Picture taken in Mission Dolores Park, SF by Silja Pitkänen

ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants

ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants Program is an academic mobility program with 70+ years of history. We support master’s and doctoral students from all fields to study or research in a U.S. university or research institution, and to expand their horizon through cultural immersion.
The application round for the academic year 2024-25 will open in February.

The Purpose of This Program

The purpose of the grant is to enable the awardee to carry out studies or research projects at U.S. universities or research institutions and at the same time act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation programs, Finland, and their home institution, sharing their culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S. 

The ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants program supports master and doctoral-level studies of different fields, as well as doing research in a U.S. university, chosen freely by the applicant. In exceptional cases, the organization hosting the grant recipient can also be a research center or other suitable organization.

You can apply for the grant program if you are aiming to complete a degree in the United States, or if you are planning fixed-term studies in the U.S., lasting for one academic year (such as exchange studies or continuing training e.g. in a graduate certificate program). The grant program also supports research visits to the U.S. during the doctoral study phase.

The Fulbright program is currently the largest international program for academic and professional mobility and cultural exchange. It has been founded to promote cross-border understanding with the help of educational and scientific collaboration. In Finland, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers grant programs for applicants who have the potential to shape the future and be the driving force of change in different sectors of society or in academia. It is for those who, with their own work, want to advance the development of their discipline or profession and find solutions to the central challenges of their field. Read more about the background of the program.

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Alumnien sanoin, osa I: Keitä Fulbrighterit ovat? Mitä Fulbright-kausi merkitsi heille?
Watch our webinar and learn more about the opportunity to study in the U.S. through our grant programs here.

Program Benefits

We provide you with a wide range of support services to prepare you for your upcoming journey:

  • Grant: Maximum of USD 30 000 for one academic year.
  • University placement service (including support for securing university funding): This highly recommended, free service helps you find U.S. universities that best match your academic and professional goals as well as provide opportunities for university financial support. The service also includes waivers for U.S. university application fees and TOEFL and GRE test vouchers. This service is provided by the Foundation’s program partner Institute of International Education (IIE) in the U.S.. Read more about the service here.
  • Personal advising and guidance services: Supporting you before and during the grant term.
  • Orientation trainingExtensive orientation training to the U.S. culture, higher education system, and details for the upcoming Fulbright period including online materials, virtual meetings, and 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 (seminars, events, and workshops) allowing you to connect with fellow grantees and American community members. In addition, you will be joining a global network of 10000+ alumni as well as the Fulbright Finland alumni community.
  • Opportunity to apply for follow-up funding: If you are completing your entire degree in the U.S. for more than one academic year, you can read about the Renewal Grant for further details.
  • Fulbright Finland Centennial Travel Grants in Architecture, Design and the Visual Arts: This additional grant can be awarded to Finnish or U.S. graduate student grantees representing any of the three fields to help cover their Fulbright project-related travel expenses in their destination country. No separate application is needed.
  • Free visa: J-1 visa for you, and J-2 visa for family members who travel with you.

The benefits of joining a Fulbright program go beyond the grant term, read the full list of benefits 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 ([email protected]) 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.

Application Requirements

Ambassadorial Role

  • Cultural ambassador of Finland: You are motivated to learn about other cultures and share your own. The grantees contribute to the enhancement of the Finland-U.S. relations by acting as Ambassadors of their home country and institution and promoting cultural understanding.
  • Representing a Fulbright Finland Foundation grant program: You can seek additional funding but you are primarily a representative of the Fulbright Finland Foundation grant program you are selected for.
  • 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.

Academic Requirements

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree: You have completed your degree in a university or university of applied sciences by the end of the application period.
    • If, for administrative reasons, you have not obtained the degree certificate but have completed all courses and thesis required for your degree by the last day of the application period, you can still apply for the grant program.
      Please include an informal certificate provided by your institution as a proof. This certificate needs to state when you will obtain the official degree certificate. Once you receive your the official certificate, please email a copy of it to us immediately.
  • Start of studies: Your full-time studies / research visit in the U.S. begins in fall 2023.
  • One-year duration: Your studies last for at least one academic year / research visit for 9-12 months.
  • Willingness to apply to multiple universities: At the time of applying, you do not have to have a study place in the U.S., or an invitation from the host organization. Yet, you are prepared to apply to several universities you would like to study at. Your university list needs to be balanced and include a back-up plan. You will receive help from us in creating a balanced university list.
    • For visiting student researchers and doctoral degree applicants, it is very important to establish initial contact with potential supervisors to learn about suitable opportunities before submitting the grant application.
    • For your research visit, it is possible to have two different host organizations consecutively.
  • Accredited institution: The U.S. universities you apply to must be accredited by a recognized accrediting agency or association as recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Check the institution accreditation here.
    • In some cases, visiting student researcher's hosting organization can be a research center or other suitable organization.
  • All fields of study are welcomed: Your studies or research during the Fulbright grant term is in or close to your own field. Only studies or research including patient care or other patient contact are excluded.

