Australian Applicants

This is Fulbright

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission offers scholarships to Australian citizens across all career stages. Awardees take part in an academic and cultural exchange, pursuing research or study at a U.S. institution, experiencing life abroad and bringing back their knowledge and experience to share with their communities in Australia.

A Fulbright award is more than a scholarship – it is, in the words of Senator Fulbright, a means of fostering “leadership, learning, and empathy between cultures… It is a modest program with an immodest aim – the achievement in international affairs of a regime more civilised, rational and humane than the empty system of power of the past.”

Fulbright Qualities

Australian Fulbright Scholarship recipients are interviewed and selected by panels of experts from academia, government, professional organisations and the U.S. Embassy. The panels are looking for the following attributes.

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High academic and professional merit

Fulbrighters have a record of high achievement in their chosen field, showcased through academic records, professional standing and recognition, as well as a through publications, exhibitions, performances, public lectures, or presentations.

Strong program proposal

Successful applicants propose a program that is feasible within the allocated time and is relevant / beneficial to their chosen field. Program proposals should identify:

  • An educational component of study and/or research;
  • Clearly defined goals to be achieved as part of the proposed research, and the unique role of the United States and its institutions in achieving these goals;
  • The relevance and value of the proposed program in furthering mutual understanding and institutional partnerships / collaboration between the United States and Australia;
  • A clear and specific plan to achieve the proposed program.

Defined potential outcomes

Further to the above, the proposed program proposal should:

  • >Define the potential benefits to the applicant’s institution, profession, employer and/or industry;
  • Outline how results and/or outcomes will be disseminated;
  • Outline the long-term linkages and collaborations that may be established at a personal, industry, academic and professional level.

Ambassadorial skills

The Fulbright program is unique in its exchange nature and ambassadorial emphasis – Fulbrighters are chosen on their ability to promote mutual understanding between Australia and the United States. Successful candidates also demonstrate their willingness to share their knowledge on return, and to productively build ongoing partnerships and linkages.

For examples of current and past awardees and their Fulbright supported projects, please visit our Current Scholar and Alumni pages.

Which Fulbright is right for me?

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission offers scholarship opportunities to Australian citizens across various academic and career stages. Click on the links below to access information for each category (including opportunities available).

Postgraduate Scholarships

Postdoctoral Scholarships

Scholar Awards

Distinguished Chair Scholarships

Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarships allow current postgraduate students undertaking their Australian PhD to conduct research in the U.S. for 4 months up to 8 month OR supports enrolment in a graduate degree program (dependent on award). Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarships allow individuals who have completed their PhD in the past 5 years or who will have their PhD conferral before the proposed date of departure to undertake postdoctoral research in the U.S. for 4–8 months. Fulbright Scholar Awards are for academics (at Associate or Full Professorial level) and mid-career professionals (with an undergraduate qualification and minimum 10 years’ work experience) to undertake research in the United States for 4 months. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair award is for an exceptional individual at Full Professorial level to carry out research in the United States for 5-6 months. 

Application Timeline

  • Applications are open from January to July each year.
  • Selected Postgraduate applicants will be invited for interviews on a rolling basis throughout August and September.
  • Selected Postdoctoral, Professional, and Scholar applicants will be invited for interviews on a rolling basis throughout October and November.
  • All applicants will receive notification of their application outcome by the end of the year.
  • Fulbright Scholarships are to be commenced in the U.S. academic year (August through May) following application and selection. Scholarships cannot be deferred.

Eligibility and Conditions

To qualify for a Fulbright scholarship through the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, you must meet and/or be aware of the following requirements.

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  • Applicants must be an Australian citizen (by birth or naturalisation)
  • Applicants cannot hold dual US-Australian citizenship or U.S. permanent residency (Green Card)
  • Applicants must be residing in Australia at the time of application (exceptions: applicants serving overseas in the Armed Forces, Australian diplomats posted overseas) Applicants who are on vacation/work commitments at the time of application may still apply.


  • Fulbright awardees must travel on a valid Australian passport.
  • Fulbright scholarships are contingent upon the candidate’s ability to secure and travel to the U.S. on an Exchange Visitor non-immigrant visa (J-1 visa) (administered and sponsored by the Fulbright Program) inclusive of medical clearance and security processes (you cannot engage in a Fulbright scholarship on any other visa).
  • The J-1 visa carries a 2-year home-residency requirement (clause 212e) for recipients in any category (student or scholar), meaning recipients must return to Australia for a cumulative total of two years at the end of their program before becoming eligible to apply to live/work in the United States. Clause 212e is in keeping with the exchange nature of the Fulbright program and encourages recipients to return to Australia to share their knowledge and experiences. J-1 recipients will not be prohibited from travelling to the U.S. for short-term visits on the visa waiver program, or on a non-immigrant visa. Clause 212e does not prohibit scholars from gaining residency or work visas in other countries (e.g. the United Kingdom).
  • The J-1 visa has a 24-month bar on “repeat participation” for recipients in the Research Scholar category. Scholars cannot return to the U.S. on a J-1 visa in the Professor or Research Scholar categories for 24 months. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents.
  • If you have previously held a J-1 visa and subsequent DS-2019, please upload the DS-2019 with your application. Please be aware that if clause 212e or the 24-month bar is in effect from a previous J-1, you will be unable to accept the Fulbright award, should it be offered to you, within the 24-month/212e period. Scholarships cannot be deferred until the 24-month/212e period has passed.


  • Applicants must not have already commenced study or research in the U.S.
  • Successful Australian applicants must commence their program in the U.S. academic year (August through May) following application and selection. Australian degree-seeking students must start their program in the U.S. Fall Semester (July/August session).
  • Research applicants must secure placement with a primary U.S. host institution at the time of application (please note, this is not a requirement for Postgraduate degree-seeking students). Scholarships are conditional on acceptance to an approved institution for the allocated period of research or course of study.
  • Applicants must not hold another major grant during the Fulbright program if it duplicates funding received from Fulbright. Outside funding and grants must be declared at the time of application and/or award acceptance and are subject to approval.
  • Fulbright scholarships cannot be deferred.
  • Medical professionals can apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake medical research, but such research should not be directly involved with clinical practice.
  • Recipients should plan to be in Australia to attend the Fulbright Orientation Program and Gala Presentation Dinner, which occurs in late February.


  • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree or equivalent at the time of application. Postgraduate applicants in the final semester of their undergraduate degree will also be eligible (pending good academic standing). Postdoctoral candidates will also be considered if they can provide a letter from their adviser that outlines that their PhD will be conferred prior to the proposed program start.
  • For undergraduate students yet to graduate – please upload a university transcript of your academic performance to date showing your credit points obtained.
  • Postgraduate applicants applying for degrees will be required to take the GRE test, dependent on host institution requirements. Successful applicants will be provided with a voucher to cover the costs of testing.
  • Applicants whose primary language is not English may be required to provide language proficiency test results at the time of application.

How to Apply

Click here to apply

Please see our Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Application Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)