Fulbright Senior Award 2019-20

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Fulbright Senior Award is a scholarship for researchers and teachers (who work at universities, research institutes, scientific units of the Polish Academy of Sciences, international scientific institutes and other scientific units in Poland) for the implementation of their own research projects at American universities, non-profit research institutes and some government institutions. Scholarship holders, in addition to the implementation of the research project, can also teach courses.

Do you want to implement your research project in the American academic environment? Publications and document that are of interest to you are in libraries and archives 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!

The competition is open to projects in all fields, except for those which require direct contact with patients. We especially encourage applicants representing STEM fields and with projects related to online safety and media literacy.

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 30, 2018.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for scholars:

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 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

3-9 months.

Participation in the program includes

The scholarship is intended, first of all, to go towards the costs of maintaining the scholarship holder. The amount of the scholarship depends on the scholarship’s affiliation, real needs, and available financial resources  (2750/3100/3500 USD per month depending on the location of the host institution).

It may also cover:

  • travel allowance for the grantee’s trip to/from the U.S. (1500 USD);
  • a one-off relocation and settling-in allowance (1300 USD);
  • monthly research, books and conference allowance (300 USD/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/month/person).

Free of charge J-1 visa for the grantee and J-2 visas for the 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 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 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 civic and 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: alumni.state.gov.

Formal requirements

Individuals eligible to apply:

  • 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 Ph.D. degree and are employed as researchers or researchers and lecturers in higher education institutions, research institutes, Polish Academy of Science units, international scientific institutes or other scientific units in Poland.

  • 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 the application and have not resided in the United States for 5 or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the date of application.

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

  • Candidates with a Ph.D. and a “habilitation” degree or with professor rank, affiliated at higher education institutions, are eligible to apply only if they plan to teach classes with students in addition to the research project.

Information for applicants

Please follow Polish version of this website for instructions.

The application consists of an application form in the Embark system that includes the following documents in the English language, which need to be uploaded to the system:

  • A description of a research or research and teaching project underlying the need for its implementation in a selected institution in the USA (the so-called Project Statement) and a reliable bibliography in the MLA (Modern Language Association) format;
  • A current certificate of employment at a university, research institute, scientific unit of the Polish Academy of Sciences, international scientific institute and other scientific unit in Poland;
  • A valid letter of invitation from the host institution in the USA, issued by the head of the unit in question for the competition;
  • A Curriculum Vitae with a list of accomplishments, including awards, publications and patent applications;
  • A document confirming English language proficiency at a B2 level or higher, e. g. test/exam scores, English language certificate (the certificate of the PhD exam in the English language is also recognized) or the diploma of completion of studies in English along with the supplement or list of grades;
  • Three letters of recommendation that are submitted through the Embark system by the recommending individuals.

Candidates, who will teach classes for students are additionally required to submit:

  • Syllabus of proposed activities (minimum one course) with a reliable bibliography in the MLA format – the number and form of the proposed activities depend on the capabilities and needs of the university and the candidate;
  • Document confirming the initial acceptance of the syllabus by the host institution.

February 1 – May 30 2018

Recruitment. The Embark system and address form will be open until May 30, 23:59.


Formal evaluation of applications.

June – September

Substantive evaluation of applications,


Interviews with selected candidates.


Results of the competition.

February 2019

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

February – July

Getting ready for departure, collecting documentation.

May 2019

Pre-departure orientation for grantees in Warsaw.

September 2019 or later

Departure to the U.S.

Program Officer