8 Open Study/Research Awards
Accepted Degree LevelsBachelor's
Grant PeriodAugust Start
The U.S. Study/Research Award allows young professionals, recent graduates, artists, and graduate students to conduct collaborative research projects for up to one academic year (10 months) at a higher education institution or research center in Colombia.
Grant benefits include round trip international airfare, monthly stipend, Accident and Sickness Health Benefit Plan for Exchanges (ASPE), assistance in the visa application process, and Orientation Seminar at the beginning of the grant period.
This program promotes academic mobility and integration for professionals, young researchers, artists, and graduate students, while setting the basis for further academic collaboration and fostering interdisciplinary work/research that addresses different needs or challenges in Colombia and the U.S. This award also creates links between U.S. Student researchers and key stakeholders in Colombia, including government agencies, entrepreneurs, NGOs, local communities, students, among others, and supports the internationalization process at Colombian higher education institutions and research centers.
Grant Length: From 6 to 10 Months.
The grant period must begin in August 2022 and conclude before June 1st, 2023, according to the proposed grant length. Changes or deferrals of the grant period are not allowed. The grant dates must be clearly specified in the application and invitation letter.
The grant period begins with an Orientation Seminar organized by the Fulbright Commission in late July 2022. Attendance at the Orientation Seminar is mandatory for all U.S. Student grantees.
Last year, eight (8) U.S. Student researcher grants were awarded by the Fulbright Commission in Colombia. The following academic profiles are eligible for the award: recent graduates, Master's students, Ph.D. students, and artists. Graduate students conducting thesis/dissertation research are strongly preferred. Applications from all fields of study are welcome. Projects that involve work with communities outside of the host institution will be particularly welcome.
Accepted Degree Levels
Foreign Language Proficiency
The language requirements vary as required by grant activity, but in general, intermediate Spanish proficiency is recommended to help facilitate the researcher's successful academic performance and interaction with Colombian counterparts, local populations, and other relevant stakeholders.
Candidates with basic or limited Spanish language skills can also be considered if the research topic and proposed grant activities do not require a fluent Spanish speaker.
Fulbright Proposal Types
Candidates are required to establish an affiliation with a higher education institution or research center in Colombia. The role of the affiliation in the U.S. Student Researcher Program is to provide ongoing and substantive oversight and support for the grantee's project. Therefore, applicants must initiate contact with a host institution of their preference and obtain a formal letter of invitation prior to submitting the application.
In addition to defining the support measures that will be provided to the candidate by the host institution (e.g. access to facilities or resources, collaboration with an ongoing project, etc.), the letter should state that a host contact person will be available during the grant period to mentor the applicant and/or supervise the applicant's work on the proposed project.
Previous IRB or other institutional approvals are not required by the Commission. However, the candidate must confirm with their home institution in the U.S. and host institution in Colombia whether any research clearance is required for their projects to be approved or conducted.
Securing a letter of invitation is an essential step in the application process for this award. For those interested in the award and in need of assistance in searching for and contacting host institutions in Colombia, please contact Sergio Sánchez, Program Officer at the Fulbright Commission. The Fulbright Commission can arrange a list of recommended host institutions in Colombia including academic and contact information according to the candidate's specific field of interest, geographical region of interest, academic project, and preferences.
U.S. Student researchers may attend a few bachelor's or graduate courses at the host institution, as observers/guests, provided that it does not affect their grant activities.
It is important to note that U.S. Student Researchers in Colombia do not have formal enrollment status at the host institution. Course attendance may generate fees, which are not covered by the grant. The U.S. Student can pay for separate independent courses with personal funds if desired.
Fulbright Colombia provides general information to grantees about how to secure housing but does not make any arrangements. It is the grantee’s responsibility to secure housing in Colombia, during the grant period, according to their preferences and needs.
It is highly encouraged that grantees contact the International Relations Office at their host institution who are accustomed to receiving foreign students, therefore, may share resources for housing in different cities.
Dual citizens of this country are eligible
Residency in host country permitted in year prior to grant
Grantees with dual U.S. and Colombian nationality are required by Colombian law to enter the country on a Colombian passport.
Located in the northwest corner of South America, Colombia has a rich and complex geography that is shaped by three Andean mountain ranges and lined by both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is the fourth largest country in South America and the third most populous nation in the region.
