Fulbright Bulgaria Privacy Statement

Last updated: 06.12.2023

Our commitment to your privacy

We, the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange (the “Commission” or “Fulbright”) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

Please read the following statement carefully as it details the way in which we process your personal data. Please note that the types of data that we process and how they are handled, as outlined below, may vary both from program to program and by your role as an applicant, participant or alumnus of a particular program.

Types of personal data we process

Throughout the lifecycle of a particular program, and depending on your status as an applicant, participant or alumnus, we may process the following types of information:

  • Identifying contact informationsuch as your contact details, age, citizenship, gender, marital status, user-name created when using the application platform, government issued identification (passport/ID) and picture;
  • Academic and professional informationsuch as your academic history, job titles, work and employment history, school attended, evaluations, professional references, interviews and certifications;
  • Family informationsuch as your family structure;
  • Information about your personal historysuch as your travel history and other events in your life;
  • Information about your preferences, your opinions, intentions and interests.
  • Financial information such as your bank account, personal savings and other funding received (financial aid/scholarships, etc. provided by other organizations);
  • Image/voice incl. recordings containing your image and voice during your participation in a program or from one of our program dedicated events;
  • Information related to dependants accompanying you on the program, including minors;

In addition, we may process data that is generally considered sensitive in nature and that you may need to provide as part of the Award Selection Process. This sensitive personal data may include information concerning your health which you need to fill in in the Medical History and Examination Form once you are selected to participate in a U.S. Department of State educational exchange program. The purpose of these forms is to confirm health status and plans for continuing care in your host country, as well as for medical clearance, upon which a grant is contingent. The information will also enable us to provide you with maximum assistance should the need arise while you are on a grant.

The most common scenarios of processing the above listed special categories of personal data are when we need to determine your eligibility to participate in a program in the US and/or provide you with additional accommodations during your stay in the US. In order to enable you to travel to the US and secure your stay within a particular program we may be required to process certain additional information for visa sponsorship. In most cases, we only process special categories of personal data when it is absolutely necessary and required for the purposes listed in the “Purposes of processing” section below or if you voluntarily provide it to us, e.g. in an application essay, project proposal, CV etc.

 Purposes of processing

The Commission may carry out the following processes as part of the management of a program:

  • Application/Selection (Collecting and reviewing applications for the purpose of selecting potential program participants and/or notifying them of their selection for a program).
  • Record Creation/Management (Creating and maintaining a record in our systems, electronic or otherwise, in order to carry out the management of the program).
  • Financial Verification (Verifying availability of funds or income to cover program-related costs/expenses, financial need, or other financial requirements of a program).
  • Medical Review (Reviewing medical information for the purpose of determining visa eligibility, identifying any issues that would prohibit an individual from participating in a program or activity, or would require additional accommodations to be arranged).
  • Participant Agreements (Drafting, sending, receiving agreement documents with program participants).
  • Insurance/Health Benefit Enrolment and/or Management (Enrolling a participant in a health benefit plan to ensure coverage in the case of medical issues or emergencies).
  • Event Management (Planning and/or executing events including registration, scheduling of participants, or any other event-related activities for purposes including program enrichment or external engagements by Commission).
  • Program Reporting (Producing and sharing reports about progress, activities and other program related information).
  • Program and Commission’s activity Promotion and Outreach
  • Participant Progress Management (Collecting and analyzing any academic, employment or other information to ensure a participant is meeting the requirements of a program or on track for successful completion of an award).
  • Financial Management (Processing payment transactions to or from participants, vendors, or other payees using a bank transfer or other methods).
  • Emergency Management (Assisting, corresponding and handling emergencies during a program participation).
  • Program Evaluation (Reporting, exporting, or compiling of data for the purposes of understanding and/or evaluating the state of the program/participants, impacts, or any other legitimate interest).
  • Program promotion
  • Alumni Management (Managing data of participants whose programs have ended, including the production of statistical reports, alumni correspondence and organizing alumni events).
  • Technical and Administrative Management (Ensuring the security of the IT system and to manage this system, as well as for analytical and statistical purposes).


Basis for processing

We will only process your data if we have at least one valid lawful basis listed below:

  • In order to enter into and to implement a contract with you when awarding a scholarship, as well for taking the relevant pre-contractual steps at your request;
  • Necessity for compliance with a legal obligation to which the Commission is subject, e.g. accounting and tax obligations;
  • Where you give us consent for a particular purpose of processing;
  • As required by us to pursue our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of others, in particular, provided that the legitimate interests (as explained below) are not overridden by the interests or fundamental rights or freedoms of the individuals whose personal data we are processing:
  • ◦when carrying out the processes associated with the management of our programs;
  • when investigating any complaints received from you or from others, about us, or our service providers; or
  • in connection with legal claims, compliance, regulatory and investigative purposes as necessary (including disclosure of such information in connection with legal process or litigation).


