Non-Degree Research Programs for Doctoral Students

The Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange administers non-degree research programs for doctoral students. 1 or 2 grants are awarded yearly in open competition supervised by binational selection committees.

Grants last for 6 months and are valid for all disciplines except clinical medicine and dentistry.


Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must have Bulgarian citizenship. Green card holders and persons with dual (Bulgarian and US) citizenship are ineligible.
  • Applicants must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, and must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (TOEFL scores).
  • Applicants should be in sound health.
  • Candidates already studying in the U.S. are ineligible for a Fulbright grant.
  • Candidates who have resided in the United States for five or more consecutive years during the six-year period preceding the date of application are ineligible for a Fulbright grant.
General Selection Criteria

General Selection Criteria

  • Academic credentials, a minimum iBT TOEFL score of 81 p.
  • Significance and feasibility of the proposed research.
  • Necessity to undertake the project in the US.
  • Plans for popularizing the research findings.
  • Adaptability and personal suitability.
  • Applicants should be representative and responsible citizens who contribute to a full and fair picture of the culture and civilization of Bulgaria.
  • Preference is given to applicants who have not had a prior opportunity for studying in the U.S.

All candidates will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, and sex.

Selection Procedures

Selection Procedures

  • Applications are subject to pre-screening.
  • Evaluation of research projects is carried out by Fulbright alumni and leading Bulgarian and U.S. scholars in the respective fields.
  • Candidates recommended by reviewers are invited for an interview conducted by a binational nomination committee.
    Interviews of eligible candidates are conducted in person and take place during the second half of December 2021. Date and time are fixed.

Prospective Fulbright participants should be aware that public health conditions, availability of consular services and travel, as well as U.S. institutional operating status and policies may affect their ability to travel to the U.S. and participate in academic programs.



  • Application form (please use the standard IIE form to apply for this grant). The web-based Fulbright Foreign Student application is located at
  • Academic transcripts/diplomas (certified translation into English of verified copies of original academic transcript and first degree certificate – scanned and attached to the application);
    Nominated candidates will have to submit a copy of the original academic transcript bearing all official legalization stamps to the Fulbright Commission.
  • Official English translation of certificate for current academic status. (scanned and attached to the application);
  • Three letters of reference (can be submitted online by instructors, professors or work supervisors, or sent directly to the Fulbright Commission office);
  • For the professional disciplines like Law, Economics, Architecture – letter of invitation from a prospective host institution (scanned and attached to the online application);
  • A valid result from iBT TOEFL.
    Submitting TOEFL scores by Dec.1, 2021 is considered a major advantage.
    Final deadline for submitting official test scores: December 30, 2021


  • All items should be translated into English.
  • All supplementary documents should be submitted as scanned attachments in the online application form. Only reference letters that are not submitted electronically can be mailed to the Commission.

The Fulbright Commission will advise applicants to submit a medical history and examination report if and when necessary.

Deadline for submitting applications for the academic 2022-23: December 1, 2021

For more information please contact:

The Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission
12, Vitosha Blvd., Sofia 1000

Maria Kostova

Program Officer, Bulgarian Grantees

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