Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which Fulbright Scholarship/s am I eligible for?
Please refer to the Australian Applicants page for information about eligibility. All applicants must be an Australian citizen who does not hold dual citizenship with the United States, can travel on an Australian passport and be eligible for a J1 visa.
Are those with dual Australian/US citizenship eligible for a scholarship?
No. Unfortunately, dual Australian-U.S. citizens are ineligible. Australian citizens with dual citizenship with any other country are eligible.
I hold a Green Card. Am I eligible to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship?
No. The Fulbright program is, at its heart, an exchange program. As such, those who already have had the opportunity to experience living and studying in the U.S. by other means are not eligible.
If I’m not an Australian citizen but I am a permanent resident, am I eligible for a scholarship?
No. Applicants for Australian Fulbright Scholarships must be Australian citizens by birth or naturalisation. Other nationals may be able to apply for Fulbright scholarships from their home country. See the U.S. Department of State’s home page for further information.
I am an Australian citizen but I’m living abroad, am I eligible for an Australian Fulbright scholarship?
- No. It is a requirement of Australian Fulbright scholarships that applicants be resident in Australia at the time of application and that they be available for an interview. The only exceptions to this rule are for individuals serving overseas in the Armed Forces, or for Australian diplomats posted overseas.
- All Scholars must be available to attend the Fulbright Presentation Dinner and Orientation Program held annually in February/March.
How do I apply for a Fulbright Scholarship?
Please refer to the application instructions, available via the Australian Applicants page; the link to apply is within the application instructions PDF document. These instructions are designed as a step by step guide to assist you through the application process. The application portal is used in over 160 countries, so not all sections are required. Watch the below webinar for a step-by-step guide to navigating this site.
What are the opening and closing dates for applications?
Applications for all scholarship categories open in February and close in July each year. Under no circumstances can late applications be accepted.
Please note that even though you may still be able to access the application system, submitted applications cannot be reviewed until after the closing date.
Can I apply in more than one Fulbright Scholarship category?
Yes. Applicants should follow the instructions in the application instructions to apply for multiple scholarship opportunities.
What do I need in order to complete an application?
Please refer to the Application Instructions on the Australian Applicants page for more detailed information. Applications require:
- A project statement
- A personal statement
- A resume/CV
- Letter of Invitation (unless you are a degree seeking student)
- PDF copies of your academic transcripts, passport or birth certificates. These do not need to be certified.
What makes a competitive application?
There is no “formula” for a successful application. Each individual’s application should be about the candidate, how the program time will be spent, and what outcomes can be reasonably expected. What is successful for one applicant may not be effective for another applicant. The below webinar provides some advice on what our selection committees look for in general.
Will the Fulbright Commission staff review my application before submitting?
Please do not ask Fulbright staff to review your written application. To ensure equity to all applicants we are unable to do so.
Do I have to attend an interview?
Yes. All candidates who are applying for Fulbright Scholarships must be available for an interview in person or via video conference. More details on dates / locations are available on the Australian Applicants page.
I have never lived or studied abroad. Will that disadvantage me?
No. Preference may be given to those who have not had recent extensive experience abroad i.e. undertaken study, teaching, research or employment for a period aggregating more than one academic year during the past five years.
Is there an age limit to people applying for Fulbright Scholarships?
No – As long as the medical can be passed for your J-1 Visa.
Are applicants who are unsuccessful in their application for a Fulbright Scholarship precluded from applying in the future?
No. Previously unsuccessful applicants are not precluded from applying, indeed they are strongly encouraged to re-apply the following year.
Does affiliation with a U.S. host institution have to be confirmed at the time of application?
Degree-seeking (Master’s) Students: No — Postgraduate applicants who wish to undertake Master’s coursework do not need to have a confirmed place at a U.S. university prior to applying. Moreover, applicants must not have already commenced a Master’s program at time of application. It is fine to have an existing placement offer (deferred until a later year) as long as you have not yet commenced the program. In short, Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarships are aimed at funding new programs of study, not the continuation of existing programs. Successful applicants may use Placement Services to assist with university applications after the Fulbright selection process is complete.
Visiting Student Researchers (VSR): Yes — VSR applicants must have established prior contact with their host institution, and must include with their application a Letter of Invitation (LOI) on the official letterhead of their host, letting us know that they are willing to support the proposed research, and provide a suitable workspace/resources, etc.
Can I have multiple U.S. host institutions?
In the interests of maintaining a consistent, coherent program of research/study, we strongly encourage applicants to limit their proposals to a single host institution. In exceptional cases, an additional host institution will be considered, however additional institutions will require an additional letter of invitation with accurate, corresponding dates. Short visits (up to 1 week) to other institutions are acceptable exceptions to this.
I have already started my program of study. Can I apply for a Fulbright scholarship?
No. Applicants who have already commenced studies/research in the U.S. are ineligible for a scholarship.
Must I have an undergraduate degree to be eligible for a Fulbright scholarship?
Yes – or a tertiary equivalent qualification. Undergraduate students are also permitted to apply if they include a letter from their university stating their credit points are on track for graduation in the near future. Please refer to the application instructions.
I have submitted my PhD thesis and it has been accepted but not yet conferred, am I eligible for the Postdoctoral Scholarship?
Yes, however at the time of application applicants are required to provide an additional letter from their supervisor and/or Head of School notifying that the applicant in on track to complete the PhD thesis prior to their intended departure to the U.S. Should the application be successful, the awardee must supply the Commission with evidence that the PhD has been conferred prior to departure.
Is preference given to applicants from specific academic fields?
No. Fulbright Scholarships are open to applicants from any academic field.
Are medical graduates eligible for a Fulbright Scholarship?
Medical graduates are eligible for a Fulbright scholarship if they can assure authorities in the United States that there will be no clinical contact or undertaking of clinical practice, or invasive procedures with patients. Medical graduates must be able to travel on a J-1 research visa to qualify for a Fulbright Scholarship. Please see http://www.ecfmg.org/ for more information. Graduates of all health sciences are considered medical graduates.
I completed my PhD more than 5 years ago – am I eligible for the postdoctoral scholarship?
No – recipients must have successfully completed their PhD within the 5 years. Please note that this is 5 years from when the PhD was conferred.
Must I return to Australia at the completion of my Fulbright program?
Fulbright Scholars travel on a J-1 visa sponsored by the Fulbright Commission. You and your J2 dependents are subject to Code of Federal Regulations rule 212(e), the two-year, home country residence requirement associated with the J visa. This is intended to ensure that Scholars fulfil the exchange nature of the program. During the two-year, home country residence requirement, you and your dependents are ineligible to apply for status in the United States as:
- Permanent residents,
- Temporary workers or trainees (visa status H),
- Fiancé(e)s (visa status K), or
- Intracompany transferees (visa status L).
The two years commences from the date of return to Australia.
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