Fulbright Post-doctoral awards fund Belgian & Luxembourgish citizens to lecture or conduct research at an accredited U.S. institution for a period between three months and one academic year (9 months). Between 5-10 awards are given to scholars each year, who must present a letter of invitation from an American university or think tank before they are allowed to apply.
Requirements to apply include:
- Belgian or Luxembourgish citizenship
- Proficiency in English
- Minimum of a doctoral degree (PhD) by time of departure or 5+ years of professional experience
- Academic excellence generally defined as distinction or onderscheiding in each year of study or a grand distinction or grote onderscheiding in the most recent year of study; please note that candidates without these grades are still encouraged to apply if they have outstanding personal or professional backgrounds
The most competitive applicants for Fulbright awards demonstrate ambassadorial qualities and a genuine interest in cultural exchange. It is important for candidates to be able to articulate a clear, creative, and feasible plan for their time in the United States and to explain why right now is the right time to pursue this plan and how their grant will ultimately help them achieve their personal and professional goals in the future. The Commission is looking for candidates who will have a multiplier effect within their U.S. and Belgian/Luxembourgish communities and who wish to ultimately return to Belgium/Luxembourg to share their newfound knowledge and experience after their grant has ended.
The Fulbright Program will not fund applicants seeking to enroll in a medical degree program nor does it offer grants to those who wish to conduct clinical medical research or training involving patient care and/or contact. (both human and animal)
For answers to frequently asked questions about eligibility, please see below.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested applicants must complete an online application. The application opens on 15 September and closes at noon on 1 December.
As part of the online application, candidates will be asked to provide the following:
- Biographical information
- Americanized CV
- 3-5 page single-spaced project statement
- 1-3 page bibliography of references relevant to the proposed research
- Transcripts and diplomas from most recent degree. Note: You must have a PhD diploma in hand by time of departure to the U.S.
- 3 letters of recommendation (uploaded directly into the online application)
- Letter(s) of admission or affiliation from a U.S. host institution; this letter should contain the institution’s letterhead and mention the dates (or academic term) of your research stay as well as any facilities you will have access to during your grant.
Incomplete applications will not be considered for an award.
Please note that we do NOT require supplemental forms, the letter of the home institution, the signature form or official test results (e.g., TOEFL). You may include test results in the appropriate application fields if you so desire. In addition, the application is to be completed entirely online; NO papers should be mailed to our office.
Candidates with strong completed applications submitted by the deadline will be invited to the Commission in the last week of January for a mandatory interview in English. Interviews are in person, and cannot be rescheduled. The interview will include a discussion of your motivations for going to the U.S., your plans when you arrive, and how you will improve U.S.-Belgian or U.S.-Luxembourg relations as an alumni when you return. Successful candidates will demonstrate ambassadorial qualities, English proficiency, and the ability to explain their academic proposal in simple terms. The interview committee is composed of Belgian/Luxembourgish and American professors, professionals, government officials, and Fulbright alumni from various fields.
HEAR FROM THE GRANTEES
Dr. Jozefien De Bock, Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Clemson University: “Doing a Fulbright gave me the chance to go and live in a place that fascinated me very much but where I would otherwise never have been able to live: the rural [American] South. Much more than just an academic opportunity, my Fulbright year provided me with the freedom to take the time to really get to know the region, its people and its heritage. This allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of the history and present dynamics of the South, which have had such an important impact on what the U.S. is today. It gave me the chance to really learn to combat prejudice, my own and that of others. In short, it was an experience that I now think crucial to my development as a person and as a researcher.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Note: You must have a PhD diploma in hand by time of departure to the U.S.
- I am a Belgian/Luxembourgish citizen living abroad. Can I apply? As a Belgian/Luxembourgish citizen, you may apply for a Fulbright Award if you are living in any country except the United States. If you are resident in the United States, a dual U.S.-Belgium or U.S.-Luxembourg citizen, or hold a Green Card at the time of application, you are ineligible to apply.
- I do not have Belgian/Luxembourgish citizenship, but am currently living/studying/working there. Am I eligible to apply for the Fulbright Program? No. Eligibility for the Fulbright Program is based on nationality, not residence.
- I am a Belgian/Luxembourger currently pursuing my studies in the United States. Am I eligible to apply for the Fulbright Program? Candidates already in the United States at the time of application and those who have resided in the U.S. for five or more years in the six-year period preceding the date of application are ineligible to apply. Moreover, please note that preference will be given to who have not had substantial recent experience in the U.S. with “substantial recent experience” being study, research or employment for a period of aggregating more than an academic year (9 months) during the past five years.
- As a participant in the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, will I be subject to the two-year home requirement after my grant? Yes. All Fulbright grantees must travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa, which requires them to return to Belgium or their country of permanent legal residency for at least two years at some point after their grant before they are allowed to return to the U.S. to live or work permanently on an H, L, K or LPR visa. More information about the two-year rule can be found here, and a list of documents that fulfill the proof of legal residency requirement for each EU country can be found here. If you are able to provide proof of legal residency for a country other than Belgium, you will need to include a scan of this document in the final online application.
- Am I responsible for arranging my own affiliation/acceptance to my host institution? Yes. Applying to a host institution in the United States is a separate, simultaneous process. Please note that if you have chosen a university as your host institution, its accreditation should be recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education.
- When do I need to provide proof of affiliation/acceptance to a U.S. university in my application? Scholars must upload invitation letters from their host institutions before the 1 December deadline.
- The Embark online application has asked me to do something different to the application instructions on the website. What should I do? Embark is used by Fulbright Programs around the world, and application procedures differ greatly from country to country. You must follow the guidelines presented by the Fulbright Commission in Brussels.
- Does the Fulbright Commission in Brussels require supplemental forms? We do NOT require supplemental forms, the letter of the home institution, the signature form, or official test results (e.g., TOEFL).
- Can I mail physical documents to the Fulbright Commission? No. The application is completed entirely online.
APPLICATION TIMELINE & NOTIFICATION
- When will I hear from the Fulbright Commission if I have been selected for an interview? Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted via email in mid-January. Interviews will take place during the last week of January.
- When will I hear from the Fulbright Commission if I have been selected for a Fulbright Award? Successful applicants for the Post-Doctoral Research Award will be contacted via email in late February or early March. Successful applicants must then be approved by the Foreign Fulbright Scholarship Board and should receive confirmation of their grant in mid-March.