< Back to country

3 Open Study/Research Awards

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
9 Months
No Pre-Departure Orientation
Award Profile

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides up to three awards per academic year for U.S. citizens holding at least a BA to conduct individually designed research, engage in civic initiatives or develop their talents in Bulgaria. Students may be affiliated with institutions of higher education, government institutiuons, non-governmental organizations, research institutions or think-tanks, cultural institutions, public organizations, media, etc. 

Grant Period

9 Months

Awards are for 8 to 9 months. Grantees are strongly encouraged to arrive in country by September 1 to take part in the orientation for US grantees.

Pre-Departure Orientation

No Pre-Departure Orientation

Candidate Profile

Well-qualified candidates will be considered at all degree levels (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral) and in all fields. MA/PhD candidates, young professionals and artists are encouraged to apply. Ability to conduct independent, unstructured research with minimal oversight is crucial. Candidates do not need to currently be enrolled in a graduate program to be eligible.

Preference is usually given to those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant. However, those who may have held an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award may apply for a study/research grant, provided that at least two years have elapsed from the end of their ETA period, and they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements. Previous experience in Bulgaria is not considered a disadvantage. Knowledge of Bulgarian or another Slavic language is not required, but is considered an advantage. 

Accepted Degree Levels




Foreign Language Proficiency

Not Required

Bulgarian language proficiency should be commensurate with the proposed project. The Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission provides a one-time allowance of US$500 for Bulgarian language training during the grant period.

Fulbright Proposal Types

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: No


Applicants are encouraged to arrange affiliations and submit letters of invitation in their application. It is advisable that candidates consult the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission about affiliation as final placements are coordinated by the Commission, which can also assist in establishing contacts at appropriate institutions. Affiliation is acceptable with academic and research institutions, NGOs, media, libraries, museums, cultural institutions, and governmental organizations.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition

If courses are available in the relevant field at Bulgarian academic institutions, the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission may cover tuition fees up to $1,500 upon approval by the Commission Board.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Dual citizens (American and Bulgarian or other European citizenship) are accepted.
  • Applicants must be in good health.
  • Previous experience in Bulgaria is not considered a disadvantage.

Grant Benefits

The standard grant benefits include:

  • monthly stipend – $1,200 per month
  • travel and relocation allowance to cover round-trip international travel – $3,000
  • research, book and incidentals allowance – $500
  • Bulgarian language training allowance – $500
  • health benefit plan for grantees only


Dependent support is not available.

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website


Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

Rada Kaneva