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ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program

The ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program supports doctoral students who are heading to the U.S. to advance their pre-doctoral research.
The application round for the academic year 2023-24 is closed.

Purpose of the Grant Program

The purpose of the program is to enable doctoral students registered at a Finnish university to conduct their pre-doctoral research in the U.S. and at the same time act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation programs, Finland, and their home institutions, sharing their culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S. The grants are available for periods of 6-12 months. The grantee can choose the dates they want to be in the U.S., as long as it is within the academic year of 2023-24.

The grant is meant solely for the purposes of pre-doctoral research, not for taking courses. When applying, the applicant has to provide an invitation letter from a U.S. host university. Other types of organizations than universities can also invite grantees but this has to be confirmed with the Fulbright Finland Foundation. The grant can be applied for by doctoral students of all fields, except by those whose research in the U.S. would include clinical training, patient care, or other patient contact. Please contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation if you have any questions about the eligibility of your project.

The ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow grants are co-funded by the Fulbright Finland Foundation and the applicant’s home university. These grants can only be applied for by doctoral students of the universities that are participating in the cost-share program.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation also partners with the KAUTE Foundation. Applications in the fields of Business, Economics, and Technology submitted to the ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows program are also automatically considered for the Fulbright-KAUTE Foundation Award.

2014-2015 ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow Heikki Saxén visited Harvard University to gain fresh ideas and make international professional connections to realize his long-lasting ambition to establish the first institute for bioethics in Finland.
“When I returned to Finland, I was, in terms of insight and connections, well-positioned to realize the dream of founding the institute together with my colleagues.” - Heikki Saxén, Tampere University


  • Grant: The total grant amount is 18 000 USD. The grantee may use the grant to cover different expenses of the Fulbright term.
  • Support services and additional benefits:
    • Free visa for the grantee and their accompanying family members
    • Personal advising services throughout the process
    • Extensive orientation training to the U.S. culture, higher education system, and details for the upcoming Fulbright period. The training includes online materials, virtual meetings, and an orientation day in Helsinki.
    • Networking opportunities and enrichment activities in the U.S. organized by the U.S. program partner (seminars, events, workshops)
    • Access to local alumni support networks in Finland and in the U.S.

You can find the full list of additional benefits and program services here.


  • Purpose of the grant: The grant is aimed at doctoral students who are already far in their studies and who want to advance their pre-doctoral work in the U.S. Due to its short length, the grant is well suited for e.g. archival research or other type of data collection in the U.S. The grant is not meant for students who want to attend courses.
  • Invitation letter from an accredited institution: The applicant has to contact an accredited university in the U.S. already before applying. In exceptional cases, the Fulbright Finland Foundation Board might award a grant for pre-doctoral work in another suitable organization. An invitation from the host organization must be attached to the application.
  • Cost-share funding from the home institution: The applicant has to be registered at a Finnish University. The grants are co-funded by Finnish universities and the Fulbright Finland Foundation. In order to get the grant, there is a prerequisite that the applicant’s home university is willing to fund the grant together with the Fulbright Finland Foundation. Before applying for the grant, the applicants have to find out whether their university has decided to participate in funding the Fulbright grants (see the list of universities participating in the cost-share program). The Fulbright Finland Foundation asks for a statement from the university after the application period. If you are interested in hearing the criteria of your home university, you can contact the international services or research services of your university.
  • Residency: The grant cannot be awarded to someone who already resides in the U.S. The applicant has to start their research in the U.S. with this grant. The grantees leave for the U.S. as representatives of the Fulbright Finland Foundation grant program they have been selected for. The grant cannot be used as additional funding for another grant program that the student represents.
  • Finnish citizenship: Because the ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program is a cultural exchange program between Finland and the U.S., the grantee has to have a Finnish citizenship and they have to arrive in the U.S. with an exchange visitor visa (J-1 visa) sponsored by the Fulbright program. Dual citizens of Finland and the U.S. are not eligible to apply. If you want to have or if you already have a permanent residence permit in the U.S., you are not eligible to apply for the program.
  • Additional restrictions: There are also some restrictions for employees of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. missions abroad. Please see more information on eligibility guidelines and other Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) policies that are applicable to the ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows program candidates under FFSB Policies, Chapter 700.

There are rules involved with the J-1 visa and the J-2 visa for family members who travel with you that limit returning to the U.S. Please familiarize yourself with these rules before applying for the program.

  • Previous stay in the U.S. (for both applicant and family members): Due to the 12-month bar and 24-month bar regulations, if you and your family members have visited the U.S. with a J-1 or J-2 visa within the past 24 months, please contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation before applying.
  • Two-year home country residency requirement: Grantees and/or their dependents cannot apply for a work permit or an immigration visa to the U.S. immediately after their grant period has finished. One has to reside in their home country for two years after the grant period. However, normal tourist visits and for example studying in the U.S. is possible. Read more about this requirement here.

How to Apply?

The detailed application instructions and more information on the application process can be found in the links below. Please read them carefully.

These instructions, targeted at Finnish applicants, provide you with further information on questions related to the application form and guide you through the application step by step. Please follow the instructions while you are filling in the form. If there is any contradictory information in the form or in the instructions, always follow the instructions for Finnish applicants specifically.

Application and attachments

The application is submitted through the IIE online application form.

Required documents to be included in the application:

  • Invitation letter from the host institution
  • Project statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Bibliography
  • Bachelor's and Master's Diploma
  • Transcripts from each university or post-secondary institution attended
  • Copy of a Finnish passport
  • Recommendations (3). Read instructions for submitting a letter of recommendation.

Use the checklist to make sure you have attached all the required documents to the application. The applicant is responsible for saving all the required attachments in the application system by the deadline.

Only complete applications sent by the application deadline will be reviewed.

Evaluation criteria

The applications are evaluated according to the evaluation criteria set by the Fulbright Finland Foundation Board.

As part of the application review process, IIE, our U.S. partner organization, will screen the applications to identify any instance of plagiarism.

If you face any technical issues when filling in the application, please contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation.


Application period starts June 2022
Deadline for applications October 4, 2022 (Finnish time)
Applicant interviews November 28-30, 2022
Selections announced December 2022
Program-specific online meeting March 13, 2023 at 14-15:30
Compulsory Orientation Day in Helsinki for all selected grantees May 2023 (date TBC)
Earliest possible starting date of the grant period August 1, 2023


Grantee blogs


Other grants to consider

The Fulbright Finland Foundation also awards graduate-level grants through the ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants and the Fulbright-Technology Industries of Finland Grant programs.


What is the Fulbright Finland Foundation?

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. The Foundation’s aim is

  • to promote a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, and
  • to support the internationalization of education and research in Finland, and help U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation Program Unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and make a difference – applicants who want to facilitate positive change, develop and advance their own profession or discipline, and find solutions to national and international challenges in their field.
  • The grantees also act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation, their home country, and their home organizations and, in this way, do their part in sharing their home country and culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S.
Global Fulbright Program logo

The ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.