Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships

The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships are designed for Indian scholars who are registered for a Ph.D. at an Indian institution. These fellowships are for six to nine months.

Applications are invited in the following fields only: Agricultural Sciences; Applied Economics; Education Policy and Planning; Energy Studies; International Security and Strategic Studies; Public Health Policy and Management; Public Policy (limited to Science and Technology Policy); Science and Technology (limited to bioengineering, climate change sciences, computer and mathematical sciences, and neurosciences); Study of India (limited to language/literature/linguistics, history, and visual and performing arts); Study of the United States (limited to language/literature/linguistics, history, and visual and performing arts); Urban and Regional Planning; Women’s and Gender Studies.


You will be affiliated to one U.S. host institution for your grant. USIEF strongly recommends all 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 online application.

Grant Benefits

The fellowships provide a monthly stipend, Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges per U.S. Government guidelines, round-trip economy class air travel, applicable allowances and modest affiliation fees, if any. Selected scholars will have opportunities to audit non-degree courses, conduct research and gain practical work experience in suitable settings in the U.S. No allowances are provided for dependents. The grant is not sufficient to support family members.

Eligibility Requirements

In addition to the General Prerequisites, the applicants:

  • You should have done adequate research in the relevant field, especially in the identification of resources in India and the U.S. You should be registered for your Ph.D. at an Indian institution at least one year prior to the date of application. In your online application form, you should upload a letter from your Ph.D. supervisor that comments on your research work and the usefulness of the fellowship, and indicates the Ph.D. registration date and topic;
  • This grant is intended for Ph.D. students to conduct research essential to their dissertations/thesis. Therefore, your expected Ph.D. thesis submission date should not be earlier than three months after your Fulbright-Nehru grant end date. For example, if May 2017 is your grant end date, you cannot submit your thesis before August 2017. Please indicate the Ph.D. registration date and the expected Ph.D. thesis submission date in the Applicant Annexure. You can download the Applicant Annexure from the USIEF website;
  • If you are employed, please follow the instructions carefully regarding employer’s endorsement. If applicable, please obtain the endorsement from the appropriate administrative authority on the FNDR Employer’s Endorsement Form. The employer must indicate that leave will be granted for the fellowship period. You can download the FNDR Employer’s Endorsement Form from the USIEF website; and
  • You should upload a 'writing sample' such as a copy of an article or paper published/presented or extracts from the M.Phil. thesis in your online application form. Note: These fellowships are for pre-doctoral level research. Applicants with Ph.D. degrees or those at the final stage of Ph.D. thesis submission will not be considered.

Note: These fellowships are for pre-doctoral level research. Applicants with Ph.D. degrees or those at the final stage of Ph.D. thesis submission will not be considered.

How to Apply
Applications must be submitted online. Click the links below for the following:

Application Due Date: July 1, 2015

Timeline and Placement Process

July 1, 2015 Application due date for 2016-2017 awards
July-August 2015 Field-specific experts review applications to short-list candidates
Late August 2015 National interviews of short-listed candidates in Delhi
Early September 2015 USIEF notifies principal and alternate nominees that they are recommended. Nominees take TOEFL
October 2015 USIEF forwards applications of recommended candidates to the U.S. for J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) approval and placement
March-April 2016 USIEF notifies finalists
May-June 2016 Pre-Departure Orientation
July-August 2016 Pre-academic training in the U.S. (if required)
August-September 2016 Degree program begins



You can apply for only ONE Fulbright-Nehru fellowship category during a competition cycle. 


Plagiarism in the application will lead to disqualification.


Unless otherwise specified, Fulbright-Nehru applications are to be submitted online. 


Applications received after the deadline will NOT be considered.


Extensions and transfer of visa sponsorship will not be permitted.