Fulbright Foreign Student Program

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019-2020 Fulbright Foreign Student Program. Please check back in February 2019 for information about next year’s application process.

The Embassy of the United States of America in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is pleased to announce the Fulbright Foreign Student Program Visiting Student Researcher category competition for the 2019-2020 academic year.

This program provides participants with grants (financial support) to conduct non-degree, full-time academic research at the graduate level at U.S. institutions of higher education in their field of study for a minimum of four months (generally, a U.S. academic semester) to a maximum of nine months (generally, a U.S. academic year). Applications are accepted for the Visiting Student Researcher category only. Participants advance their academic work, establish professional contacts in their academic fields, gain international experience, personal enrichment, and help promote mutual understanding between the United States and BiH. Funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), this program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Apply online for the 2019-2020 Fulbright Foreign Student Program from February 22, 2018 through April 23, 2018 at 23:59 local time.

Most academic fields of study are eligible. In the United States, academic institutions may classify an area of study differently from other countries and a field of study may also be considered a subfield within a larger field of study. IIE’s Field of Study Guidelines section provides accurate, streamlined information to help candidates better understand the qualifications requested in their particular subject area. Although these guidelines are mainly intended for degree-seeking students, Visiting Student Researcher candidates may find them helpful. Participants may not undertake academic classes or hold on-campus work authorization. In addition, grants do not authorize activities for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required or involve clinical training, patient care, or patient contact.

Candidates are encouraged to identify up to three U.S. preferred host institutions where to conduct their proposed research activity. While these preferences are considered as much as possible, the Fulbright Program cannot guarantee that applications will be sent to these institutions. Instead, the Fulbright Program, through IIE, will place participants at the most appropriate U.S. institutions based on their research goals and the Fulbright Program’s overall objectives and requirements. IIE’s Placement Services staff associates are field of study experts who work closely with accredited U.S. colleges and universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to provide the best possible academic fit for participants. Participants are not able to choose or to arrange directly their affiliations with U.S. host institutions.

Candidates should be self-directed, able to successfully undertake full-time academic research at the graduate level, highly motivated, and demonstrate excellence through academic record, leadership potential, and qualifying educational and related professional experiences. The review boards expect to see substantial academic accomplishment and potential for professional accomplishment, including for professionals in non-academic fields. Significant accomplishments may include teaching and research endeavors and awards, professional honors, memberships and activities in professional associations, exhibits, and publications. Moreover, candidates should demonstrate the cross-cultural sensitivity, responsibility, and flexibility needed to adjust successfully to life in United States. Grantees also serve as cultural ambassadors and should be prepared to speak about their country, culture, and program activities to academic, professional, or community groups.

Candidates should submit a well-written, concise, and compelling application that illustrates qualifications, leadership and impact potential, and preparedness for research at the graduate level in the United States. Candidates must propose their own research projects. Research proposals should include a clearly formulated research question, describe the objectives, methodology, the nature of research (quantitative or qualitative), its significance, evaluation, and dissemination plans, justification for residence in the United States for the proposed project, project duration, and other relevant aspects. Proposed projects are evaluated for their goals, contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the candidate’s field, potential for building bridges between BiH and the United States, feasibility, benefit to the host institution, and contribution to BiH’s advancement. Although applying to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Fulbright Foreign Student Program (non-U.S.) candidates may find helpful the Fulbright U.S. Student Program’s guidelines on application components, application tips, and application checklists.

Grants are open, merit-based, awarded competitively, and are subject to availability of funds. Award benefits generally include:

  • Round-trip air international travel to and from the United States for the program
  • Financial support while in the United States through monthly maintenance stipends. Set by the U.S. Department of State, these stipends are established to cover estimated costs for the grantee’s cost of living in the location of the U.S. host institution, including housing, food, transportation, and incidental expenses. It is recommended that grantees bring supplementary personal funds to cover initial, additional, and miscellaneous expenses for the duration of the program
  • Coverage of fees for full-time research only at the U.S. host institution
  • Limited accident and sickness coverage that meets the requirements of J Exchange Visitor Program regulations. This coverage is not all-purpose health insurance and it is subject to specific limitations including, but not limited to pre-existing conditions, dental, and vision care. It is not intended to replace the grantee’s regular medical insurance plan which should be maintained or secured during the grant period at the participant’s expense
  • Pre-departure orientation at the U.S. Embassy in BiH in Sarajevo
  • Settling-in allowance
  • Book allowance
  • Return baggage allowance
  • The program does not assist with housing arrangements and does not cover passport related expenses for grantees and accompanying dependents, if applicable. Participants are responsible for their own housing arrangements.