The country’s natural diversity is comparable to its rich cultural heritage reflecting the indigenous, Spanish, and African origins of its people. This makes Colombian food, music, dance, and art greatly diverse and unique. Additionally, over the last five years, Colombia has established itself as one of the most rapidly growing and innovative economies in Latin America.
A remarkable location for biodiversity, sustainable development, and peace studies
Colombia has always been a preferred destination for students and scholars from around the world conducting research or interested in biodiversity and sustainable development. As the second most biodiverse country in the world, Colombia offers numerous possibilities for academic visitors to expand their knowledge of natural environments ranging from plains and deserts to high mountains, snowy peaks, Amazonian jungle, and Pacific and Caribbean coastlines— each with its own set of unique fauna and flora. Thus, Colombia provides a wonderful context for adventurous researchers aiming to engage in research in unique ecological landscapes and to work with communities native to these areas.
In recent years, the country has also become a primary destination for researchers interested in peacemaking, rural development, and social transformation. After the ratification of the peace agreement in 2016 between the 50-year old FARC guerrilla group and President Santos' administration, Colombia became a literal living laboratory for the implementation of innovative peace agreements especially in the country's rural areas that are home to many demobilized members of the former FARC insurgency. The “new” Colombia, has opened its doors for foreign scholars and students to do research in regions that were not possible to access in the past. While there have been major improvements in terms of security in Colombia, important challenges remain present as the peace agreements are implemented.
A diversified and connected system of higher education
Colombia has a growing and diverse higher education system, composed of over 296 higher education institutions, offering more than 2,206 master’s programs, and 374 doctoral programs. Colombian higher education institutions have been innovating their programs and procedures in order to attract more foreign scholars and students. The National Ministry of Education and its allies, MinCiencias and ICETEX, have invested heavily in advancing the installed capacities of Colombia's higher education system in order to improve the research and teaching in their campuses.
Furthermore, the nation-wide initiative “Colombia Challenge your Knowledge” (CCYK), which is led by the top universities in the country, has been analyzing and implementing the best internationalization practices in order to attract more international visitors.
Colombia’s investment in Science, Technology, and Innovation
A number of new partnerships between Colombian and U.S. universities have been cemented during recent years; many of which are funded by Colombia Científica. As the flagship Colombian governmental initiative to promote internationalization, science, and research in the country, Colombia Científica has coordinated initiatives between the country’s productive sector and world-class higher education institutions.
This inter-institutional initiative, supported by the World Bank, has gathered 148 stakeholders participating in eight Scientific Ecosystems in the following strategic focus areas: bio-economics, health, sustainable energy, food, and society. More than 900 products have been developed in the framework of this alliance, including patents, prototypes, bioprocessing facilities, industrial design registrations, and spin-offs, among others.
The Territorial Ecosystems of Science, Technology, and Innovation (CT&I), established by MinCiencias, also provide a framework for development in the different regions of Colombia. By integrating the regions' specific needs into strategic investment projects, competitive production areas, and development initiatives, the Department Councils of CT&I have played a key role in the alignment of regional initiatives and in setting goals and policies for science, technology, and innovation in the country.
Finally, during the last decade, Colombia has experienced impressive progress in terms of digital government and policy-making for the strengthening of Information and Communication Technologies. As part of this achievement, the Colombian government has created Excellence and Appropriation Centers, aiming to firmly establish Colombia within the field of big data analytics.
Fulbright in Colombia
The Fulbright Commission in Colombia has made determined efforts aimed to enhance diversity, decentralization, and access to the opportunities Fulbright offers for graduate study, research, teaching, and English acquisition. Broadening the geographical presence of U.S. grantees in the country has been critical to achieving these objectives.
The extended coverage of Fulbright Programs for U.S. participants in the country has been possible thanks to the significant contributions from Colombian partners such as ICETEX, SENA, the National Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Institutions, among others.
To learn more about Colombia as a travel destination, visit http://www.colombia.co/. For questions related to the U.S. Student Researcher Program in Colombia or if you need assistance in finding a suitable host institution for your application, please email Program Officer, Sergio Sánchez.
Applicants conducting research activities must know that certain cities and rural areas of the country may be restricted by the U.S. Embassy in Colombia for security reasons. For updated security conditions in the country, please visit the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories website.
All ground travel in Colombia must be approved by the Fulbright Commission and the U.S. Embassy prior to making travel arrangements.
Any questions or concerns regarding fieldwork trip destinations or placements, please contact Sergio Sanchez, Program Officer at the Fulbright Commission in Colombia.