Fulbright Graduate Student Award 2019-20

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Do you dream of studying abroad? Do you want to develop your talents and build a career at a university in the USA that suits you?

Then apply for the Fulbright Graduate Student Award!

Awards are granted through a competition that is open to graduates from higher education institutions who intend to enrol in a master’s, doctoral program, or other study program that awards a graduate diploma at a U.S. higher education institution (except for medical studies requiring direct contact with patients, LLM, and MBA programs).

If you are interested in applying, please visit Polish version of this website. The deadline for applications for the 2019–20 academic year is April 27, 2018.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for individuals, who:

Know why they want to study in the USA and are able to show the Fulbright Commission that a stay at an American university fits well with their scientific and professional plans.

Have a curiosity about the world and are open to new scientific and non-academic experiences.

Are hard-working and motivated.

Are ready to represent Polish science and culture in the USA

Grant duration

9–10 months (1 academic year).

Participation in this program include

Nominees can choose between two placement tracks: IIE-Placed or Self-Placed:

  • IIE-Placed – In which experienced recruiters from the Institute of International Education (IIE) – an institution administering the Fulbright Program in the USA – support the candidate in the selection of a university and then submit all the required documents to the American university on their behalf, and additionally negotiate with the university for the best possible conditions. The candidate does not bear any of the costs related to submitting the application or obtaining the required GRE and TOEFL exams. The universities and programs preferred by the candidate will be taken into account provided that his/her qualifications, as assessed by IIE, meet the application requirements and that the program is suited to the needs and objectives of the candidate.
  • Self-Placed – In which the candidate has full freedom of choice with regard to university and program, independently submits all the required documents to the American university, incurs the related costs (e.g., costs of tests and application fees), and independently negotiates with the university regarding admission conditions. At every stage of the preparation of the application the candidate can take advantage of free advice from an EducationUSA advisor and the program officer.

Scholarships are granted for up to USD 47,000. The grant is primarily intended to cover grantee’s living expenses. Ultimately, the amount of the scholarship depends on the scholarship’s affiliation (the cost estimated by the IIE or university; for example, the estimated costs according to IIE for the University of Florida (Gainesville) are 1340 USD per month and for Columbia University (New York) 2000 USD per month), real needs, and available financial resources.

It may also cover:

  • the full or partial costs of tuition and/or fees.
  • travel allowance for the grantee’s round trip to the U.S. (1500 USD).
  • a one-off relocation and settling-in allowance (1300 USD).
  • a one-off conference and books allowance (1000 USD).

The grant may be renewed for grantees continuing their studies in their second year in the amount not higher than in the previous year, reduced by the cost of the travel allowance. The funding renewal for the second year may be granted provided that the candidate maintains a high grade point average during the first year of study.

For the duration of the scholarship, the grantee receives a free J-1 visa, and J-2 visas for accompanying family members. The visas are sponsored by the US Department of State and are subject to the 2-year home-country physical presence requirement.

As part of the scholarship the grantee will be covered by the basic medical insurance, Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE), financed by the US Department of State.

The Fulbright Commission makes every effort to ensure that the grantee is best prepared for the scholarship in terms of both substantive and practical aspects. Before leaving, the grantee participates in an information meeting on, among other things, grant documentation, procedures, and everyday life in the culture of the United States. Thanks to program alumni who are invited to the meeting, grantees can receive first-hand advice, make new contacts, and dispel any doubts.

Upon arrival in the USA, the grantee will be under the care of qualified coordinators from the IIE and the host university, who both provide support. Being one of the participants within the Fulbright community in the USA, the grantee will be able to take part in many scientific and non-academic events, during which they will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about selected aspects of political life or US economy, and expand his or her network of contacts.

At the end of the scholarship, the Commission invites all grantees to the Graduate Ceremony. Alumni have many opportunities to get involved in the Commission’s activities and thus spread the ideals of the Fulbright Program.

Behind the success of the Fulbright Program are its alumni – nearly 400,000 scientists, artists, journalists and politicians from over 170 countries. The scholarship enables people to join this prestigious group and use its international network of contacts.

