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 that offers opportunities and opens doors for you to achieve your professional or academic goals that also develop your own field? Do you have the will to become a positive creator of change?

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!

This website is being updated.
Next application cycle for 2023-24 will open in February 2022
(date TBC).

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. 

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.

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 education system and culture 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 your academic and professional goals as well as provide opportunities for university financial support. The service also includes waivers and vouchers for the U.S. university application fees and TOEFL and GRE tests. 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 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.
Before applying for the grant, watch the Applicant Event webinar recording for more tips from alumni and current grantees!

The Requirements for Applying

  • You plan to start your full-time studies / your research visit in the U.S. in the fall of 2022.
  • Your studies in the U.S. last for at least 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 to several universities you would like to study at. We do not accept applicants who only want to apply to one university. Also, 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 that are strong in your field and suitable for your own goals already before applying for the program. Specifically, if you plan on doing a research visit or completing 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, if you plan on going 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 that 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 proof of your situation. The certificate also needs to state when you will be obtaining the official degree certificate. When you receive the official degree certificate, you will need to email a copy of it 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 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 already resides 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. Applicants with Finnish and American 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 returning 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 residency 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 after the grant period is over. However, normal tourist visits and for example studying in the U.S. is possible.


Application Instructions

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 with the Fulbright Finland Foundation. Even if your home university does not participate in sharing the costs of the grant, you can still apply for the ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grant program since some of the grants are fully funded by the Fulbright Finland Foundation.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation also partners with the KAUTE Foundation. 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.


What When More information
Applicant Event at the Fulbright Finland Foundation March 31, 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  Min. one week before the interviews   
Interviews held August 18-20, 2021 Travel costs will not be reimbursed. The Foundation will inform whether the interviews are held online or at the Foundation premises.
Final selection results published By mid-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 October 8-9, 2021 Planning for the Fulbright term and guidance for next steps. Opportunity to network with current U.S. Fulbrighters in Finland. The Foundation will reimburse the travel and accommodation costs for grantees living outside Turku.
The Pre-Departure orientation in Helsinki Mid-May 2022 The Fulbright Finland Foundation will reimburse the travel costs.
The introductory orientation courses in the U.S.  August 2022 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 2022  


Alumni Experiences

Take a look at the stories and video interviews of 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 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.