Disclosure of personal data


We may share your data with or receive such data from third parties to carry out the processes listed above. These third parties may include:

  • Program and award sponsors, including U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (“ECA”),
  • The Institute of International Education (“IIE”) – the agency contracted by ECA to administer the Fulbright Programs,
  • World Learning – the agency contracted by ECA to administer the Fulbright Specialist Program,
  • Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB),
  • Academic evaluators and members of selection panels at various stages of the selection process,
  • Service providers such as cloud storage, email, CRM, survey platform, email marketing and newsletter platform, external accounting services, postal services, document archiving services,
  • The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Bulgaria,
  • The Bulgarian Embassy and Consulates in the U.S,
  • Program sponsors,
  • Your host institution,
  • Alumni associations,
  • Additional third parties which may include legal counsels, courts, tribunals, regulators, government authorities and law enforcement officials if required by law or for Commission’s legitimate interest in compliance with applicable laws/regulations,
  • Basic information about your grant (such as your name, home and host institutions, project title, award name) may be shared with Bulgarian and US educational institutions.


Moreover, your data may be transferred to entities processing them at our request but only for the purpose and scope necessary for the implementation of the above-mentioned purposes, including entities providing IT services for us. Such entities process the data on the basis of contractual arrangements and only in accordance with our instructions.

Retention of personal data

The Commission will retain your personal data for as long as required to perform the purposes for which the data was collected, depending on the legal basis for which that data was processed and/or whether any additional legal/regulatory obligations mandate that we should retain your personal data for certain periods.

We may also retain personal data for the period during which a claim may be lodged in relation to our  relationship with you.

Please, note that we receive your personal data included in your Application from a third party administering the application platform. The Commission will keep your application data for two years following the end of the selection process  for unsuccessful applicants and for five years for successful applicants for the Fulbright award.

Where we process personal data with your consent, we process the data until you ask us to stop and for a short period after this (to allow us to implement your requests). We also keep a record of the fact that you have asked us not to process your data any more so that we can respect your request in future.

Your rights under the EU General Data Protection Regulation

You have rights under the GDPR including:

  • the right to access your personal data at any time and to receive information what data is being processed about you by the Commission;
  • the right to have your personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete;
  • the right to have your personal data erased if there is no justified reason for its continued processing, incl. storage;
  • the right to object to your personal data being processed and to request restriction of the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances;
  • the right to obtain your data in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format and to request the transfer of your personal data to another party. However, it can only be applied to the data you have provided to us by consent or contract and if the processing is automated.
  • where you have provided your consent to the processing of your personal data for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent. Please note that the withdrawal of your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing of personal data based on your consent before its withdrawal.


These rights may be limited, for example if fulfilling your request would reveal personal data about another person, or if you ask us to delete information which we are required by law to keep or we have compelling legitimate interests in keeping.

To exercise any of these rights, you can get in touch with us, using the contact details set out below.


If you have unresolved concerns, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Bulgarian Data Protection Authority:

Bulgarian Commission for Personal Data Protection

2 Prof. Tsvetan Lazarov Blvd., Sofia 1592
Tel:  +359 (0)2 91-53-518
E-mail: kzld@cpdp.bg
Web-site: www.cpdp.bg

Direct marketing and automated decision –making

 Fulbright may, from time to time, contact you by email with information about Fulbright activities, newsletters and alumni opportunities. Fulbright will not share your contact information with third parties. If you no longer want to receive email communication from Fulbright, please let us know by sending an email to us at fulbright@fulbright.bg. You can also unsubscribe from our marketing emails by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the emails Fulbright sends to you.

 Please, note that Fulbright is not carrying out automated decision – making in the context of your application to and further participation in our programs.

Changes to this Statement

We reserve the right to change this Statement and any other relevant policies or procedures at any time without notice to you.  Any changes we may make to this Statement in the future will be posted to the Commission website (fulbright.bg) and you are advised to regularly check and review the Statement to ensure you understand how we may be processing your personal data. Any changes that we may make to this Statement will be effective from the date on which those changes have been posted on this page.  Where appropriate, we may also notify you of any changes made by e-mail.


If you have any questions, requests for exercising of rights or need of additional information regarding this Statement and the processing of your personal data, please contact us at:

Adrian Zlatanov


12 Vitosha Blvd, 5th Floor, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria


+359 2 981 8567


Skip to content