ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program

The ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program supports doctoral students who are heading for the U.S. to advance their pre-doctoral research.
The application period for 2020-2021 ends on December 8, 2019!

Purpose of the Grant Program

The purpose of the program is to enable doctoral students registered in a Finnish university to conduct their pre-doctoral research in the U.S. and at the same time act as ambassadors for the Fulbright program, Finland, and their home institution, 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 2020-2021.

The grant is meant solely for the purposes of pre-doctoral research, not for taking courses. When applying, the grant applicant has to provide an invitation letter from a U.S. host university. Other types of organizations than universities can also invite the grantee but this has to be confirmed with the Fulbright Finland Foundation. The grant can be applied 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.

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 by doctoral students of the universities that are participating in the Cost-share program.

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, University of Tampere

Benefits

The total grant amount is 18 000 USD. The grantee may use the grant to cover different expenses of the Fulbright term.

In additional to the financial support, the Fulbright Program includes several significant additional benefits and program services, such as a free visa, personal advice services and orientation to the American culture, education system and upcoming Fulbright period.

Eligibility

  • 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.
  • The grant 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 in the application.
  • The grant applicant has to be registered in a Finnish University. The ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellows 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). 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.
  • 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 ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellows program. The grant cannot be used as an additional funding for another grant program that the student is representing.
  • Because the ASLA-Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows Program is a cultural exchange program between Finland and the U.S., you have to have a Finnish citizenship and you have to arrive in the U.S. with an exchange visitor visa (J-1 visa) sponsored by the Fulbright program. Dual citizens (Finland and the U.S.) are ineligible 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 grant program.

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

  • The so-called 12-month bar and 24-month bar regulations limit granting a new J-1 or J-2 visa for those who have visited the U.S. with a J-1 or a J-2 visa before. If you have visited the U.S. with a J-visa within the past 24 months, contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation before writing your application.
  • According to the so-called 2-year rule (two-year home country residence requirement), a grantee cannot apply for a work permit or an immigration visa to the U.S. immediately after their study period has finished. In order for a person to get a work permit or an immigration visa, one has to reside in Finland for two years. However, normal tourist visits and for example studying in the U.S. is possible.

How to Apply?

The selection is based on the information provided in the application. The applicant has to attach their research plan and an invitation from the U.S. host university or research center in the application. 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 the questions of 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. The applicants should carefully read the instructions and other material related to the application process before starting to work on the application.

Documents which are required to be included in the application:

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

Use the checklist to make sure you have attached all the required documents in the application. The applicant is responsible for saving all the required attachments in the application system by the deadline, and for sending them to the Fulbright Finland Foundation by email (applications(at)fulbright.fi).

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

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

Timeline

Deadline for applications December 8, 2019 (Finnish time)
Applicant interviews in Helsinki February 12-14, 2020
Selections announced March 2020
Compulsory Orientation Day for all selected grantees May 2020

The selection criteria used in the Fulbright Finland Foundation’s grant programs:

  • the uniqueness and innovativeness of the application,
  • the clarity and implementation of the project,
  • academic and/or professional skills and proficiency,
  • reasoning for conducting research in the U.S.,
  • the significance of the project for the development of the knowledge of the field,
  • the significance of the project in terms of the aims of the ASLA-Fulbright program,
  • personal qualities assessed especially based on the interview: adaptability and suitability to function as a representative of the ASLA-Fulbright program in the U.S.

Applicants who have little or no experience in the U.S. might have an advantage in the selection process.

Grantee blogs

Questions?

Emmi Jelekäinen
Program Specialist
emmi.jelekainen(at)fulbright.fi
+358 44 5535 275
 

See also the following grants

The Fulbright Finland Foundation awards graduate-level grants also 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 Finnish higher education institutions.

What Makes the Fulbright program unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as an access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and to 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 organization 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

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