FAQs - Fellowships for Indian Citizens 2025-2026

How and when do we get information on Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright fellowships?
Every year in February, announcements are made soliciting applications for Fulbright Fellowships, including the Fulbright-Nehru and Fulbright-Kalam grants. For complete details, visit Fulbright Fellowships for Indian Citizens.

Do we submit paper applications or online applications?

Applicants are required to complete an online application. Applicant instructions can be downloaded from the USIEF website www.usief.org.in. Please visit the webpages of these fellowship programs for specific details.

  1. Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships
  2. Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships
  3. Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
  4. Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships
  5. Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Chair Program at Emory University
  6. Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Chair at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  7. Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar
  8. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowships for Doctoral Research
  9. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowships for Postdoctoral
  10. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowships for Academic and Professional Excellence
  11. Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
  12. Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program
  13. Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program
  14. Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers
  15. Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program

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 complete the letters of reference online by the application due date. Please read the applicant instructions for details.


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

If you are employed, you are required to route your application through the proper channel. Your application will be considered ineligible without the employer’s endorsement/Letter of Support from Home Institution. The employer must indicate that leave will be granted for the fellowship period. Please obtain the endorsement in the specified format from the appropriate administrative authority. Postdoc candidates working under government-funded projects are required to get an endorsement from their affiliating institutions in India.


For the Fulbright-Nehru and Fulbright-Kalam Doctoral, Postdoctoral, Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships, 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. It is not mandatory but highly preferred.


How long does the review process take?

The review process takes three to four months after the application deadline. For the timeline and placement process, please visit the grant specific webpages on our website www.usief.org.in.


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

For the 2025-2026 cycle, most Fulbright fellows will begin their grants in August/September 2025. Depending upon the fellowship category, some fellows could begin in January 2026. 2025-2026 Fulbright-Nehru fellows for non-degree programs have to come into grant status no later than May 31, 2026.


What does the selection process involve?

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


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

Fulbright-Nehru and other 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/Fulbright-Kalam 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 on USIEF website.


Is there a preferred age for each fellowship category?

Fellowship categories do not have age limits/age preferences. Please see individual grant descriptions on USIEF website.


I had applied for a Fulbright-Nehru/Fulbright-Kalam 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. In a given academic year, you are eligible to apply for only one Fulbright-Nehru or Fulbright-Kalam Fellowship. In the same academic year, candidates are not eligible to apply for both the Fulbright-Kalam and Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships.


Where can I get information on Indian Fulbright fellows?

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


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: ffsp@usief.org.in

For Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: postdoc@usief.org.in

For Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowships: fvsp@usief.org.in

For Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Chair at Emory University: fvsp@usief.org.in

For Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Chair at University of Massachusetts Amherst: fvsp@usief.org.in

For Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship for Doctoral Research: ffsp@usief.org.in

For Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research: postdoc@usief.org.in

For Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship for Academic and Professional Excellence: fvsp@usief.org.in

For Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program: ffsp@usief.org.in

For Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program: ip@usief.org.in

For Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program: ip@usief.org.in

For Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers: ip@usief.org.in

For Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program: fvsp@usief.org.in