Fulbright U.S. Student Program


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2 Open Study/Research Awards

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
10 Months
Award Profile

The Fulbright U.S. Student Research grants offer an opportunity to conduct individually designed research projects in Tajikistan. Previous research topics included, but weren't limited to sustainable urban water practices, women's rights within an informal system of justice, evolution of and trends in Tajik foreign policy since the fall of the Soviet Union, potential of branchless banking in rural regions of Tajikistan, neonationalism and urban development, development of national-scale legislation related to land reform and pastures, Tajik sign language and history of Ismaili religion, and many more.

Grant Period

10 Months

Post-Arrival Orientation

Upon arrival in the country, grantees are placed with either host families or in the guesthouses in Dushanbe in order to facilitate the process of settling in. Post-arrival orientation program is week-long and is set up by the U.S.Embassy Dushanbe’s Public Affairs Section (PAS). Grantees obtain cell phones, learn about options for Internet service plans, begin practicing the language and generally acclimate themselves to the way of life in Tajikistan.  PAS registers the grantees with local authorities and often needs to begin work on extending the validity of their visas.

The Cultural Affairs Officer briefs the grantees regarding their interaction with the Embassy and local context. The grantees also receive briefings from the Medical Unit, the Consular Section and two briefings from the Regional Security Office (RSO).

The Medical Unit addresses issues of health and sanitation. This briefing describes some of the more common ailments that affect newcomers to Tajikistan, as well as best practices and resources available to them to safeguard their health. The grantees learn about food storage and preparation, how to shop wisely, issues of general sanitation and what to do if they become ill. Grantees are welcome to telephone the Medical unit for consultation while they are at their posts, should need arise.

The Consular Section gives a presentation on consular services available to all American citizens in Tajikistan. The Public Affairs Section requires grantees to join the warden system, by which Embassy Dushanbe can quickly and efficiently advise American citizens in the event of an emergency such as a seismic event, weather or other situation of which the Embassy believes American citizens should be aware. The warden system can be a faster and more efficient means of transmitting information than individual phone calls or e-mails. Further information is available at https://step.state.gov/step/

The first briefing from the RSO addresses issues of personal and physical safety. They discuss concerns about crime, hazardous driving conditions, inclement weather, and other circumstances that could potentially place a grantee in a risky situation. While the risk of violent crime in Tajikistan is low relative to many places, RSO nevertheless covers personal security measures grantees can take to improve their own personal safety. These include observing cultural and societal norms and expectations, maintaining positive relations within their host community, traveling during the day rather than at night, and advising Embassy of anticipated travel plans outside their host town. The RSO will also brief the grantee on emergency preparedness concerning weather events, natural disasters or political unrest.

The second briefing from the RSO (in conjunction with PAS) specifically covers the process of finding housing. With assistance from Embassy staff, grantees choose their own housing. In this briefing, a representative from the RSO advises grantees on criteria by which they may evaluate residences, specifically with regards to security, structural integrity, dependability of electricity and plumbing, properly sealing and locking doors and windows, etc. As soon as the grantee has chosen a residence, PAS assists in making the appropriate registration with local authorities. 

Pre-Departure Orientation


Grantees will be required to participate in a U.S.-based Pre-Departure Orientation in June 2019 as a condition of their grant.

Candidate Profile

Applications are welcome from articulate and flexible graduating seniors, recent graduates, or graduate students who demonstrate a high level of maturity. 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. 

Accepted Degree Levels




Foreign Language Proficiency

Recommended - Intermediate

Knowledge of Russian or Tajik language is recommended and may even be required. Language proficiency commensurate with the nature of the proposed project is expected prior to commencing the grant. Applicants without relevant language skills should include plans for language study in their proposals. Regardless of the grantees' language ability, the U.S. Embassy can provide initial language instruction during the week-long post-arrival orientation and highly recommends that grantees continue language study throughout their grant periods.

Fulbright Proposal Types

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: No


It is strongly recommended that applicants identify appropriate host institutions for their projects and that they include affiliation letters with their Fulbright applications. Affiliations may be with local or international non-governmental organizations, university departments, or other institutions. Otherwise, they may indicate preferences for affiliation if an invitation is not available. When applicants do not indicate a host institution preference, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe will assist finding the most appropriate placements. The Fulbright grant is not meant to support internships at organizations in Tajikistan, but rather it is meant to support independent research.

Special Application Instructions

As part of the selection process, the Fulbright Commission will invite a limited number of semi-finalists to participate in interviews via Skype. An invintation to an interview is a further step in the selection process and not a guarantee that the semi-finalist will be selected for the grant in Tajikistan.

Security Concerns

The Fulbright Commission in Tajikistan 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 U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan.

Special Circumstances

Applicants must be prepared to deal with minor daily challenges such as occasional power outages, linguistic and cultural differences, and uneventfulness of daily routines. Local attitudes toward gender and religion can be surprising and unsettling, and grantees should be prepared to negotiate these cultural differencies with maturity and diplomacy. Grantees are reminded to observe all security, safety, and health practices appropriate for a developing country.


Dependent support is available

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website


Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

Sitora Kasimova

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.