FAQs - Fellowships for Indian Citizens

How and when do we get information on Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright fellowships?


Announcements inviting applications for Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright Fellowships appear in leading dailies in March every year. One can also approach USIEF offices in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai for information OR access the application material from the USIEF website www.usief.org.in


Do we submit paper applications or online applications?


Applicants for the following fellowship categories have to complete an online application. Application instructions can be downloaded from the website www.usief.org.in. Please visit the webpages of these fellowship categories for specific details.


  • Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships
  • Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships
  • Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
  • Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships
  • Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship
  • Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (application material is likely to be        available in Spring 2016)
  • Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program (application material is likely to be available in         July or August 2016)

Applicants for Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar need to submit paper applications. For application material write to: ieas@usief.org.in


Applicants for Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program need to submit soft copy of the application form. For application material write to: humphrey@usief.org.in


How many letters of reference/recommendation do I need to submit?


Depending on the grant category, applicants are advised to request two to three referees to send in their recommendations by the application due date. Please read the applicant instructions.


If I am employed, do I need my employer’s approval as part of my application?


If you are employed, please follow the instructions carefully regarding employer’s endorsement. If you are required to route your application through proper channel, then your application will be considered ineligible without the employer’s endorsement. The employer must indicate that leave will be granted for the fellowship period. Please obtain the endorsement from the appropriate administrative authority.


For the Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral, Postdoctoral, Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships and Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship, does it help to establish contact with potential U.S. host institutions at the time of application? Is it mandatory?


You will be affiliated to only one U.S. host institution for the entire duration of your grant. USIEF strongly recommends applicants to identify institutions with which they wish to be affiliated and to correspond, in advance, with potential host institutions. If you have secured a letter of invitation from a U.S. institution, please include it as a part of your application.


How long does the review process take?


The review process takes three to four months after the application deadline.


If selected, when can I begin my fellowship in the U.S.?


For the 2017-2018 cycle, most Fulbright fellows will begin their grants in August/September 2017. Depending upon the fellowship category, some fellows could begin in January 2018.

2017-2018 Fulbright-Nehru fellows have to come into grant status no later than March 31, 2018.


What does the selection process involve?


Subject experts will review all eligible applications. Applicants recommended by the subject experts will be required to appear for an interview in person with the USIEF National Selection Committee in New Delhi. They will be notified at least three weeks prior to the interview date. Depending on the grant category, the national selection committees meet between August and November.


Fulbright-Nehru selection panels will generally use the following criteria to evaluate applications:


  • Academic credentials and professional ability
  • Merit of the proposed Fulbright project
  • Communication skills
  • Commitment to community or national service
  • Need to conduct research in the U.S.
  • Outcomes, Potential Impact and Benefits
  • Motivation, Seriousness of Purpose, Maturity, Leadership, Cultural Adaptability
  • Ability to contribute as a cultural ambassador beyond his/her specific field of study


The national selection committees recommend a slate of nominees for further consideration of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) in Washington, D.C. Nominees are notified of the outcome typically in March/April.


Are Fulbright-Nehru and Fulbright grants available for attending conferences, seminars and paper presentations in the U.S. and other countries?


Fulbright-Nehru and Fulbright grants are not for the principal purpose of attending seminars and conferences or for presenting papers.


Who is eligible to apply for the Fulbright-Nehru and Fulbright Fellowships?


Please see the eligibility criteria listed with respect to each grant category in addition to the General Prerequisites.


Can I avail of a Fulbright-Nehru or Fulbright Fellowship for a project that I want to work on in India?


No. These grants are offered for study, research, teaching or professional development in the U.S.


What is the duration of the grants?


It can range from 2 weeks to 24 months depending on the grant category. See individual grant descriptions in the brochure or the website.


Is there a preferred age for each fellowship category?


Fellowship categories do not have age limits/age preferences. Please see individual grant descriptions in the brochure or the website.


I had applied for a Fulbright-Nehru/Fulbright fellowship in the past, but did not make it. Can I apply again?


Yes, you can apply again. Please review the eligibility criteria carefully.


Where can I get information on Indian Fulbright fellows?


Please visit the Current Fellows page on USIEF website www.usief.org.in to learn about our fellows currently in the U.S. and their Fulbright projects.


I am an Indian citizen living outside India. Can I apply?


The applicant must be residing in India at the time of application. No application will be accepted from Indians residing, working or studying outside of India.


I may be travelling during the listed interview dates. Would it be possible to make a telephone interview?


If shortlisted for an interview, you must appear in person for the interview at the USIEF office in New Delhi.


How do I obtain the Fellowships for Indian Citizens” brochure? Click here for a brochure on 2017-2018 Fellowships for Indian Citizens


If I have any queries regarding the fellowship programs, who should I contact?
You can send your queries as follows:
For Fulbright-Nehru Master Fellowships:masters@usief.org.in
For Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships: dr@usief.org.in
For Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: postdoc@usief.org.in
For Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships: ape@usief.org.in
For Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar: ieas@usief.org.in
For Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship: climate@usief.org.in
For Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program: humphrey@usief.org.in
For Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program:ip@usief.org.in
For Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program: ip@usief.org.in
For Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program: ip@usief.org.in