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Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program

This is a non-degree, post-doctoral award program for researchers, university lecturers, and experts from academic institutions in Switzerland. You can apply if you wish to go to the United States to

  • conduct post-doctoral research
  • lecture,
  • or pursue combined lecturing and research.

Grants are not for the principal purpose of:

  • Attending conferences
  • Completing doctoral dissertations
  • Travel and consultation at multiple institutions, or
  • Clinical medical research involving patient contact*

*Note to medical doctors: The U.S. Department of State has designated the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) as the sole agency authorized to sponsor alien physicians for internship, residency and specialized clinical training in the United States. Fulbright grantees cannot simultaneously be sponsored by ECFMG; therefore, proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care or patient contact cannot be approved under the Fulbright Program.

Grants are available for the period between August 2020 and July 2021 for periods of a minimum of three months to ten months. The grant allows you to do research and/or teach in all fields at any recognized institution of higher education in the United States.

Grant details

  • Monthly Maintenance Allowance: between $2,710 and $3,145, depending on the city
  • Settling Allowance (one‐time payment included in the first check): Four months or less $500 / More than four months $750
  • Professional Development Allowance (one‐time payment included in the first check): Four months or less $750 / More than four months $1,125
  • Monthly Dependent Allowance (Dependent(s) must accompany the scholar for at least 80% of the grant): One $200 / Two or more $350
  • Health and accident insurance coverage under the auspices of the Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges of max. USD 100.000 per incident
  • J-1 visa for exchange visitors (please note that J-1 visa holders in the "Professor/Research Scholar" category are subject to specific regulations, such as the 2-year home residency and a 24-month bar. During this period, it is possible to re-enter the U.S. on a tourist visa, but not on a "temporary working visa" or an "immigrant visa.")

Not covered are

  • "Affiliation fees," "service fees" or similar fees, which some U.S. institutions require visiting scholars to pay in order to receive visiting scholar status and/or get access to libraries, laboratories, IT-services, etc. We recommend that you contact your prospective host institution's International Office and ask them if visiting scholars are subject to such fees.
  • Costs of a university health plan which the host institution might require visiting scholars to purchase.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Swiss citizenship (If you hold another citizenship you must contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in your citizenship country.)
  • All candidates must currently be affiliated with one of the universities or research institutions in Switzerland.
  • Doctoral degree or equivalent professional training or experience at the time of application. Professional candidates must have a minimum of 5 years professional experience in their field of study. Visual and performing arts applicants may be exempt from the requirements to have a third level qualification if they have 5 or more years of professional qualifications and or experience.
  • A clearly defined project statement of proposed activity at a U.S. institution: the proposed project should contribute to the development of knowledge in your field and must be effectively implemented within a 3-10 month time frame in the U.S.
  • English proficiency appropriate to the proposed teaching and/or research project to be carried out in the United States.  Proficiency is based on personal assessment, the TOEFL is not required.
  • Sound physical and mental health: those selected for a Fulbright grant are required to submit a Medical History and Examination Report before their grants can be finalized.

In the following cases, you are not eligible to apply:

  • You hold dual citizenship with the United States, are a resident of the United States, or hold a “green card.”
  • You have not obtained a Ph.D. degree, or are not expecting to obtain a Ph.D. degree, before fall 2020.
  • You have recent U.S. experience (more than an aggregate period of 9 months in the United States during the past 5 years)
  • You have already received a stipend from the Swiss National Science Foundation
  • You are currently studying, researching, or lecturing at a U.S. university.
  • You are currently living or working in the United States.
  • Research/Teaching stays that begin before the start academic year can only be considered under exceptional circumstances. Applicants who plan a stay during the semester breaks need to explain their reasons in their application

Application process

Deadline for application is on August 5, 2019

Applicants must choose one of the three categories of scholar awards:

  • Lecturing: If the primary purpose of the project is to teach or team-teach at least one full semester course. Applicants will be required to submit course syllabi along with a confirmed invitation to lecture.
  • Research: If the primary purpose of the project is to conduct research. Applicants will be required to submit a research bibliography.
  • Lecturing/Research: If the project will include significant portions of both lecturing and research as defined above. Candidates will be required to outline both activities in their project statement, as well as submit course syllabi and a research bibliography.

The online application is available here.

Please review the following document carefully before completing the online application:

NOTE: Make sure to read the instructions before filling out the online form as they are specific to Switzerland.

If you have any questions or doubts about your eligibility or the application procedure, you can contact the Scholarship Service via email fulbright@clutterswissuniversities.ch.

A complete application consists of the following:

  • online application form
  • project statement of proposed activity at a U.S. institution
  • three letters of reference uploaded by the recommenders into the online application by August 5, 2019.
  • letter of invitation from U.S. host institution (if already received)
  • research bibliography and/or course syllabi
  • copy of Ph.D. degree
  • copy of passport
  • further documents if applicable (as described in the Online Application Instructions)

Selection

A number of applicants will be invited for an interview in September 2019 with The Fulbright Selection Committee. The pre-selection for the interview is based on the application materials, in which your project statement,  arrangements for affiliation with a U.S. host institution, argumentation of why the U.S. and letters of reference are very important.

During the interview you will be asked to tell us more about your plans in the U.S., your interest in furthering mutual understanding and building up a scientific network, and the extra-curricular activities that you plan to do. During the interview you will also have the opportunity to tell more about yourself, so that the Committee can get to know you.

Special preference will be given to candidates who propose a relevant project related to the U.S., and who also have a sincere interest in getting to know the U.S. culture and values; who have proven to be socially engaged in community services, volunteering activities and the like; and who are ready to meet new people and engage in new experiences.

Candidates will be notified of the results of the interviews in September 2019.

Placement procedures at U.S. institutions

Candidates are encouraged to submit evidence that they have identified a host affiliation in the United States as part of the application process, well before an actual grant is awarded.

In cases where it is not possible for a candidate to include a letter of invitation from the host institution in their application materials, they can identify their specializations. This information is used to determine placement at U.S. host institutions. For these grantees, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars CIES, the scholar division of IIE, is active in confirming affiliations or arranging placements based upon the scholar's interests and needs.

Further guidance and support

swissuniversities and the U.S. Embassy in Bern will organize an orientation meeting for the selected grantees to get to know each other and to discuss the timeline and procedures. An early summer pre-departure meeting will be organized to discuss all visa issues and further logistics.

IIE will inform you about programs and initiatives to get to know fellow Fulbrighters during your stay in the U.S.

swissuniversities will be available for any questions you may have in the meantime.