As part of the affiliation as a visiting student researcher with a U.S. host institution, grantees generally receive the following privileges:

  • Consultation with assigned U.S. faculty research adviser/mentor
  • Work space
  • University ID cards
  • Borrowing privileges at university libraries
  • Access to appropriate laboratories
  • Account for computer facilities
  • On-campus or off-campus housing.

Participants are responsible for obtaining any necessary leave of absence or making other arrangements to enable them to accept the grant. Grants cannot be postponed to a subsequent academic year. Fulbright grantees must comply with program provisions to avoid grant revocation, termination, or suspension. The Fulbright Program is a non-degree program. Successful participants receive a program certificate of completion issued by the U.S. Department of State.

If accompanied by dependents, grantees are responsible for all associated costs in bringing dependents to the United States. This includes airfare and other travel expenses, living expenses, school costs, medical insurance that meets J visa Exchange Visitor Program regulations, and any uncovered medical bills. The Fulbright Program defines a dependent as a spouse, qualified same-sex domestic partner, or an unmarried child under 21 years of age.

Eligibility:

The Fulbright Program considers candidates without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, status as a parent, protected genetic information, or sexual orientation. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply, including those who intend to pursue a non-academic career. Candidates with little or no prior experience in the United States or overseas are also encouraged to apply. As a general matter, preference is given to candidates who have not had substantial recent experience in the United States and who have not previously received a Fulbright student grant.

Candidates on active military duty must list their military title and provide information on any restrictions that might affect performance or responsibilities under the grant. Candidates not on active duty, or who have a military title without compensation, must specify in their application if they intend to or are required to affiliate with the military upon return to BiH.

Excluding minor traffic violations, a candidate who—at the time of the application or at any subsequent time prior to or after becoming a grantee as defined by program provisions—has been convicted of a crime, felony, or misdemeanor, or has been arrested for, indicted for, or charged with a crime, felony, or misdemeanor and the matter has not been resolved, must inform the Embassy and/or program coordinators in writing of such fact.

This program is open to anyone who is/has:

  • Citizen, national, or permanent resident of BiH qualified to hold a valid BiH passport
  • Enrolled in good standing in an accredited Ph.D. program, in BiH or overseas, in the proposed field of study at the time of application. The typical profile of a Visiting Student Researcher is one in the final stages of Ph.D. study who aims to advance his/her research in the United States for his/her Ph.D. dissertation. The proposed research objectives must also be directly related to the candidate’s work and interests and have an impact on their home community and beyond or
  • Enrolled in good standing in an accredited Master’s degree program in the proposed field of study at the time of application. The proposed research objectives must be directly related to the candidate’s studies, work and interests, help with future studies, and have an impact on their home community and beyond or
  • Completed a Master’s degree in the proposed field of study at the time of application. The proposed research objectives must be directly related to the candidate’s work and interests, help with future studies, and have an impact on their home community and beyond
  • Not scheduled to complete the Ph.D. program at his/her home institution before the start of or during the Fulbright Program
  • English language proficiency commensurate with the proposed activities to be carried out and that is adequate to adjust to life in the United States. At the initial application stage, candidates are not required to register for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or provide additional documentation. If a valid TOEFL score report is available, it should be uploaded onto the online application. Finalists only are required to have a valid TOEFL score; there are no exceptions to this requirement. The Embassy will provide registration instructions and test fee vouchers to finalists only
  • Cleared by a physician to participate in the program (finalists only)
  • Eligible to receive and maintain the exchange visitor J-1 non-immigrant visa required for the program. Participants and accompanying dependents do not have to pay fees for the J-1 visa or J-2 visa(s), if applicable, but need to be interviewed by the Embassy’s Consular Section
  • Committed to returning to BiH for a minimum of two years. As J-1 visa holders, participants are subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement. Accompanying dependents on J-2 visas are also subject to this requirement, regardless of their duration of stay.

