Fulbright Scholar Award

Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Awards (All Disciplines)

Application Deadline
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Award Code
Activity Type
Professional Project
A Professional Project enables the participant to engage in activities in their area of expertise to enhance their professional development and the field at large. Projects may include serving as a professional consultant to the host organization, sharing expertise, visiting other organizations in their professional field, gaining practical experience, and attending public lectures. While the details vary according to the specific award, the focus of a Professional Project grant should not be research or teaching.
Research includes activities involving scientific research, qualitative research, quantitative research, and practice-based research, including artistic research. Research can take place in locations such as the laboratory, the field, the archives, or an artist residency. It can be experimental, clinical, or applied. It can include examining policies, systems, theories, methods, interactions, and works of art and music, with the objective to evaluate or develop new knowledge or works. Quantifiable (tangible) outcomes can include publications (books, journal articles, scripts, etc.), conference presentations, artistic and musical compositions, exhibitions, performances, films, and patents.
Teaching includes classroom teaching, as well as giving guest lectures, workshops, and seminars, and engaging in other related activities. Classroom teaching is typically at the undergraduate and graduate level, and courses may be designed by the scholar or prescribed by the host institution and may be taught or co-taught by the scholar. The teaching load varies by award, as well as the host institution. Scholars may also consult on building research capacity, advise graduate students, and assist with thesis advising.
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) not required
Career Profile
Awards are open to individuals who have more than seven years of experience in an artistic profession.
Early Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for no more than seven years.
Mid-Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than seven, and less than 13, years.
Awards are open to individuals who have more than seven years of experience in a particular profession.
Senior Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than 13 years.

Number of recipients

Up To
Award Start Period
July 2023
March 2024
Award Length
4 months
9 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Projects are sought in all disciplines
Scholars selected for this award can choose to
Advise and/or mentor students
Assist in faculty, curriculum, and/or program development
Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses designated by the host institution
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses of the applicant’s choosing
Conduct a professional and/or artistic project
The applicant can propose any of the listed activities

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.

Award Activity

For research or teaching, or a combination of teaching and research activities. Teaching can include co-teaching, guest lectures, workshops, seminars. Depending on the department, it is likely that the grantee will also work with faculty on curriculum and program development. The applicant may determine the percentage of the grant dedicated to each activity and should define this clearly in the project abstract/summary and the project statement. Opportunities for guest lectures at other universities may also be available.

Applicant may propose an appropriate host
Locations Detail

Affiliations are available throughout India except for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Fulbrighters must be affiliated with institutions that are recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), or the Medical Council of India.  This means that Fulbrighters cannot be affiliated with non-government organizations (NGOs), think tanks, research organizations or other institutions that are not recognized by these regulatory bodies. 

The applicant is encouraged to indicate affiliation preference and secure an invitation letter from an institution when possible.  If the applicant does not have a preferred host institution, USIEF will be happy to assist with identifying an appropriate one.  Affiliations will be finalized by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) after the grantee is selected.  USIEF reserves the right to change the affiliation if the one indicated in the application is unsuitable for any reason.

Award Length and Period

Four to nine months; Flex grants: 4-6 months

Grants may begin any time between July 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.

Flex Description

Flex grants are available for research, teaching and teaching/research grants.

USIEF to bear cost of ticket for flex grantee only for up to three trips. Flex grant activity must be completed by August 31, 2025

Applicants should indicate in their project proposals how they intend to engage with the host institution and academic community beyond their research project.



The Flex Award is designed for scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. This option allows grants to be conducted over two or three short segments. Applicants must select Flex in the application form, and clearly describe their plans for Flex in their project statement, including a project timeline. Flex grantees may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host-country academic community.

