Visiting Scholar Grants in the U.S.

Fulbright scholarships for research and lecturing in the United States

Join our free webinars for an overview and updates about this grant. 

This grant competition will open in September 2024.


For scholars and university lecturers


Elite universities and science institutes in USA


Period 3-5 months


All areas of science and arts


5-7 scholarships every year

About the Fulbright Scholar Program

The Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange “Fulbright” is the institution authorized to administer the program for U. S. Government supported grants to Bulgarian scholars and professionals for research and lecturing in the United States. These scholarships are awarded in open competition supervised by binational selection committees.

Grants last 3 to 5 months and are awarded in all fields of study except clinical medicine and dentistry.

The scholarship includes round trip, monthly maintenance, settling-in allowance, health insurance. Applicants are required to provide an invitation letter from a U.S. academic institution.

Eligibility requirements

Citizenship, degree, language competences 

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  • Bulgarian citizenship; green card holders and persons with dual (Bulgarian and US) citizenship are ineligible.
  • Doctoral degree.
  • Proficiency in English appropriate to the proposed lecturing or research project.
  • Good health. Selected applicants are required to submit Medical History and Examination Report.


Application form, recommendations, diplomas 

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  • Application form (the web-based Fulbright Visiting Scholar application is located at;
  • Three letters of reference (submitted online);
  • Letter of invitation from a prospective host institution (scanned and attached to the online application);
  • Copies of original academic transcript and degree certificate from each university or post-secondary institution (scanned and attached to the online application);
  • Copies of doctoral and other qualifying degree certificates (scanned and attached to the online application).


The assessment is carried out by prominent specialists in the respective fields. 

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General Selection Criteria

  • Priority is given to academic and scholarly experience and achievement.
  • English language proficiency is important, but is not overemphasized to the detriment of other selection criteria.
  • 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 generally given to applicants who have not had prior opportunities for lecturing or research in the U.S.

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

Selection Procedures

  • Applications are subject to pre-screening.
  • Evaluation of projects is carried out by leading Bulgarian and U.S. scholars in the respective fields. Emphasis is placed on feasibility, usefulness and potential contribution to the objectives of the program.
  • 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. Date and time are fixed.
  • Nominees are subject to final approval by the Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB).

Deadline for submitting applications for the academic 2024-25: December 5, 2023

The interview dates are fixed and are not subject to changes or additional options.

Why should you apply


Invaluable experience at a top university in the USA


Networking opportunities with the most prominent specialists in your area of expertise


Intercultural exchange and new environment


Exchange of ideas


Scientific and creative growth

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Fulbright Scholar Grant cover?

The grant covers monthly maintenance in the amount of $2900 – $3500, depending on the destination. The grant duration is between 3 to 5 months, depending on the length of the project. The Fulbright Commission provides for travel expenses (return flight) and health insurance.

How many grants are offered annually?

5-7 grants, depending on budget.

How do I receive an invitation from a US university and what should it include?

Write to your US counterparts with a proposition to host you for the grant period. It is important to emphasize that you are not looking for any funding, as you will be financed by your Fulbright grant. It is a good idea to approach US researchers, working in fields closely corresponding to your own research interests.


The invitation letter should be issued by a department or faculty with official letterhead. It should confirm the US university agrees:

  • to host the visiting scholar for the grant period (start and end date quoted)
  • to provide access to libraries and sources of information
  • provide working place to designate an academic counterpart  
What starting date should I enter?

The Grants last minimum 3 and maximum 5 months. You can start your grant in August during the academic year you are applying for. If your visit starts in the Spring semester, it should be over before the end of July during the academic year you are applying for.

Is there an exclusive list of US universities the Fulbright program works with?

The Fulbright Commission works with all accredited,public and private universities and research institutes on the territory of the U.S. This gives a chance to applicants to connect with leading specialist in their chosen fields.

Is a language test required?

No. The level of English language fluency is demonstrated by the application content and during the selection interview, which is held in English.  

Are there any age limits?

No. The only application requirement is that candidates should be in sound health.

How do I register referees?

In the online form you will find a section “references” in the top left corner of the menu bar. Please select this section. In “register referees” please enter the e-mail addresses of your three referees and click submit. This will send electronic invitations with links to the online confidential recommendation forms to the e-mail addresses of your referees. Please make sure in advance that they agree to complete your reference. (In the rare case they do not speak English, they can upload both the Bulgarian version of the recommendation and an English translation into the electronic portal.) Your references will become accessible for review after you have submitted your entire online application.

Maria Kostova

Maria Kostova

Program Coordinator Bulgarian Grantees

Other Fulbright Scholarships


Graduate students

Funding for one academic year. Latest application deadline was 20 May, 2022.


Doctoral students

Scholarship for young researchers at advanced stages of their PhD studies. 


Non-profit representatives

Fulbright scholarship for 3-5 months of research activities on issues related to civil society. 



Scholarships awarded to professionals all over the world, on managerial or expert positions. 


Scholarship for mathematicians

This scholarship is awarded to scholars in the field of mathematics who acquired their PhD no longer than 10 years ago. 

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