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, hold a bachelor’s degree, 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.
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 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

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. 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.


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65 Fulbright-Nehru Open Study/Research Awards

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
9 Months
Award Profile

The Fulbright-Nehru Student Research grant provides its recipients the opportunity to conduct individually designed research projects in India.

Grant Period

9 Months

Doctoral candidates can start their grants at any time from July 2020 through March 2021.

Non-Ph.D. grantees are required to attend a mandatory orientation in Delhi in mid-August 2020 before the start of their grants.

Pre-Departure Orientation


Virtual Pre-Departure Orientation sessions will be held in May/June 2020.  All grantees should plan to participate virtually as a condition of their grants.

Candidate Profile

All disciplines will be considered.  Applicants must have a well-defined research project and must have demonstrated ability to work independently, have a solid foundation in their subject areas, and have demonstrated high levels of adaptability and maturity.

Accepted Degree Levels




Foreign Language Proficiency

Not Required

English will suffice in most cases.  A working knowledge of a modern Indian language may be important for the success of some research projects.

Critical Language Enhancement Award

The Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA) is available to grantees to India.

CLEA provides an opportunity for Fulbright U.S. Student Program grantees to receive three to five months of language study in addition to their research or study grants. The award provides a monthly living stipend and tuition reimbursement for grantees to pursue language training in the host country. Application for a Critical Language Enhancement Award is made in conjunction with the Fulbright U.S. Student application.

Accepted Languages: Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Urdu

Prior Language Study: No minimum language study is required.

Dates and Timing: CLEA grantees will begin intensive language study after arriving in India and prior to the beginning of their Fulbright-Nehru research grants. The CLEA duration is a minimum of three months and a maximum of five months with at least three months of intensive language study occurring before the Fulbright-Nehru research grant begins.

Note:  The CLEA grant duration will be based on availability of funds.

Fulbright Proposal Types

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: No


According to the Government of India guidelines, each candidate is required to be affiliated with an Indian institution of higher education, a research/training institute, a think tank or a registered non-government organization, as required by the specific project proposed. The candidate will be guided or assisted by an academic supervisor from the affiliating institution.

Applicants are encouraged to identify appropriate host institutions for their projects and should include a letter of affiliation with their application. The location of the host institution should be suitable for the field research site. The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) will confirm the proposed affiliation and secure the formal document from the proposed host upon final selection for a Fulbright-Nehru grant. USIEF reserves the right to change the affiliation if the one indicated in the application is unsuitable for any reason.

Research Clearance and Indian Visas

Clearance and a research visa from the Government of India are required for all Fulbright-Nehru grantees. The detailed procedure for obtaining a research visa will be communicated to grantees upon selection. Grants cannot be issued for travel to India until proper Government of India approvals and research visas are received.

Archival Research

Applicants should clearly state in their proposals whether they will need to consult records and/or papers in the National Archives, New Delhi, or in State archives. USIEF will obtain the necessary letter from the U.S. Embassy which will be required for entrance into the archives.

Archaeological Research

Applicants must state clearly in their proposals whether they will need to visit excavation sites. Selected candidates in this field will be required to fill out a form that USIEF will submit to the Government of India for obtaining special clearance from the Archaeological Survey of India.

Security Concerns

The Fulbright Commission in India will carefully review all Fulbright proposals for feasibility and security concerns. Applicants must be flexible in response to changing conditions and grantees must comply with all security procedures set in place by the Commission in consultation with the U.S. Embassy in India.

Change in Marital Status

All grantees must inform IIE and USIEF of any change in marital status. Candidates who marry after submitting applications must allow at least four months for their spouses to obtain visas.


For all grantees, a monthly maintenance allowance is payable for one accompanying dependent only.


Housing arrangements will be made with the assistance of the Fulbright Commission, local facilitators and brokers, and the host institutions. 


Dependent support is available.

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

Priyanjana Ghosh