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Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a U.S. college or university, you will apply through that institution, even if you are not currently a resident there. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, will hold a bachelor’s degree by the award start date, and do not have a Ph.D. degree, then you are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicants 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.

The Getting Started page will provide information on eligibility and next steps.


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 7 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/Administrator

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

To support your students in applying for a U.S. Student Program award, please connect with the Fulbright Program Adviser at your institution.

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 Program or Fulbright Foreign Student Program.


Open Study/Research Award

Accepted Degree Levels
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctoral
Grant Period
Flexible Start
Grant Length
6-9 Months
Award Type
Open Study/Research
Award Profile

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program in Malawi aims to promote collaboration and robust research while strengthening educational and cultural relationships between the United States and Malawi. The program provides the opportunity for academically mature students to complete independent research projects in Malawi through (up to) 9 months of grant support.

The program requires students to be affiliated with an accredited Malawian higher education institution and have their research aligned with the U.S. Embassy's Integrated Country Strategy, which includes: promoting good governance and rule of law, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, and developing Malawi's human capital. 

During their time in Malawi, Fulbright U.S. students will be expected to interact with their Malawian counterparts, and share best practices and resources. They should also report their project progress to the U.S. Embassy.

Grant Length
6-9 Months
Grant Period
Flexible Start

There is no standard academic calendar for Malawian universities. Fulbright grants will begin between October 2025 and March 2026, subject to the approval of the U.S. Embassy in Malawi.

Pre-Departure Orientation

As a condition of their grants, all grantees may be required to participate in a Pre-Departure Orientation during the summer of 2025. Upon arrival, Fulbrighters will receive an in-country orientation and a security briefing.

Candidate Profile

Preference will be given to candidates showing expertise in their field, prior contact with the host institution, and the ability to work independently.

What is life like for Fulbrighters in the host country?

Welcome to the Warm Heart of Africa! Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, is a wonderful place in which to live and work.  The climate is agreeable year-round, people are friendly, traffic is calm, and personal security threats are relatively rare.  Although we live in a comparatively “quiet” city by African standards, there are a variety of activities that keep our non-work hours filled.  Outdoor sports/recreation, community festivals, and home entertaining play key roles in Lilongwe.

LOCATION: Malawi is a small landlocked country in Africa, south of the equator between latitude 9 degrees 45' and 17 degrees 16' south and between longitudes 33 degrees 35' east.  Malawi is 46,066 square miles in area of which 9,425 square miles are Lakes Malawi, Malombe, and Chilwa.  Among the smallest countries in Africa, Malawi is approximately the size of Pennsylvania.  The country is bordered to the north and north-east by the Republic of Tanzania and to the east, south and south-west by the Republic of Mozambique.  The Republic of Zambia forms the Western border.

CAPITAL AND MAJOR CITIES: Lilongwe was declared the capital in January 1975.  All government ministries are in Lilongwe, but the bulk of media, academic, and commercial sectors remain in the southern cities of Blantyre and Zomba.  Mzuzu is the largest city in the north.

AREA AND CLIMATE: The country is dominated by Lake Malawi which runs along much of the eastern border.  The lake is 568 kilometers long and 16 kilometers wide, accounting for 20 percent of Malawi's total surface area.  Malawi has a varied topography with mountains and rivers which have a direct effect on its climate.

Malawi has two main seasons, the dry and the wet.  The wet season extends from November to April, and rainfall can reach between 635mm and 3050mm.  From May to August, it is cool at night and dry.  In September, it is hot and dry, with October and November being the hottest months.

The predominant vegetation of Malawi is the savannah woodland.  Ever-green forests are found where ground water is plentiful as in river valleys and on mountains.  Grasslands are found on high plateaus and river-basins.

POPULATION: Malawi has a population of over 20 million people with several ethnic groups.  The Chewa are found in the central region.  The Yaos are mostly found along the lakeshore districts of the central and southern regions.  They are also found in Dedza, Machinga, Zomba, Blantyre, and Chiradzulu.

Lomwes are mainly found in the Shire Highlands areas of Thyolo and Mulanje while the Nkhonde, Lambya, Tonga, and Tumbuka are found in the north.  The Ngoni are found in both the northern and central regions.

CULTURE: Malawian culture is very friendly and very formal.  Initially, Malawian values and traditions may seem counterintuitive for visitors from the United States and will likely challenge American assumptions about independence and individuality.  In Malawi, a traditional male dominated hierarchy is respected.  Speaking out of turn or speaking one’s opinion too vociferously is highly discouraged.  Public shame in front of community and colleagues is to be avoided at all costs.  On the other hand, the informal community “safety net” to support those in need is gracious and often automatic.  A popular Malawian proverb states: “A single head does not carry a roof,” signifying that people are encouraged from an early age to work together and rarely take the initiative to solve problems alone.

Residency in host country permitted in year prior to grant
Dual citizens of this country are eligible
Degree Level of Applicant
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctoral
Foreign Language Proficiency
Not Required

Additional Information: Although English is the official language, knowledge of the local language where one will be researching is an added advantage.

Fulbright Proposal Types
Independent Study/Research:
Graduate Degree Enrollment:
Independent Study/Research:
Letter required for independent study or research at deadline

Fulbright students must affiliate with accredited academic institutions. A list of potential host institutions is available on the National Council for Higher Education website. Upon request, the U.S. Embassy may advise candidates on institutions that match their research interests. 

The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) promotes and coordinates all research activities at the national level and ensures that research projects are geared toward national development needs and goals. Some of the regulatory requirements and guidelines can be found on the NCST website, or via email to its Director General.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition
Affiliation Fees/Tuition not covered in grant benefits
Award Benefits
  • A stipend broadly based on the cost of living in the host country. These funds may be used by the grantee to support housing, meals, and incidental costs during the grant period.
  • International travel benefits
  • Accident & sickness health benefits
  • 24/7 mental health support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
  • 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government
Stipend Amount

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

2,200 monthly stipend amount in
$ [US Dollar]
One-Time Allowances

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

3,550 in
$ [US Dollar]
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Research/Materials allowance
  • Settling in allowance
Estimated Cost of Living

Consider using cost of living comparison websites to gain a better understanding of the potential costs in your host country.

Many western goods have to be imported and are expensive. Inflation averages about 30% and Malawi has experienced devaluations which have caused prices to increase significantly.

Dependent financial support is available
Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Research Clearance

Applicants must familiarize themselves with the country’s research requirements for foreign scholars as clearance may be required for some research projects.

Successful applicants must contact the National Commission for Science and Technology to determine whether they'll need to apply for research clearance, and gauge if their proposal fits the ethics criteria for conducting research in Malawi. The research clearance application, together with complete biographical information, must be submitted early enough to reach the appropriate research coordinator at least six months before the date the Fulbrighter intends to start their project.

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Public Engagement Specialist:
Public Diplomacy Officer:
Additional Online Resources
U.S. Embassy website: