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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 2024-25 ended on October 3.

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.


  • Grant: The total grant amount is max. 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 (e.g. 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.

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


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.

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 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:

  • 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 Early April 2023
Deadline for applications October 3, 2023 (Finnish time)
Applicant interviews (virtual) November 13, 2023
Selections announced December 2023
Program-specific online meeting March 2024 (date TBC)
Compulsory Orientation Day in Helsinki for all selected grantees May 2024 (date TBC)
Earliest possible starting date of the grant period August 1, 2024


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.