Australian Applicants


This is Fulbright.

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission offers Scholarships to Australian citizens across all career stages. Awardees take part in a bi-lateral academic and cultural exchange, pursuing research or study at a U.S. institution, experiencing life in the United States of America, and bringing back their knowledge and experience to share with their communities in Australia.

A Fulbright Award is more than a Scholarship – it is, in the words of Senator Fulbright, a means of fostering “leadership, learning, and empathy between cultures… It is a modest program with an immodest aim–the achievement in international affairs of a regime more civilized, rational and humane than the empty system of power of the past.”

How do I apply?

Am I eligible?

To qualify for a Fulbright scholarship through the Australian Fulbright program, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen (by birth or naturalisation)
  • Not hold dual US-Australian citizenship OR U.S. permanent residency (Green Card)
  • Not have already commenced studies in the U.S.
  • Be resident in Australia at the time of application – the only exceptions to this rule are for men and women serving overseas in the Armed Forces, or for Australian diplomats posted overseas.
  • Have completed an undergraduate degree or equivalent at the time of applying
  • Be prepared to commence your program the following U.S. academic year (between July and the following June – e.g. apply in 2017 to start after July 2018, before end June 2019)
  • Be prepared to return to Australia for the two years following your program
  • Not already hold another scholarship for the period / project you plan to undertake on your Fulbright program (this may exclude for tuition fees)
  • Secure placement with a primary U.S. host institution (please note, this is not a requirement at the time of application for Postgraduate students.)

Which Fulbright is right for me?

Click on the links below to access information for each category, including opportunities available, eligibility, timelines for applications, the selection process and how to apply.





 Distinguished Chair

I wish to undertake a U.S. postgraduate program (eg a Masters)
I’m an Australian PhD student wishing to conduct research in the U.S.
I’ve recently completed my PhD (within the past three years, up to five years under extenuating circumstances) and wish to undertake postdoctoral research in the U.S. I’m a mid-career professional in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors wishing to undertake a training or research program in the U.S.
I’m a mid-level academic whose proposed research has industry or professional links.
I’m a senior level academic (Associate Professor or full Professor level) wishing to undertake research at a U.S. institution.  I’m a full professor working in the field of Agriculture and/or Life Sciences, wishing to conduct research at Kansas State University.

What does a Fulbrighter look like?

Australian Fulbright Scholarship recipients are selected by panels of experts chosen from academia, government, professional organisations and the US Embassy. To be competitive, you will have the following attributes:

High academic and professional merit
Fulbrighters have a record of high achievement in their chosen field, including academic records, professional standing and recognition, publications, exhibitions, performances, public lectures, or presentations.

Strong program proposal
Successful applicants propose a program that is feasible in the time period put forward (see individual categories for program duration) and relevant / beneficial to their chosen field, both in Australia and the United States. Proposals should identify:

  • An educational component of study and/or research;
  • Definitive goals to be achieved as part of the proposed research, and the unique role of the United States and its institutions in achieving these goals;
  • The relevance and value of the proposed program in furthering mutual understanding and institutional partnerships / collaboration between the United States and Australia.

Defined potential outcomes
Further to the above, the proposed program proposal should:

  • Define the potential benefits to the applicant’s institution, profession, employer and/or industry;
  • Outline how results and/or outcomes will be disseminated;
  • Outline the long-term linkages and collaborations that may be established at a personal, industry, academic and professional level.

Successful Fulbright applicants are open-minded and throughout the selection process will have demonstrated their willingness to adjust to life in the United States.

Ambassadorial skills
The Fulbright program is unique in its exchange nature and ambassadorial emphasis – Fulbrighters are chosen on their perceived ability to promote mutual understanding between Australia and the United States. Successful candidates also demonstrate their willingness to share their knowledge on return, and to productively build ongoing partnerships and linkages.