Grant segments are allowed to be conducted in summer months
2 or 3 Segments MAY BE PROPOSED
Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Not applicable – all U.S. citizens are eligible to apply, regardless of dual citizenship or residency.
Invitation Requirement
A letter of invitation is optional.
Invitation Requirement Additional Information
  • Applicants are encouraged to identify appropriate host institutions for their projects.  USIEF encourages prospective applicants to contact current and former grantees about participating in the Fulbright Scholar Program and invites you to read their bios.
  • In the event that the applicant doesn’t have a preferred host institution, USIEF will be happy to assist. For suggested host institutions, please contact Priyanjana Ghosh, Senior Program Officer: Priyanjana@usief.org.in.
  • Applicants who have been in touch with potential host institutions should include any correspondence in the application, such as letters of invitation or expressions of interest.
  • Appropriate placements will be finalized for selectees by USIEF.
  • Applicants who do not indicate a preference for a host institution (especially those applying for teaching grants) and are open to an affiliation at an institution outside major metropolitan areas are encouraged to indicate this in their applications.

According to government of India guidelines, each scholar will be officially affiliated with a recognized Indian university/institution for their project and will be guided or assisted by an academic supervisor.  Therefore, USIEF will confirm final affiliations for candidates awarded Fulbright-Nehru grants. This is part of the official clearance and visa process.

Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient.
Additional Language Requirement

All teaching will be in English; additional language proficiency is not required.

For research, basic knowledge of a local language in the location of research can be an advantage; applicants are not required to submit a language proficiency evaluation.

Additional Qualification Information
  • Awards are open to practicing professionals and faculty of any academic rank.  Early career academics are encouraged to apply.
  • Community college faculty members are eligible for affiliation with undergraduate colleges and are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants without significant experience in India are encouraged to apply, as are India specialists.
  • Scholars who can contribute new methods of pedagogy, specifically interactive methods, group work and project-based learning are encouraged to apply.
  • Scholars may be placed at institutions with varying academic/administrative arrangements; undergraduate colleges often make optimum use of visiting scholars.
Additional Comments

Archaeological Research:

Applicants must clearly state in their proposals whether they will need to visit excavation sites. Selected candidates in this field will be required to fill out a form that USIEF will submit to the government of India for obtaining special clearance from the Archaeological Survey of India.

Archival Research:

Applicants should clearly state in their proposals whether they will need to consult records and/or papers in the National Archives, New Delhi or in state archives. USIEF will obtain the necessary letter from the U.S. Embassy, which will be required for a scholar’s entry into the archives.

Award Allowances

$4,000 per month. Support in arranging housing will be provided by USIEF and the host institution.

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

• Round-trip international travel for grantee.

• One-time baggage allowance of $350 for grants up to four months and $600 for grants longer than four months. The allowance is paid at the end of the grant period upon submission of final reports to USIEF and IIE.

For Flex, grantees will receive:

• A maximum of three round-trip tickets for the grantee only; One-time baggage allowance of $350 paid at the end of the grant upon submission of final reports to USIEF and IIE.

Estimated Book and Research Allowance

A one-time teaching/research allowance of up to $750 for grants of six months or less and up to $1,000 for grants longer than six months, provided on a reimbursable basis for specific allowable expenses.

Additional Dependent Benefits

Additional living allowance of $200 per month per dependent, up to a maximum of three dependents who accompany the grantee for at least 80 percent of the grant period.

Travel for up to two accompanying dependents is also provided.

Up to $5,000 per child or $10,000 per family for accompanying dependent children in grades K-12 on a reimbursement basis. Tuition assistance is not available for scholars with Flex grants.

For Flex, grantees will receive:

• Additional Dependent allowance of $200 per month per dependent, up to maximum of two dependents who accompany the grantee for at least 80 percent of the grant period.

• Dependents of flex grantees are not eligible for travel benefits nor tuition assistance. 

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.