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. 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. You have to start your studies in the U.S. with the ASLA-Fulbright 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 when writing your application.
  • Two-year home country residency requirement: Grantee cannot apply for a work permit or an immigration visa to the U.S. immediately after their study period has finished. One has to reside in their home country for two years after the grant period is over to get a work permit or an immigration visa. However, normal tourist visits and for example studying in the U.S. is possible. Read more about this requirement here.

Application Instructions and Tips

Please note that we only accepts applications that are submitted by the application deadline with all required attachments.

Application Instructions

  • Application: Submit your online application here: https://apply.iie.org/ffsp2023
  • Application instructions: Please follow the application instructions while filling in the application.
  • Application checklist: This is a mandatory item to be submitted along with your application, please utilize this to make sure you have attached all necessary documents to the application. Download the checklist.
  • Cost-share grants: Finnish universities and the Fulbright Finland Foundation fund certain grants together. All ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants applicants are automatically considered for cost-share grants. Please find more information on cost-share funding webpage (list of participating universities for the academic year 2023-24 will be published by the end of March 2022).
    Even if your home university does not participate in this partnership, you can still apply for this program since there are grants fully funded by us, the Fulbright Finland Foundation.
  • Fulbright-Kaute Foundation Award: As KAUTE Foundation is our partner, applications in the fields of Business, Economics, and Technology submitted to the ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grant program are also automatically considered for the Fulbright-KAUTE Foundation Award.

The Selection Process of ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grant Program

You can learn more about the process in the following pages:

Instructions and Tips for Required Documents

You can reference our tips for guidance for preparing your application.


As a grantee, it is important that you are committed to your program schedule listed below.

What When More information
Info Session for Graduate Applicants to the U.S. (online) March 9, 2022 Learn more about graduate studies and research in the U.S. and our grant programs.
Application deadline May 22, 2022  
Interview invitations emailed to the selected applicants  Min. one week before the interviews   
Interviews held August 17-19, 2022 We will inform whether the interviews are held online or at the Foundation premises (depending on the COVID situation). Travel costs will not be reimbursed.
Final selection results published Mid-September 2022  
Taking the language and aptitude tests if needed (e.g. GRE, GMAT, TOEFL) Immediately after the results are published or earlier Depending on your status (degree student/visiting student researcher), your choices for universities and the deadlines of those universities
Fall orientation and American Voices seminar in Turku Mid-October, 2022 Planning for the Fulbright term and guidance for next steps. Participation in the seminar and opportunity to network with current U.S. Fulbrighters in Finland. The Foundation will reimburse the travel and accommodation costs for grantees living outside Turku.
Online training sessions October 2022 - May 2023 We provide (self-study) tools for you to prepare for your upcoming year.
The Pre-Departure orientation and Award Ceremony in Helsinki Mid-May 2023 The Fulbright Finland Foundation will reimburse the travel costs.
The introductory orientation courses in the U.S.  August 2023 Opportunity to meet fellow Fulbright grantees from around the world and familiarize oneself with U.S. culture and higher education. The courses are voluntary (no accommodation costs involved, and a travel grant will be awarded for the travels within the U.S.).
The studies / research visit in the U.S. begins August/September 2023  
First grant installment September 1, 2023  
Second grant installment January 2, 2024  

Alumni Experiences

Take a look at the stories and video interviews of previous Finnish Fulbright grantees.

Why Fulbright Matters Now More Than Ever (Fulbright Finland News Magazine 2019)

  • Miika Tomi, 2015-16 ASLA-Fulbright Graduate grantee

Support of the Fulbright Finland Foundation in the Graduate Application Process to the U.S. (Fulbright Finland Foundation blog 2021)

  • Iines Kiuru, 2021-22 ASLA-Fulbright Graduate grantee

Teknologiajuridiikkaa opiskelemassa Piilaaksossa (Fulbright Finland Foundation blog 2021)

  • Sonja Heiskala, 2021-22 ASLA-Fulbright Graduate grantee

You can find more stories of our grantees and alumni from our blog or YouTube channel.

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Alumnien sanoin, osa II: Fulbrighterit muutoksentekijöinä

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 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

The ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grant program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.