Terms and Conditions

General Award Terms and Conditions

  • Fulbright scholarships are contingent upon the candidate’s ability to secure and travel to the US on an Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa (J-1 visa), arranged through the Australian-American Fulbright Commission.
  • The J-1 visa carries a 2 year home-residency requirement, meaning recipients must return to their home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of the program before becoming eligible to apply to live in the U.S. The home-country residency requirement is in keeping with the exchange nature of the Fulbright program and encourages recipients to return to Australia to share their knowledge and experiences. Note that recipients will not be prohibited from travelling to the U.S. for short-term visits on the visa waiver program, or on a non-immigrant visa.
  • Scholarships are conditional on acceptance to an approved institution for a period of research or course of study
  • Scholarship awards must be taken up in the American academic year following official confirmation of the award, and no earlier than July of that year
  • Fulbright scholarships cannot be deferred
  • Some flexibility with program dates is required as the time taken to obtain a J-1 visa can vary
  • Awardees must participate in Fulbright pre-departure activities, including the Orientation Program and Presentation Dinner
  • Awardees must pass a medical examination in order to secure the necessary visa
  • Awardees must travel on an Australian passport, and US immigration documentation must be completed from within Australia.
  • Awardees must work with the Australian Commission to obtain a DS-2019 form and in turn, a J-1visa to enter the United States (per the above). Awardees will be required to attend a visa interview at the relevant US Consulate in order to obtain their visa;
  • International travel will only be funded between Australia and the U.S., and must be on either an Australian or American carrier;
  • Awardees may be required to fulfill Fulbright-related media requirements before departure for the US, during the exchange and/or on return to Australia;
  • Awardees must provide the Australian-American Fulbright Commission with copies of any articles, research papers or theses resulting from the award.
  • The award carries reporting requirements and final stipend payments are contingent upon completion of a final report.
  • The benefits offered under a Fulbright Scholarship are not transferable either in whole or in part to any other person or persons.
  • Awardees can receive payment for their services (i.e. guest lectures, performance, teaching assistance, research) whilst in the U.S. as long as it directly relates to and does not interfere with their Fulbright program – express permission from the Commission is required.
  • International travel whilst on a Fulbright program is subject to restrictions and awardees must seek permission before booking – this includes any fieldwork outlined in the original application.
  • Awardees are required to undertake the program of research or study for which they were approved during the selection rounds. Any variation to that program requires approval from the Commission.
  • Awardees cannot simultaneously hold a Fulbright scholarship and another award to complete the same project. Secondary (smaller) awards designated for items not covered by the Fulbright award (e.g. tuition fees) may be considered by the Commission on a case by case basis. It should be noted that proposed or current recipients of the General Sir John Monash Awards, Endeavour Award, and other similar scholarships are ineligible to receive a Fulbright scholarship.

Medical graduates / professionals: special conditions

  • Medical professionals can apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake medical research, but such research should not be directly related to clinical practice.
  • The U.S. Department of State has designated the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) as the sole agency authorised to sponsor alien physicians for internship, residency and specialised clinical training in the United States.
  • Fulbright Scholars cannot simultaneously be sponsored by ECFMG and such applicants who have sponsorship will not be considered. For further information contact the ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program.

When do the interviews take place?

Interviews take place between August and September each year. Please see below for the 2017 schedule:

Scholarship Date Location Notes
WA Postgraduate & Anne Wexler 21st August The University of Western Australia, WA Interviews in-person
Postdoctoral Scholarships 28th August N/A Interviews on Skype
ACT Postgraduate & Anne Wexler, ACT State Postdoc, Professionals and Senior Scholars* 29th August N/A Interviews on Skype
TAS Postgraduate & Anne Wexler, TAS State Postdoc, Professionals and Senior Scholars* 4th September University of Tasmania, TAS Interviews in-person
VIC Postgraduate & Anne Wexler 6th September University of Melbourne, VIC Interviews in-person
SA Postgraduate & Anne Wexler 8th September University of Adelaide, SA Interviews in-person
NT Postgraduate & Anne Wexler, NT State Postdoc, Professionals and Senior Scholars* 12th September Charles Darwin University, NT Interviews in-person
NSW Postgraduate & Anne Wexler 19th September University of Sydney, NSW Interviews in-person
QLD Postgraduate & Anne Wexler 20th September University of Queensland, QLD Interviews in-person
Distinguished Chair and Senior Scholars 22nd September N/A Interviews via Skype

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Need help preparing your application? Visit our Application Resources page. If you’re ready to apply click below!