, based primarily in Sofia, and some Bulgarian companies have started receiving international recognition for their innovations.
Bulgaria has a relatively homogenous majority population of Slavic-speakers who traditionally identify as Orthodox Christian; however, the country is also home to Turkish and Roma communities and has a sizeable Muslim minority (more than 10%). While Bulgarians are known for their warm hospitality, some communities may hold conservative views and may not have extensive experience interacting with foreigners. Younger Bulgarians often have solid levels of English-language competence thanks to access to digital and online resources, while older generations, who had limited access to English instruction under communism, may have studied Russian, German or French instead.
Since the fall of communism in 1989, Bulgaria has been a parliamentary democracy, joining the EU in 2007. Although Bulgaria has the lowest standard of living in the EU and struggles with challenges such as emigration/brain-drain and rule-of-law issues, the country has nevertheless generally been politically and economically stable. All applicants are urged to consult the most recent State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices, which offers the most exhaustive and up-to-date description of political, social and cultural trends in Bulgaria.