Fulbright U.S. Student Program

South Pacific Island Nations

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Open Study/Research Award

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
10 Months
Award Profile

This program provides opportunities for students who wish to propose study/research projects in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, OR Vanuatu. (Note: This is NOT a multi-country award.) Selection will be made based on the quality of applications, rather than per-country quotas, making the distribution of awards to countries in the region vary annually.

Grant Period

10 Months

Fulbright grantees will begin between August 2019 and March 2020, subject to the approval of the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji; the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; or, the U.S. Embassy in Apia, Samoa. Grantees must contact the U.S. Embassy prior to arrival to arrange for a security briefing and orientation. Please note that the cost of living in some Pacific Island Nations (particularly Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu) is very high.

Pre-Departure Orientation


All grantees are required to attend a pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2019 as a condition of their grants.

Candidate Profile

All grantees must be prepared to work independently with a minimum of supervision. Candidates must be mature, resourceful and flexible. 

Candidates at all degree levels are eligible, but preference will be given to master's and doctoral candidates. Candidates with only a bachelor's degree must be sure to submit well thought-out and methodologically rigorous proposals. 

Accepted Degree Levels




Foreign Language Proficiency

Recommended - Novice

Additional Information: Applicants without any local language skills should include plans in their Fulbright applications for language study concurrent with their research projects.

Fulbright Proposal Types

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: No


All candidates must secure a strong and reliable affiliation with a host country university or institution. Candidates must include affiliation letters with their Fulbright applications. This affiliation is a critical component of the research clearance process.


Candidates currently residing in the country of application (or those who will be living there during the 2018-2019 academic year) will not be considered.

Research Clearance and Visas

Grantees will be required to obtain research clearance from the host government. A letter of institutional affiliation will be required. Contact the host institution to begin this process immediately upon acceptance of the Fulbright award, as it can take five months or more to obtain approvals from multiple ministries. 

The host country's embassy in the United States (Washington, DC) should also be contacted immediately upon acceptance of the Fulbright award for visa guidance

As the visa/research clearance process can be extremely slow, grantees are strongly warned to start the process as soon as possible and follow through diligently and consistently. Much of the documentation required for the research clearance is identical to the materials submitted with the Fulbright application. 

Special Considerations

Grantees are reminded to observe all security, safety, and health practices appropriate for less developed countries. As with all developing countries, the candidates should not expect sophisticated equipment or apartments with American standards of comfort.


usembsuva@gmail.com. The U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji is responsible for looking after U.S. interests in five Pacific Island Nations: Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu. 

PDPortMoresby@state.gov. The U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea is responsible for looking after U.S. interests in three Pacific Island Nations: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

AmEmbApia@state.gov. The U.S. Embassy in Apia, Samoa is responsible for looking after U.S. interests in Samoa.

U.S. Embassy Contact: Fiji

Fiji: Julie Sutherland: SutherlandJ@state.gov

U.S. Embassy Contact: PNG

PNG: Barbara Kepa, KepaB@state.gov 

U.S. Embassy Contact: Samoa

Samoa: Benjamin Harding, HardingBW@state.gov   


Dependent support is not available

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website

See Above

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

See Above

I am a....

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 would be eligible to apply in your senior year.  If you are a graduate student you are eligible to apply to most countries as long as you will not have a PhD degree on the application deadline.

Non-U.S. Student

If you are a non-U.S. citizen looking to applying for a Fulbright grant to study in the United States you will apply to the Fulbright Program for Foreign Students in your home country.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor’s degree, and do not have a PhD degree then you could be eligible for certain awards within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Please review the program summary for the country where you would like to apply.


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 5 years or less) in which they are applying.  Artists with more experience should consider applying for 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

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

Non U.S. Professor

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