Fulbright Junior Research Award 2019-20

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Do you want to collect materials for your doctoral thesis? Books and publications that are of interest to you are in libraries in the USA? Do you want to have access to the latest technologies in laboratories that are located only in the United States?

You can do that!

Fulbright Junior Research Awards are granted through a competition open to doctoral students preparing their Ph.D. at higher education institutions, research institutes, Polish Academy of Science units, international scientific institutes and other scientific units in Poland, in all fields, except for projects which require direct contact with patients.

If you are interested in applying, please visit Polish version of this website. The deadline for applications for the 2019–20 academic year is May 15, 2018.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for Ph.D. students:

Who are able to show the Commission why their project should be implemented in the USA and how the grant would match their research plans and the development of science in Poland.

Who are hard-working and motivated.

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

Who are ready to represent Polish science and culture in the USA.

Grant duration

6-9 months.

Participation in the program includes

The grant total depends on the grantee’s affiliation (IIE-estimated cost), real needs and available funds, e.g. University of Florida (Gainesville) 1340 USD per month, Columbia University (New York) 2000 USD per month.

It may also cover:

  • travel allowance for grantee’s round trip to the U.S. (1500 USD),
  • one-off relocation and settling-in allowance (1300 USD),
  • research, books and conference allowance (300 USD per month),
  • costs of mandatory affiliation fees and/or health insurance required by the U.S. host institution (depending on the total charges and available funds),
  • monthly family allowance for the dependent family, if the family accompanies the grantee for at least 80% of the grant period (250 USD per person monthly).

For the duration of the scholarship, the scholarship holder receives a free J-1 visa for him or herself, 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 student 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 scholarship holder is best prepared for their trip in terms of both substantive and practical aspects. Before leaving, the scholarship holder 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, scholarship holders can receive first-hand advice, make new contacts, and dispel any doubts.

Upon arrival in the USA, the scholarship holder 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 scholarship holder 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 scholarship holders to an official presentation of the certificates of completion. 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: https://alumni.state.gov/.


Individuals eligible to apply for the Fulbright Junior Research Award:

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

  • Are preparing their Ph.D. at a higher education institution, research institute, Polish Academy of Science unit, international scientific institute or other scientific unit in Poland, and their dissertation will be completed no sooner than after the grant.

  • Have a very good command of the English language.

  • Meet formal requirements of 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 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 Research Objectives essay with substantiation why the project should be conducted in the U.S. and a thorough bibliography in the MLA (Modern Language Association) format;
  • A Personal Statement; The application consists of an application form in the Embark system, including the following documents in English, which should be uploaded to the system:
  • A current certificate confirming candidate’s PhD student status;
  • A Curriculum Vitae with a list of accomplishments, including awards, publications (also those under review or in print) and patent applications;
  • An evaluation of the candidate’s research project provided by the doctoral dissertation supervisor at the candidate’s Polish home institution, along with a certificate confirming advancement of the candidate’s doctoral dissertation;
  • A current TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, CPE or other exam scores confirming English language proficiency at a B2 level or higher. All finalists who do not hold current TOELF/IELTS scores or whose scores are unsatisfactory will be required to take the TOEFL (available free of charge).
  • Three letters of recommendation that are submitted through the Embark system by the recommending individuals, including one from the doctoral thesis supervisor.
  • Applicants must also submit a separate address form before the deadline.

February 1 – April 27, 2018

Recruitment. The Embark system and address form will be open until April 27, 23:59.

May 11

Formal evaluation of applications,


Substantive evaluation of applications,

End of June

Interviews with selected candidates in Warsaw.

End of July

Results of the competition.

August 2018

Approval of nominations by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

August – December

Placement process.

January – May 2019

Host institutions decision process.


Pre-departure orientation for grantees.

August – September

Departure to the U.S.

Program Officer