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 is now closed.

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 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?
In this program, you receive personalized help in finding suitable universities and funding for your study expenses. Learn about the university placement service 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.
  • Help in the U.S. university application process including support for locating suitable universities with funding opportunities: This highly recommended, free service helps you find U.S. universities that best match your academic and professional goals as well as provides 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 from all around the world and local community members. In addition, you will be joining a global network of 400 000+ 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, 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.

A special award available for studies and research at Cleveland State University

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 for your time in the U.S. 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 the thesis required for your degree by the last day of the grant application period, you are eligible to apply for the grant program. Please include an informal certificate provided by your institution as proof of completed degree requirements. This certificate needs to state when you will obtain the official degree certificate. Once you receive your 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 of 2024.
  • 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 backup 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 in the U.S. 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 institutions' accreditations 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 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 the end of their grant term. 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, regular 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 accept applications that are submitted by the application deadline with all required attachments.

Application Instructions

  • Application: Submit your online application here: https://apply.iie.org/ffsp2024
  • 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 Foundation fund certain grants together. All ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grants applicants are automatically considered for cost-share grants. Please find more information on the cost-share funding webpage.
    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 automatically considered also for the Fulbright-KAUTE Foundation Award without any action required from the applicant.

The Selection Process of the ASLA-Fulbright Graduate Grant Program

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

Instructions and Tips for Required Documents

You can reference our tips for guidance in 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 8, 2023
at 15:30-17:00
In this event, U.S. professors and alumni give you advice on selecting suitable U.S. universities and graduate programs or hosts for research visits as well as shed light on the U.S. university application process. You will also receive tips for applying to the Fulbright programs.
Application deadline May 16, 2023  
Interview invitations emailed to the selected applicants  Min. one week before the interviews   
Interviews held August 14-16 2023 Interviews are held online. 
Final selection results published Mid-September 2023  
Taking the language and aptitude tests if needed (e.g. GRE, GMAT, TOEFL) Immediately after the grant program selection results are published or earlier Depending on your status (degree student/visiting student researcher), your choices of universities, and the deadlines of those universities. Typically relevant for degree and non-degree students.
Fall orientation and American Voices seminar in Turku October 6-7, 2023 Planning for the Fulbright term and guidance for the 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 2023 - May 2024 We provide (self-study) tools for you to prepare for your upcoming year.
The Pre-Departure Orientation and Award Ceremony in Helsinki Mid-May 2024 The Foundation will reimburse the travel costs.
The introductory orientation courses in the U.S.  August 2024 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 are 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 2024  
First grant installment September 1, 2024  
Second grant installment January 2, 2025  
Watch our webinar and learn more about the opportunity to study in the U.S. through our grant programs here.

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

The Power of Fulbright Community (Fulbright Finland Foundation News Magazine 2022)

  • Olli Siitonen, 2021-22 ASLA-Fulbright Graduate grantee

From Michigan to Namibia (Fulbright Finland Foundation blog 2022)

  • Siiri Sinnemäki, 2021-22 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

You can find more stories of our grantees and alumni on our blog or YouTube channel, as well as reach out to our Outreach Ambassadors, our alumni, about their experiences.

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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 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 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.