Post-Doctoral Research

Benefits
Requirements
Timeline
Application Materials

Fulbright Post-doctoral awards fund Belgian citizens to research or lecture at an accredited U.S. institution for a period between three months and one year. 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. This letter should be on institutional letterhead and list specific dates and duration of stay, resources available to you at the institution, and relevant contact details from the inviting host. The invitation dates listed should be chosen carefully, as they may only be altered significantly due to uncontrollable factors after they have been approved by the Fulbright selection committee. All departures must take place between August 1 of the current year and March 31 of the following year.

Benefits include:

  • $2,000 to $30,000 based on merit and financial need. The money may be used to cover flights, tuition, living costs, etc.
  • Sickness and accident insurance for grantees
  • J-visa sponsorship for grantees and any accompanying dependents
  • Pre-departure orientation and reception at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium
  • Active Fulbright networks to welcome them in the United States and as an alumnus in Belgium when they return
  • Location-conditional discount on a Brussels Airlines ticket

Note: FWO regulations do not permit a full cumulation of the Fulbright grant with the FWO travel grant. The total sum of the salary of the researcher and the supplementary benefits should not exceed the sum of his salary and the benefits for long stays abroad from the FWO (salary + 1650 euro/month).

For more information about the Fulbright experience, interested candidates should read alumni and current grantee stories on our blog.

Requirements to apply include:

  • Belgian citizenship
  • English Proficiency
  • A doctoral degree
  • Academic excellence, generally defined as distinction/onderscheiding each year of study or a grand distinction/grote onderscheiding in the most recent year of study. *Note: Candidates without these grades are still encouraged to apply if they have outstanding personal or professional backgrounds.
  • No J-1 visa (student category) held within the past two years

The most competitive applicants for Fulbright graduate studies awards demonstrate ambassadorial qualities and an 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, why right now is the right time to pursue this plan, and how it 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 US and Belgian communities and who wish to ultimately return to Belgium to share their newfound knowledge and experience after their grant has ended. In this regard, it is also important to note that all Fulbright grantees must travel to the US 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 US to live or work permanently on an H, L, K or LPR visa. A list of documents that fulfill the proof of legal residency requirement for each EU country can be found here: http://prado.consilium.europa.eu/en/searchByIssuingCountry.html. 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.

Candidates already in the United States at the time of application or who have spent significant amounts of time in the US already – generally defined as five years or more – are ineligible to apply.

Timeline

Deadline: DECEMBER 1

APPLICATION TIMELINE FOR LECTURER-RESEARCH SCHOLARS AND STUDENTS CATEGORY:

For those deadlines that fall on a weekend, please use the previous Friday at NOON (12pm) as the deadline to submit applications and all supporting materials online.

September 15, 2014: Competition opens, online application starts

Application links:

FOREIGN FULBRIGHT STUDENTS (no PhD):
https://apply.embark.com/student/fulbright/international/20/

FOREIGN FULBRIGHT SCHOLARS (will have a PhD by time of departure for the US):
https://apply.embark.com/student/fulbright/scholars/30/

December 1, 2014: Deadline to submit the online application form
January 2015: 10 minute interview in English at the Commission for Educational Exchange in Brussels
End of January 2015: Applicants notified by e-mail
Mid-June 2015: Pre-departure meeting at the U.S. Embassy and reception with the U.S. Ambassador
August 2015: Departures to the U.S.

Application Materials

The Fulbright application process is now entirely online; applications and supplemental materials mailed or e-mailed to the Commission will not be considered. Complete Fulbright post-doctoral award applications consist of:

  • 14 page online application form
  • CV
  • 3-5 page single-spaced project statement
  • 1-3 page bibliography of references relevant to the proposed research
  • Letter(s) of invitation
  • Scans of passport and any previous J-visas held
  • Transcripts and diploma from your most recent degree
  • 3 Recommendation Letters, uploaded by your references directly into the online application by the March 1 deadline

Applications without any of these materials will not be considered for an award. Candidates with strong completed applications submitted by the deadline will be invited to the Commission in mid-March for a mandatory in-person interview in English.

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 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 and American professors, professionals, government officials, and Fulbright alumni from various fields.

For tips about the Fulbright application process, candidates should refer to interviews with alumni and selected applicants like the one below on the Commission’s online advising channel:

Selected grantees should be prepared to provide a completed Fulbright medical form and proof of additional funds to support themselves in the U.S. during the months following their selection and preceding their departure.

Belgian citizens whose projects relate to US-EU affairs, EU policy, or EU institutions should check their eligibility for the Fulbright-Schuman award (www.fulbrightschuman.eu) also administered by the Commission in Brussels. This award is valued at €3,000/month and a €2,000 relocation grant and has an application deadline of March 1.