Picture taken in Mission Dolores Park, SF by Silja Pitkänen

ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants

Are you interested in studying in the United States in a master’s or doctoral program, in a continuing training program, or doing a research visit during your doctoral studies?
Do you want to be part of a worldwide network, which offers opportunities and opens doors for you to achieve your professional or academic goals, which also develop your own field? Do you have the will to become a positive creator of change?

This page is currently being updated.

If you answered “yes” to these questions, go ahead and read the application instructions for the ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants program for the academic year 2022-23!

Stay tuned for the application period for 2022-23!

Who is the Program Aimed at?

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. 

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 another 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 the 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.

Alumnien sanoin, osa I: Keitä Fulbrighterit ovat? Mitä Fulbright-kausi merkitsi heille?

Program Benefits

The grant program offers significant benefits and services to support in planning for the grant term and moving to the U.S.

  • Grant: maximum of USD 30 000 
  • Free visa, personal advice services throughout the process, orientation to the American culture, education system and the upcoming Fulbright period, seminars and other free time events in the U.S., as well as local support networks of the alumni in Finland and in the U.S. 
  • Optional university placement service to help in finding U.S. universities that best match with your academic and professional goals as well as provide opportunities for university financial support. This service is provided by the Foundation’s program partner in the U.S.
  • Opportunity to apply for follow-up funding from the Fulbright Finland Foundation, if you complete your entire degree in the U.S. and study in the country for more than one academic year. See the description of the Renewal Grant.
  • Opportunity to participate in events that allow you to network professionally and internationally. 
  • Fulbright Finland Centennial Travel Grant in Architecture, Design and the Visual Arts can be awarded (in May 2021) to one of the Finnish or U.S. graduate student grantees representing any of the three fields (additional award provided by an alum for transatlantic and project related travel expenses).
  • Full list of benefits.

The Requirements for Applying

  • You plan to start your full-time studies / your research visit in the U.S. in fall 2022.
  • Your studies in the U.S. last at least for one academic year / your research visit in the United States lasts between 9 and 12 months.
  • If you apply for a degree program or a non-degree program in the U.S., you are prepared to apply for several universities you would like to study at. We do not accept applicants who only want to apply for one university and the list of universities you will apply to needs to be balanced. You do not have to have a study place in the U.S., or an invitation from the host organization at the time of applying. However, it is very important that you have mapped out those higher education institutions which are strong in your field and suitable for your own goals already before applying for the program. Specifically, if you plan to do a research visit or doing a doctoral degree in the U.S., it is important that you have established some initial contact with potential supervisors to find out about the different opportunities. If needed, we will help the selected grantees to make a final listing of those higher education institutions to which to apply. The program also enables a research visit to two different host organizations in the case where you go to the U.S. for a research visit to advance your dissertation and visit one organization immediately after the other.
  • 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. In addition to checking the universities’ websites for accreditation, you can also use the following links to confirm agency accreditation:
  • Your plans for the Fulbright period include studies in your own field or higher education studies / research which is close to your own field.
  • The grant program is aimed at students of all fields. Only studies / research including patient care or other patient contact are excluded. For example, in medicine we do not accept applicants for basic studies in the U.S. (such as the M.D. programs) or for the so-called internship or residency programs.
  • You have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree (in a university or in a university of applied sciences) by the end of the application period. Note that if you have completed all the courses and the thesis required for a bachelor’s degree by the last day of the application period but for administrative reasons have not obtained the degree certificate yet, you can still apply for the grant program. In this case you will need to include an informal certificate provided by your institution as a proof of your situation. The certificate also needs to state when you obtain the official degree certificate. When you receive the official degree certificate, you will need to email its copy to the Fulbright Finland Foundation immediately.
  • The grantees will travel to the U.S. as representatives of the ASLA-Fulbright program. You cannot use the grant as an additional funding for another grant program you would be a representative of.
  • You will be able to participate in the grant interview, in the American Voices seminar, and in the Pre-departure orientation training, which are organized on the days listed in the schedule below.
  • The grant cannot be given to an applicant who is already residing in the U.S. You have to start your studies in the U.S. with the ASLA-Fulbright grant.
  • Because the ASLA-Fulbright 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 (the J-1 visa) organized by the Fulbright program. For those having a dual citizenship cannot receive the grant. 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 when 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.


Application Instructions

  • The application
  • How to fill in the application
    • If you encounter any technical problems when filling in the application, contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation. Please note that the Fulbright Finland Foundation only processes the applications that have been submitted by the application deadline and include all the required attachments.
  • The checklist (has to be attached to the application, a mandatory part of the application)
    • Use the checklist to make sure that you have attached all the necessary documents in the application. The applicant is responsible for saving all the required attachments in the application system by the deadline.
Additionally, please send all the attachments to the Fulbright Finland Foundation by email ([email protected]).

Some of the grants are cost-share grants funded together by Finnish universities and the Fulbright Finland Foundation. All the ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants applicants are automatically taken into account when selecting the cost-share grantees. The information on the universities participating in the Fulbright programs are added on the cost-share funding website as soon as the universities announce their participation for the Fulbright Finland Foundation. Although your home university would not participate in sharing the costs of the grant, you can still apply for the ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grant program because some of the grants are fully funded by the Fulbright Finland Foundation.

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


What When More information
Applicant Event at the Fulbright Finland Foundation March 2021 What should I know about graduate studies and research in the U.S. and the Foundation's grant programs before applying? Come and learn!
The deadline for applications May 23, 2021  
Interview invitations emailed to the selected applicants  August 2021  
Interviews at the Fulbright Finland Foundation August 2021 Travel costs will not be reimbursed
Final selection results published early September 2021  
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
The American Voices seminar in Turku for the Finnish and American grantees TBC Planning for the Fulbright term and guidance for next steps. Opportunity to network with current U.S. Fulbrighters. The Foundation will reimburse the travel and accommodation costs.
The Pre-Departure orientation in Helsinki Mid-May 2022 The Fulbright Finland Foundation will reimburse the travel and accommodation costs.
The introductory orientation courses in the U.S.  August 2022 Opportunity to meet fellow Fulbright grantees from around the world and orientate to the 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 2022  


Alumni Experiences

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

Iida Tikka shares her experiences at the Georgetown University in the Fulbright Finland News article (1/2019): Diving into International Security
Read about Petra Kuivala's experience at the Florida International University in the Fulbright Finland News article (1/2018): Cuban Studies in Miami
Miika Tomi, 2015-2016 ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grantee, discusses in the Fulbright Finland News article Why Fulbright Matters Now More than Ever 
Alumnien sanoin, osa II: Fulbrighterit muutoksentekijöinä
Alumnien sanoin, osa III: Mikä tekee Fulbright-ohjelmasta erityisen?


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