Not Eligible:

  • Candidates with dual U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent resident status
  • Candidates who have attended undergraduate or graduate school in the United States for one academic year or more during the seven years prior to date of application
  • Candidates who have resided in the United States for five or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the date of application. A candidate who has lived in the United States for nine months or more during a calendar year is deemed to have resided in the United States for that year
  • Candidates who are in the United States
  • Religious workers, lay or ordained, are not eligible for consideration if their projects involve engaging in pastoral, missionary, or other professional religious activities
  • Grants will generally not be awarded to candidates who are concurrently recipients of all-expense grants under other auspices
  • Employees of U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and their immediate family members (spouses and dependent children) are ineligible for grants during and for a period ending one year following the termination of such employment, association, or service. This provision includes all employees, paid or unpaid (including part-time or temporary employees, consultants, externs, fellows, and contract employees). This provision does not apply to interns and does not disqualify self-supporting children who live apart from their parents. The one-year period of ineligibility is calculated from the date of termination of employment, service, or association until the program application deadline.

Application Process:

Candidates must apply to the U.S. Embassy in BiH using the official, free Embark online application form. The online application form provides instructions for questions and items. In addition, candidates must follow 2019-2020 Fulbright Foreign Student Program application instructions for the BiH competition: 1) as outlined in this program announcement; and 2) as outlined in Embark, section “Instructions.” This latter resource is also available for download on this webpage, at “Important Resources.” These two guideline resources supersede Embark application instructions for referenced items only. If these two guideline resources do not address Embark items asking candidates to consult the U.S. Embassy in BiH, those items are not required at the initial application stage. The Fulbright Program may request additional documentation or items, as deemed necessary. After the national selection, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in the United States selects candidates nominated for awards. The Embassy in BiH will notify nominated candidates of their status by spring 2019.

The online application package must include the followings:

  • Research objectives statement of proposed activity at a U.S. institution. Outline the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of your proposed research activity for your Fulbright Program. The proposed research project must be effectively researched or conducted within a period of four to nine months in the United States. Format: two-page narrative document, single-line spacing, 12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
  • Personal statement. Provide a clear, complete, and compelling statement that introduces you academically and professionally to potential host institutions in the United States. Format: two-page narrative document, single-line spacing, 12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
  • Curriculum vitae. Information such as date and place of birth, gender, marital status, family members, passport/national identification/driver’s license number, photos, should not be included. Format: up to six pages, bulleted list, 12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
  • Three reference letters. The letters, preferably in English, must be written by professors under whom the candidate has studied or pursued research in the proposed field of study or by someone who has supervised the applicant in work related to the proposed field of study. Candidates are strongly encouraged to have recommenders submit recommendation forms online. Use the Embark “Register Recommenders” section to start the registration process, track status progress, or remove recommenders. If recommenders cannot complete the process online, they must email the completed form to U.S. Embassy in BiH, by the April 23, 2018 deadline, at: bhexc@state.gov with the subject title: “Candidate Last, First Name 2019-2020 Fulbright Foreign Student Program Reference Letter”
  • Readable copies of all post-secondary academic transcripts and degrees or diplomas awarded. Documents are accepted as issued by academic institution, without English translations. Include certified English translations, if readily available. Finalists must provide official transcripts and certified copies of degrees or diplomas accompanied by original, certified English translation
  • Signature form. Upload the completed form onto the online application at section “Transcripts and Additional Documents”
  • Readable copy of BiH passport biographical page for the candidate only. Finalists are required to provide the same documentation for accompanying dependents on the program.

For more program information, visit the IIE Fulbright Foreign Student Program’s website.

Contact with program related questions the U.S. Embassy in BiH’s Academic Exchange Coordinator, via email: bhexc@state.gov or phone: 033-704-066. When emailing, use the subject line: “2019-2020 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.”