As alumni of the Program, you have the opportunity to cooperate with the Fulbright Commission on promotional activities. For scholarship candidates, alumni are an excellent source of knowledge about the benefits of staying in the US and an effectively apply to the Program. We encourage you to share your success and knowledge through personal contact with potential candidates, participate in our presentations, and by organizing meetings, promote the Fulbright Program in Poland. We also invite you to undertake other initiatives that may receive funds from the Karen Kirchgasser Fund. This fund offers financing for alumni projects of up to PLN 1,000 for each new project.

Another possibility for cooperation with the Commission is to contribute to the process of recruitment of future scholars, whether through reviewing applications or by participating in recruitment interviews. Every year, we organize information sessions for scholarship holders traveling to the USA or those coming to Poland, during which the Program’s alumni present important issues related to staying, studying, and conducting research and lectures in the USA or in Poland.

A new initiative of the Commission is the training and mentoring program TopMinds, which is implemented jointly with the partner organization, the Association Top 500 Innovators. This program is addressed to first, second and third-level students of Polish universities who are completing their studies and planning careers in science, business, or public administration. The program offers individual mentoring and training in the development of interpersonal competences. The Program’s mentors are graduates of the Fulbright Program and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s Top 500 Innovators Program. The program runs from March to June each year – we start the recruitment of mentors in September.

In addition, during the year, the Commission organizes a number of regional and small meetings for alumni, the Fulbright Alumni End of Summer BBQ in September in Warsaw, as well as a festive dinner on the occasion of Thanksgiving in November, also in Warsaw.

As alumni of the Fulbright Program, you can obtain membership to several graduate organizations. There are two independent alumni associations in Poland: the Alumni Association, and the Polish Fulbright Scholars Association; while the United States has the Fulbright Association. We also encourage you to register on the international alumni database run by the US Department of State: alumni.state.gov.


Individuals who are eligible to apply are those who:

  • Are Polish citizens who do not have dual Polish and U.S. citizenship, or permanent residence in the U.S. (green card).

  • Hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree (a licencjat/inżynier degree if the studies were completed in Poland) at the time of application, or will be awarded a degree by June of the grant year, at the latest.

  • Have maintained a high grade point average during the course of their studies, and are able to demonstrate outstanding accomplishments and clearly specify their academic and research interests.

  • Have a very good command of the English language.

  • Meet the formal requirements of the J-1 visa.

  • Are not in the United States at the time of submitting their application and who have not resided in the United States for five or more consecutive years within the six-year period preceding the date of the application.

  • Preference is given to those candidates who have not had any substantial, recent experience in the United States.

Information for applicants

Please follow Polish version of this website for instructions.

The application consists of an application form that includes the following documents in the English language:

  • An essay on your Study/Research Objectives;
  • A Personal Statement;
  • Your Curriculum Vitae with a list of academic as well as non-academic accomplishments;
  • A copy of your Bachelor’s diploma (licencjat/inżynier diploma if the studies were completed in Poland) and/or Master’s diploma, along with a diploma supplement and/or transcript; or a certificate
  • confirming the planned completion of your study program by June of the award year, including a transcript;
  • A current TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, CPE or other exam score confirming English language proficiency at a B2 level or higher;
  • Three letters of recommendation that are submitted through the Embark system by the recommending individuals.

Applicants must also submit a separete address form by the deadline.

  • Up until April 27, 2018 – recruitment. The Embark system and address form will be open until April 27, 23:59,
  • May 11, 2018 – formal evaluation of applications,
  • Mid-June 2018 – substantive evaluation of applications,
  • End of June 2018 – interviews with selected candidates,
  • End of July 2018 – results of the competition,
  • August 2018 – approval of nominations by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in the USA,
  • August – December 2018 – university selection process, applications for selected universities,
  • January – May 2019 – university decisions process,
  • May 2019 – pre-departure orientation in Warsaw.
  • August –September 2019 – Departure to the U.S.

Program Officer