Fulbright-García Robles Postdoctoral Scholar Award
Number of recipients
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
This award is to support postdoctoral fellows undertaking original research, working to publish research findings, developing and expanding personal research networks, and preparing for research-intensive careers, especially within academia.
As teaching experience can also be included in professional development, this grant allows a Research / Teaching mix, not to exceed a 30% teaching to 70% research ratio. Applicants for a combined project are required to indicate the proposed ratio of teaching to research in the project statement.
Applications or affiliations located in areas where there is a level 4 U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory in effect will NOT be considered. See the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories webpage for further information.
Full academic year grants preferred. Nine-month grants start in August or September 2023. One semester grants must correspond to the host institution's academic calendar, to start in August or September, or January.
A letter of invitation from a qualified Mexican university, accredited institution, research facility or government agency is required at the time of application close date.
Applicants are encouraged to register qualified language evaluator, such as a language instructor or a translator, to conduct the external assessment in the application. Being a native speaker alone does not qualify an individual to conduct the assessment.
Applicants who are native speakers do not need to complete an external evaluation.
The level of Spanish language proficiency must be commensurate with the requirements of the project. A higher level of Spanish may be required for some projects.
Recommended applicants will be invited by the Fulbright Commission in Mexico (COMEXUS) to be virtually interviewed in Spanish by a panel of experts in late 2022 or early 2023.
Candidates are only considered eligible for a postdoctoral stay if they received their Ph.D. within five years of the Fulbright award start date. Selected candidates must submit proof of Ph.D. completion prior to award acceptance.
Postdoctoral grantees receive US$2,900 per month.
One round-trip international air ticket for the grantee not to exceed US$1,000 and a one-time settling-in allowance of US$1,200.
A reimbursable allowance of up to US$750 will be included in the final installment of grant to cover educational materials donated to the host institution or research site (with justification).
Additional dependent allowances are available: US$250 per month for one dependent, US$400 per month for two dependents, and US$500 per month for three or more dependents.
Dependents must accompany the grantee for at least 80% of the period abroad and a minimum of one semester in order to qualify for additional dependent benefits. Dependent benefits are not provided to Flex grantees.
The cost of living can vary greatly depending on where in Mexico you will be conducting your research. Los Cabos in Baja California Sur; Cancun in the Yucatán, and Mexico City are three of the most expensive cities in Mexico. La Paz, also in Baja California Sur, and Oaxaca are among the most affordable locations in Mexico. Summary about cost of living in Mexico City, Mexico: Rent for a comfortable apartment in a modest neighborhood can start at around $450 per month. Rent in a larger apartment in one of the nicer neighborhoods can start at $800 per month and go upwards of $1,500. Rent in Mexico City is, on average, 80% lower than in New York. A single person estimated monthly costs are approximately $550 USD without rent. A family of four estimated monthly costs are approximately $1,800 USD without rent. Summary about cost of living in Oaxaca, Oaxaca: Rent for a comfortable apartment in a decent neighborhood can range between $300-600 per month. A single person estimated monthly costs are approximately $400 USD without rent. A family of four estimated monthly costs are approximately $1,000 USD without rent.
During their grant period, Fulbright U.S. Scholars in the Western Hemisphere (WHA) region may apply for a short-term regional travel grant for activities such as workshops, seminars, presentations, lectures, performances, exhibits, curricular advising and similar projects at institutions in eligible WHA countries. (Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Uruguay).
The Regional Travel Program covers travel to and from the destination; lodging may be offered by the host institution. Scholars may only apply for this grant once they are in country on their Fulbright grant. Scholars who apply for the Flex award are ineligible for the Regional Travel Program. Additional information can be found on the Regional Travel Program website.
Please note that the Regional Travel Program is currently paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible Scholars will be notified of its reopening, which is dependent on the status of the global health situation.
Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
The close, dynamic relationship between the United States and Mexico offers a plethora of opportunities for scholars interested in conducting research or teaching at the university level on issues of relevance for both countries. Mexico is proud of its ancestral cultural heritage as well as its long history of academic excellence. The opportunities for informed travel and discovery for U.S. scholars are endless. Click here to view a list of U.S. Scholars to Mexico, and read more about Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassadors Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor and Brian Klopotek.
The site of major Amerindian civilizations - including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec, among others, and home to one of the most biodiverse environments, it is no wonder that - Mexico boasts the largest UNESCO world heritage in the American continent: 14 cities, 35 cultural and natural sites, as well as an important number of untangible patrimonies. Additionally, Mexico has designated 132 Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns), communities that over time have maintained their original architecture, traditions, history and culture, which enhance the richness of travel destinations.
