Australian Applicants

Applications are closed and will reopen February 2020 

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.

Fulbright Interviews for Australian Applicants in 2019

Please note that interviews for 2019 applicants will take place on the following days. Applicants will be invited to attend in-person or can elect to be interviewed via video-conferencing. Please note that applicants will be informed 1-2 weeks prior to interview date if they have been successful in receiving an invitation to interview, and that these dates are subject to change.

  • Applicants from Northern Territory (all categories) – 23 August
  • Applicants from Queensland (postgraduate only)-  26 August
  • Applicants from Adelaide (postgraduate only)- 2 September
  • Applicants from Tasmania (all categories)-  3 September
  • Applicants from Victoria (postgraduate only)- 4 & 5 September
  • Applicants for the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership (funded by the Australian Scholarships Foundation & Perpetual Ltd.)-  16 September
  • Applicants from NSW (postgraduates only)- 17 & 18 September
  • Applicants from WA (postgraduates only)- 24 September
  • Applicants from ACT (all categories)- 26 September
  • Applicants for the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in American-Australian Alliance Studies- 27 September
  • Applicants for Scholar Award in the Arts- 3 & 4 October
  • Postdoctoral Applicants in the Sciences- 8 & 9 October
  • Applicants for Scholar Award in the Sciences- 15 & 16 October
  • Postdoctoral Applicants in the Arts- 30 & 31 October

Please note that you may be interviewed more than once, depending on which awards you elect to be considered for.

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);




Distinguished Chair

Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarships allow postgraduate students undertaking their Australian PhD to conduct research in the U.S. for 3 months up to 2 years.


Supports enrollment in a graduate degree program (e.g. a Master’s) for 3 months up to two-years.

Fulbright Postdoctoral scholarships allow individuals to undertake postdoctoral research in the U.S. for 3-10 months, who have completed their PhD in the past 5 years or are in the last year of completion. 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 and/or training in the United States for 3-4 months. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair award is for an exceptional individual at professorial level to carry out research in the United States for up to 6 months. 

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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Please see our Diversity & Inclusion Statement


  • Applicants must be an Australian citizen (by birth or naturalisation)
  • Applicants can not hold dual US-Australian citizenship or U.S. permanent residency (Green Card)
  • Applicants must 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 Scholars 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 Commission) inclusive of medical clearance and security processes.
  • The J-1 visa carries a 2 year home-residency requirement (clause 212e), 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. J1 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).
  • If you have previously held a J-1 visa and subsequent DS-2019, please upload it 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 studies/research in the U.S.
  • Australian Applicants applying in this cycle, if successful, must commence their program between 1st July 2020– 30 June 2021. Australian degree-seeking students must start their program in the U.S. 2020 fall (July/August session). Partial degree-seeking students (e.g. only 1-2 semesters of an Australian masters) can begin in either 2020 fall or 2021 spring sessions. 
  • 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. Funding/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 runs late February/ early March annually.


  • 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 July 1 2020.
  • For undergraduate students yet to graduate – please upload a university transcript of your academic performance to date showing your credit points obtained. Please note this must be accompanied by a signed letter from your university stating you are on track to graduate in the year of application.
  • Postgraduate and Anne Wexler applicants will be required to pass GRE testing, 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.

Additional information for Postgraduate Applicants can be viewed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the link above to access our frequently asked questions.