3 Open Study/Research Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodSeptember Start
Grant Length9 Months
Generally, 2-5 grants will be awarded to study in a degree program or engage in independent study/research or PhD research.
Icelandic universities provide many courses and programs in English. Iceland also provides very interesting research opportunities in many fields. As a small, highly technologically advanced country, Iceland is ideal for many types of research. English is widely spoken and much used in academia.
Since the Fulbright Program in Iceland is relatively small, the Commission is able to maintain close ties with grantees during their stay and provide a sense of community among Fulbright grantees. There are monthly grantee activities sponsored by the Commission, in addition to access to Fulbright alumni events and other social activities.
Special funding for disabled grantees:
Funding is available for US Fulbright students to Iceland with a disability, be it a structural or functional impairment or activity/participation limitation, that entails additional costs that are not covered specifically through the Fulbright Program. Funding may be available for a wide range of disabilities, including, for example, hearing, vision, or movement impairment. The funding could, for example, be used to assist with specialized housing needs, in-country transport, or specialized assistance. The extra funding amount will depend on need and will be decided by the Commission after consultation with the student. Funding is provided through the Bruce A. Fowler Mobility Fund.
Grant Length: 9 Months
Grants will begin from mid-August/beginning September. It is possible to shorten the grant length slightly, but generally not below 8 months.
No pre-departure orientation at present, but this may change.
In-Country Orientation is mandatory
The Fulbright Commission hosts a mandatory in-country orientation at the end of August/beginning of September.
All degree levels are welcome; from recently graduated bachelor students up to the Ph.D.-dissertation level across all disciplines.
Applicants may propose any of the following:
- enroll in a university program in Iceland
- do research and/or take classes related to a Master‘s or Ph.D. program in which they are already enrolled at their home institution
- do independent research projects where the necessary research experience can be demonstrated, as well as skills and self-discipline to undertake such a project. The project must also be endorsed by an affiliate in Iceland that is competent to evaluate the feasibility of the project and provide necessary academic/professional support.
Projects with an artic focus are welcome, however, PhD students and students with a completed masters should apply to the Fulbright/National Science Foundation Arctic Research Award in Iceland. Please review that award description for more details.
Dual American/Icelandic citizens are not eligible.
If the applicant has lived in Iceland previously, this may affect the evaluation, but it does not automatically disqualify an applicant.
Accepted Degree Levels
Foreign Language Proficiency
Additional Information: Icelandic language proficiency is not required, unless applicants are proposing to take courses that are taught in Icelandic or undertake research which requires language proficiency.
A wide variety of classes/programs at the graduate level are taught in English. Please refer to the university websites for information on course offerings in English. For those who are doing research or art projects, English is usually sufficient, but it will depend on the project. Some projects may require the ability to read or speak Icelandic. Study of Icelandic prior to arrival is encouraged in order to promote deeper engagement with the host community.
Fulbright Proposal Types
Letter required for independent study or research at deadline
Letter of acceptance required prior to grant start
Candidates are responsible for arranging their own host affiliations.
For independent study/research, preliminary contacts with host institutions and letters of support are necessary at the time of application.
Candidates planning to enroll in a university program in Iceland, and who have not yet gained admittance at the time of application, may declare their intent in the application, but must confirm the affiliation by the beginning of May at the latest.
Candidates are responsible for their own university applications and enrollments and must apply independently of their Fulbright application.
See the links below for more information on affiliations.
Grantees are responsible for all university applications, fees and tuition. It is the grantee's responsibility to inquire about tuition and fees at a proposed host university and make the necessary arrangements.
Most Icelandic universities have comparatively low fees and no tuition, but some do charge tuition.
For students affiliated with a university, we also recommend that you inquire about housing availability.
Fulbright Iceland grants are for one academic year only. All Fulbright benefits cease at the end of the Fulbright grant period. It is not possible to extend a grant for a second year of study.
Hosts should provide primary assistance with finding housing. Universities may offer dormitory housing to students who are fully enrolled in a study program. Universities generally have offices that provide assistance with housing or have sites where available housing is posted. Additionally, the Commission will provide information on websites where housing is advertised and will share any adverts that are sent to us. Those attending rural universities may also find a possibility for university housing.
2,000 USD per month for a maximum of 9 months for Master's level students. Stipends are adjusted to the arrival and departure dates of grantees.
2,750 USD per month for a maximum of 9 months for PhD students/candidates. Stipends are adjusted to the arrival and departure dates of grantees.
1,000 USD travel grant
300 USD baggage stipend.
Grantee enrichment activities are also organized by the Commission.
Iceland Country Overview
Iceland is a small Nordic country, an island republic in the North Atlantic, between the U.S. and the European mainland. Iceland is technologically advanced; English is widely spoken and Americans find Icelandic society and culture relatively easy to navigate.
Icelandic universities offer a variety of master´s programs that are conducted in English. There are also opportunities to conduct exciting research in English, although some research may require knowledge of the Icelandic language. In addition to our general grants, the Commission is very interested in projects that have relevance for the Arctic. Fulbright students who do their Fulbright in Iceland are generally pleased with their stay in Iceland and find it very useful for their academic journey, whether they are planning to study here, do independent research before going to graduate school, or do post-master´s or PhD research.
Student awards are for nine months, beginning between 15 August and 1 September.
Iceland has spectacular nature and offers an opportunity for unique outdoor experiences, including geothermally heated swimming pools, open year-round. There is also a vibrant cultural scene, for example great music and art. For those who plan to stay in Reykjavik, the city is small enough to be easy to navigate, but large enough to have a bit of everything. For those choosing a rural experience, small towns are welcoming and have a vibrant cultural life.
Since the Fulbright Program in Iceland is relatively small, the Commission is able to maintain close ties with grantees during their stay and provide a sense of community among Fulbright scholars and fellows. There are monthly grantee activities sponsored by the Commission, in addition to access to Fulbright alumni events and other social activities. Grantees are always welcome to stop by or contact the Commission.
Want to get a better feeling for being a Fulbrighter in Iceland? Take a look at Fulbright Iceland's grantee series, where alumni talk about their experience of being on a Fulbright grant in Iceland:
Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Additional Online Resources
University of Iceland: http://english.hi.is/
Reykjavik University: https://en.ru.is/
University of Akureyri: https://www.unak.is/english
Iceland University of the Arts: https://www.lhi.is/en
Agricultural University of Iceland: https://www.lbhi.is/en
Hólar University College: https://www.holar.is/en
Bifrost University: https://www.bifrost.is/english/
University Centre of the Westfjords: https://www.uw.is/
Instagram, Fulbright Commission Iceland: https://www.instagram.com/fulbright_iceland/
Linkedin, Fulbright Commission Iceland: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fulbright-commission-iceland
Fulbright Commission Iceland website: https://fulbright.is/
U.S. Student Grantee Feedback- 2021-2022: https://fulbright.is/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/FY2022-Annual-Report-WEB.pdf#page=12