Special Award Benefits

South and Central Asia Fulbright Regional Travel Grant

During their grant period, Fulbright Scholars in the South and Central Asia (SCA) region may apply for a regional travel grant to engage in a variety of activities at academic institutions or non-profit organizations in eligible SCA countries (Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Republic of the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan).  Activities that U.S Scholars may engage in include: faculty and student lectures, graduate or faculty seminars, conferences, curriculum development, public lectures, panel presentations, needs assessment, or some combination thereof. Scholars in the arts may be invited to give master classes or recitals, participate in exhibitions or workshops, or consult with cultural institutions. Activities may not include research. This grant will cover travel to and from the destination and lodging may be offered by the hosting institution. Scholars may only apply for this grant once in country on their Fulbright grant. As funds are limited, Scholars are limited to one such travel grant.

Before traveling to another country on a Regional Travel Grant, it is important to confirm trip details with the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section or Fulbright Commission in that country.

Please note: The 2023-24 Fulbright Regional Travel Program will be dependent on global travel conditions. More information will be provided prior to grant departure.  


South and Central Asia Fulbright Midyear Conference

With funding provided by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S.-India Educational Foundation (the Fulbright Commission in India) invites eligible Fulbright Scholars in the South and Central Asia region to attend the annual South and Central Asia Fulbright Midyear Conference in India (usually held in February or March). The conference is an opportunity for current Fulbright U.S. Scholars who are on their Fulbright grants in the SCA region at the time of the conference to gather to discuss each other’s work and educational exchange issues and to invite suggestions for the future development and enhancement of the Fulbright Program. Financial assistance to attend the conference is provided as an additional Fulbright grant benefit.

Please note: The 2023-24 Fulbright Midyear Conference will be dependent on global travel conditions. More information will be provided prior to grant departure.  


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.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), the Fulbright Commission in India, offers more than 50 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grants across four award categories for the 2023-24 academic year. The Fulbright-Nehru Program offers the largest number of scholar grants worldwide.


India is the world’s largest democracy, with a vibrant and growing economy, rich history, kaleidoscopic diversity, and an enormous appetite for education. Its education system is among the largest and continues to expand at a rapid pace. India attracts faculty and students to study, teach and conduct research, its expertise extending beyond the technical and business fields to nearly all academic disciplines.

India’s education priorities include increasing access and equity and improving the quality of teaching and research. The Indian higher education system follows the British model, and all instruction is in English. The system is comprised of universities and university-level institutions, colleges, and diploma-awarding institutions (e.g., polytechnics and specialist institutes). Institutions are also categorized by funding sources: central government, state government and private.  Undergraduate admission is highly competitive and is exam-based for most disciplines and institutions.

The expansion of the Fulbright Program in India has been an important development. The government of India became an equal partner in the financial support of the Fulbright Program in 2008, providing significant resources to increase the number of grants and renaming it to the Fulbright-Nehru Program. USIEF administers the Fulbright-Nehru U.S. Scholar Program, providing in-country support for grantees through its five offices (New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai).

The academic year in India generally runs from July to April. Some institutions have adopted the semester system and others follow the traditional academic session with grading based on end-of-year examinations.

Fulbright grantees are not permitted to travel to the Union Territory of Jammu or Kashmir.

All grantees receive an in-country briefing upon arrival in India. The Fulbright Commission in India pays careful attention to the safety of grantees, including those with families: spouses and children are welcome.

More information on Indian higher education:

In July 2020, the Union Cabinet of India approved the New Education Policy (NEP), which replaces the National Policy on Education-1986 and aims at universalization of education from pre-school to secondary level. The policy offers a comprehensive framework for elementary education to higher education and is set to bring major changes in the education system of India, such as a new 5+3+3+4 structure, introduction of vocational education training at younger levels, allowing top foreign universities to set up campuses in India, and a move towards institutes turning multi-disciplinary. The policy is based on the pillars of “Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, Accountability” and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge hub. Since education is a concurrent subject (both the Central and the state governments can make laws on it), the reforms proposed can only be implemented collaboratively by the Center and the states. The government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy.

Previous Fulbright Recipients

Click here to view a list of U.S. Scholar alumni to India. Read more about Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassador, Professor Jeff Withey, who collaborated with microbiologists at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases in Kolkata.

Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.