Applicants’ selection is conducted via competitons held in the USA by the International Institute of Education.
The program’s hosting institutions can be higher education institutions as well as non-profit and civil organizations, cultural institutions etc.
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers opportunities for American scholars, artists and professionals to teach, conduct research, and/or consult with other scholars and institutions in Bulgaria.
The Core Fulbright Scholar Program
Up to 5 awards per academic year are open to specialists in any field except for clinical medicine and dentistry. Awards are for 3 to 5 months. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, and independent scholars.
The grantees get:
Travel expenses to and from Bulgaria
Extra funding for accommodation
Extra funding for travel expenses of immediate family members of the grantee
Networking opportunities with top experts
Opportunities for diverse project work
Guest lecturing opportunities in local and European institutions
Educational and cultural program during your stay in Bulgaria
The Global Flex Award
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Global Flex Award gives U.S. academics and professionals the opportunity to collaborate and engage in scholarly activities in two or three countries in one or more regions.
Projects are welcome in all disciplines, as well as those with an interdisciplinary focus. Proposals should reflect topics which would benefit from a global perspective and clearly demonstrate a need to spend time in each of the proposed countries. The minimum length of the total grant is three months and the maximum is six months. Grant segments may be conducted within one academic year or spread over two or three consecutive years.
Ph.D. or equivalent professional/terminal degree (including a master’s degree, depending on the field) as appropriate. Candidates outside academe (e.g., professionals, artists) with recognized professional standing and substantial professional accomplishments are also eligible.
- U.S. citizenship – permanent residence is not sufficient.
- Candidates who previously held a Fulbright Scholar grant should be aware that, as a general matter, preference is given to candidates who have not previously received a Scholar grant. Therefore, previous Fulbright Scholar grantees are expected to make a strong justification in their application for a repeat Fulbright grant.
Projects are welcome in all disciplines, as well as those with an interdisciplinary focus. The Program is open to both academics and professionals.
Please note that for teaching grants, some universities/departments require a Ph.D. while others do not. Candidates should inquire about degree requirements when reaching out to potential host institutions. For research and professional projects, applications are accepted from university faculty, and from professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, or independent scholars outside of academia who have recognized professional standing and substantial professional accomplishments.
Assignment and affiliation
Scholars can teach undergraduate/graduate courses and/or conduct research or carry out a professional project in their field of specialization; consult on program development and curriculum design, collaborate with faculty on research projects, assist with thesis advising, conduct tutorials, seminars, public lectures, etc.
Scholars are encouraged to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities. While a letter of invitation is optional, applicants are encouraged to reach out to local institutions and try to obtain one. The Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission can assist in identifying prospective host institutions, and in providing relevant contact information. In some fields, such as pure and applied sciences, a letter of invitation is preferred due to the limited number of host institutions where the Scholar can teach or conduct research. Candidates should begin contacting potential hosts as early as possible (May-June) as most academic institutions are difficult to reach during the summer months. Applicants can indicate preferences for affiliation if invitation is not available. Final assignment is coordinated with the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission.
The standard grant benefits include:
Monthly stipend – $ 3,000 per month.
Travel allowance to cover round-trip international travel of $1,700 for grantee. Dependent travel will not be provided.
- For grants of four months or longer, relocation allowance of $1,300 for grantee and dependent travel allowance of $1,500 for one dependent and $3,000 for two or more dependents. For Flex grants: travel allowance of $ 4000 total for all segments of the grant.
- Basic housing allowance of $600 per month; additional housing allowance of $100 per month for one dependent / $200 per month for two or more dependents. For Flex awards housing allowance is $600 per month. Additional housing allowance for dependents is not provided.
- Health benefit plan provided for grantees only.
A mountainous country of seven million people located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria boasts a rich archaeological heritage and vibrant artistic culture, including its unique folk music and dance traditions as well as contemporary literary and performance practices. Thanks to its striking natural landscape, rich agricultural roots, and four-season climate, Bulgaria is an increasingly popular destination for outdoor and culinary tourism. Bulgaria also has a strong ICT and start-up sector, based primarily in Sofia, and some Bulgarian companies have started receiving international recognition for their innovations.
Bulgaria has a relatively homogenous majority population of Slavic-speakers who traditionally identify as Orthodox Christian; however, the country is also home to Turkish and Roma communities and has a sizeable Muslim minority (more than 10%). While Bulgarians are known for their warm hospitality, some communities may hold conservative views and may not have extensive experience interacting with foreigners. Younger Bulgarians often have solid levels of English-language competence thanks to access to digital and online resources, while older generations, who had limited access to English instruction under communism, may have studied Russian, German or French instead.
Since the fall of communism in 1989, Bulgaria has been a parliamentary democracy, joining the EU in 2007. Although Bulgaria has the lowest standard of living in the EU and struggles with challenges such as emigration/brain-drain and rule-of-law issues, the country has nevertheless generally been politically and economically stable. All applicants are urged to consult the most recent State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices, which offers the most exhaustive and up-to-date description of political, social and cultural trends in Bulgaria.
Other grants for U.S. citizens
Grants for American citizens who hold at a BA. Independent research projects.
Program for assistant-teachers at Bulgarian high-schools for U.S. citizens with a BA or MA.
The Fulbright Specialist Program
The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) awards grants to qualified U.S. faculty and professionals, in select disciplines, to engage in short-term collaborative two- to six-week projects at eligible institutions in Bulgaria.