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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 period is open. Apply by October 1, 2024!

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 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 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.

Cost of living in the U.S. 

The cost of living in the U.S. has been increasing recently and can be significantly higher than in Finland depending on city. The total costs (including potential host institution fees, insurance, and living costs) vary by institution and city. Living costs (accommodation, meals, and everyday expenses) typically range anywhere between USD 3 200 to 4 850 per month depending on the city. It is important to estimate the total costs of the grant term as accurately as possible and budget accordingly. 

For example, renting a studio apartment in high-rent regions such as San Francisco Bay Area, Stanford University campus, and New York City may cost between USD 2 500 and USD 3 000.


  • Grant: The total grant amount is max. 18 000 USD. The grantee may use the grant to cover different expenses of the Fulbright term. Please note that in many cities in the U.S. the cost of living is higher than the maximum grant amount and additional funding is needed (e.g. salary from home institution or other grants).
  • Personal advising and guidance services: Supporting you before and during the grant term. 
  • Free visa: J-1 visa for you, and J-2 visa for family members who travel with you
  • Orientation training: Extensive orientation training to U.S. culture, the higher education system, and details for the upcoming Fulbright period, including online materials, virtual meetings, and an orientation day in Helsinki.
  • Networking opportunities: Enabling you to build connections professionally and internationally in Finland and the U.S. As a Fulbright grantee, you are provided an opportunity to participate in the Fulbright enrichment activities (Fulbright Enrichment Seminars, events, and workshops) allowing you to connect with fellow grantees from all around the world as well as local community members. In addition, you will be joining a global network of 400 000+ alumni as well as the Fulbright Finland alumni community.

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

Support for Grantees with Disabilities

Extra funding support is available for grantees with disabilities. If you have a disability that would cause additional costs for the grant term, contact the Foundation to discuss reasonable accommodations. Email the Foundation (emmi.jelekainen@fulbright.fi) by the grant application deadline your self-assessment with a description of the disability and the specific accommodations requested.

Please note that disclosing the need for disability accommodation does not affect the review and selection process.

A special award available for research at Cleveland State University

Application Requirements

Academic requirements

  • Degree: The grant is meant for 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 e.g. for archival research or other type of data collection in the U.S. The grant is not meant for attending 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 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. Before applying, the applicant has 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 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.

Ambassadorial Role

  • Cultural ambassador of Finland: You are motivated to learn about other cultures and to share your own. The grantees contribute to the enhancement of Finland-U.S. relations by acting as citizen ambassadors of their home country and institution, and by promoting cultural understanding.
  • Representing a Fulbright Finland Foundation grant program: You may seek and receive additional funding for your time in the U.S. from other organizations or foundations, but your primary affiliation is always with the Fulbright Finland Foundation as your stay in the United States will be on the Fulbright program and on a Fulbright sponsored visa. 
  • Motivated to learn and share: You are motivated to develop your field of specialization and share your knowledge and learning during and after the grant term. After the grant term, you are interested in engaging as an alum of the Foundation.

Other eligibility and visa requirements

  • J-1 Visa: You will travel to the U.S. with an exchange visitor visa (the J-1 visa) organized by the Fulbright program. 
  • Finnish citizenship and residence: You must be a Finnish citizen (if you are not a Finnish citizen but work as a researcher in Finland, please consider our travel grant programs). You cannot have Finnish-American dual citizenship or a permanent residence permit in the U.S. The grant cannot be given to an applicant who already resides in the U.S. The applicant has to start their research in the U.S. with this grant.
  • 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: Grantee cannot apply for a work permit or an immigration visa to the U.S. immediately after the end of their grant term. One has to reside in their home country/country of residence 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.
  • All fields accepted (some restrictions for medical sciences): Applications in all fields are accepted. However, proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care or patient contact are not eligible. This restriction is applied quite widely and applicants are advised to contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation if they have any questions about the eligibility of their project.

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:

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.

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 startsLate May 2024
Deadline for applicationsOctober 1, 2024 (Finnish time at 23.59)
Applicant interviews (virtual)November 11, 2024
Selections announcedDecember 2024
Program-specific online meetingMarch 2025 (date TBC)
Compulsory Orientation Day in Helsinki for all selected granteesMay 2025 (date TBC)
Earliest possible starting date of the grant periodAugust 1, 2025


Alumni Experiences

Fulbright Finland Outreach Ambassadors are happy to share their experiences from the U.S. Feel free to contact them.

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 Programs 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.