Mexico was colonized by Spain in the early 16th century and achieved independence three centuries later. Elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente Fox of the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe Calderón, but Enrique Peña Nieto regained the presidency for the PRI in 2012. Left-leaning politician and former mayor of Mexico City (2000-05) Andrés Manuel López Obrador, from the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA), became president in December 2018. Presidents in Mexico cannot be reelected after their six-year term.
Education in Mexico has a long tradition. The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), which started as Real y Pontificia Universidad de México (Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico) was founded in 1551 and is the second most ancient institution of higher education in the American Continent, after Lima, Peru. UNAM has been cited as one of the largest and most important universities, not only in Mexico but in all of Latin America. Its philosophy is closely tied to social responsibility, at the service of the country and humankind by educating academics and professionals to be of use to society, able to organize and carry out research on social and political issues that have vast cultural benefits. All three of Mexico’s Nobel Prize winners, Octavio Paz, Mario J. Molina and Alfonso García Robles were UNAM graduates.
There are six subsystems of higher education institutions in Mexico: public universities, technological institutes, technological universities, teacher training colleges, and other public and private institutions. When all of them are counted, Mexico has 1,250 institutions of higher education. Mexico’s 45 public universities, generate 50 percent of all academic research and produce 52 percent of undergraduates as well as 48 percent of graduate students. There are also one hundred and sixty-eight private universities to be found throughout the country.
There are a few very interesting and original public higher educational institutions unique to Mexico that have been studied and reproduced in other countries. This is the case of the Universidades Interculturales, specifically designed for bilingual and bicultural environments in regions with a strong indigenous presence. There is a world-renowned prestigious agricultural university, La Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo, that boards students from all over the country. The Escuelas Normales Rurales (teacher training in rural areas) are also exemplary educational institutions. All combined, the opportunities for U.S. Scholars to establish relationships with their Mexican counterparts are endless.
The education system is mostly centered in Mexico City, however, there are other important educational hubs that attract students from all over, for example, Puebla, Puebla; Xalapa, Veracruz; Leon and Guanajuato, Guanajuato; Guadalajara, Jalisco and Merida in the Yucatán peninsula.
COMEXUS, the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, manages all Fulbright grants in Mexico. Founded in 1990, COMEXUS has a demonstrated record of helping grantees get oriented in their new environment. Since 1992, the COMEXUS Board of Directors established that all of the Mexico-specific scholarships would be officially named “Fulbright-García Robles” in honor of Alfonso García Robles, Mexican Ambassador Emeritus and 1982 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Mexico also shares a multi-country grant with Canada, the Fulbright-Carlos Rico Award for North American Studies, which honors Ambassador Carlos Rico, who served as Mexican Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for North America from 2006 to 2009. COMEXUS promotes the development of networks of individuals and institutions that stimulate research and teaching on important themes related to the binational agenda.
COMEXUS is particularly interested in projects addressing issues of relevance to U.S.-Mexico relations, including culture, economic integration, society and politics, migration, trade policy, ecological issues, human rights, education, public health, and border issues. While COMEXUS is currently particularly focused on research and teaching projects related to the STEM fields, they also have a long history of supporting projects in the arts (both performance and fine arts) that further dialogue and contact between U.S. and Mexican art communities.
Fulbright-García Robles awards are open to candidates at any academic or professional rank, in all disciplines with the exception of medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry. The fields of interest are non-exhaustive and applications from all disciplines are accepted. COMEXUS encourages applicants looking for postdoctoral research stays in Mexico.
Typically, academic semesters begin in August or September and/or January or February. Grant periods from three to nine months are accepted; nine-month academic-year grants are preferred. All grants are to be completed by the end of June. For grants over six months, grantees and accompanying dependents must obtain a visa authorization prior to entering Mexico, which is arranged by COMEXUS. Grantees with dual U.S. and Mexican nationality are eligible to apply and, although they are bounded by all laws pertaining to foreigners while in-country, they are required by Mexican law to enter Mexico on a Mexican passport. However, due to Mexican immigration regulations, U.S. citizens with permanent residency or a current work visa are not eligible to apply.
The Fulbright Commission in Mexico follows the recommendations of both the Mexican government and the U.S. Embassy when placing U.S. Fulbright grantees in Mexico. Placement may be restricted in certain states or areas of Mexico, dependent on these recommendations. Please consult the detailed U.S. State Dept. Travel Warning for information about your prospective location. Projects in level 4 travel advisory areas will not be considered.
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.