Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022

Student Researchers

Congratulations on receiving the student research award! For some of you this maybe the first time to India, while most of you may have been to India earlier as part of your study abroad program or pursuing an Indian language or just visiting your cousins and extended family in India! However, India always catches one by surprise and you may not always be able to anticipate it. So, don’t be too hard on yourself and take care of your physical and mental health during this time.

Moving to a new country and conducting research in a foreign environment can often be challenging but USIEF staff is always around to help you. Also, reaching out to Fulbright alumni community to discuss your research is often a good start. Check with USIEF and see if your host institution in India has hosted any Fulbrighter before. Also, check if your host city has had any Fulbrighters before. The alumni are a horde of knowledge regarding the best places to eat out, or just hang out on the weekends.

The USIEF staff may also be able to connect you to our Indian alumni in the same field that you are conducting research and they are also an excellent recourse to tap into. We will highly recommend you to always network in India. Very soon while living in India you will understand the concept of “jugaad” which is a common hindi word meaning creative innovation.  India is all about exploring new cultures, new people, new recipes and new languages, so use your time judiciously and dive into this wholeheartedly.

You research will be the most integral part of your experience so remember to always keep that on your mind. Your research design will invariably get adapted once you hit the ground running in India. You will hear this from the alumni that most of their research designs did change in subtle ways from what they had anticipated before coming to India and then after seeing the ground reality. Stay true to your research but also stay flexible that things might change, and you will have to go with the flow. Time management will be an important thing to keep in mind because these nine months will go in a flash and you will have no time to round up your project. Remember to always invest in your relationship with your academic supervisor as well as peers at your host institution since they will be the ones to open up doors for you to conduct your research.

The last bit of advice for you will be to always self-evaluate yourself and maintain a journal to keep a track on your research progress so that you don’t fall behind. Enjoy every bit of your time in India because we promise you this will be a life-changing experience!

For all those students who have applied for the Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA), please go through the CLEA manual. For questions related to this award, you can write to Neeraj.

Applicants proposing research involving human beings or animals as research subjects, or those who plan to formally publish the results or to use the results in a graduate program should have their projects vetted by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at their home institutions. 

At-Large applicants should conduct an individual ethics review ensuring that their proposed projects are consistent with ethical standards for research involving humans as research participants as outlined in the National Guidelines for Human Subjects Research (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health), and in the National Guidelines for Animal Welfare at the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare or other applicable internationally recognized ethics guidance documents.

Human subjects research includes: clinical investigations (any experiment or study on one or more persons which involves a test product/article, whether a drug, treatment, procedure or device); social-behavioral studies which entail interaction with or observation of people, especially vulnerable populations (i.e., as minors, pregnant women, inmates, drug-users, the mentally impaired, displaced/refugee populations); and, basic scientific research to study the biology of animals, persons or organs and specimens thereof. 

The most fundamental issues in studies involving human research subjects include: valid scientific questions and approaches; potential social value; favorable risk-benefit ratio; fair selection of study participants and an adequately administered informed consent process.

For at-large students, please refer to the IRB tips shared by Fulbright-Nehru alumna , Amanda Stephens.

If you are a student aiming to navigate the IRB application process within your home institution in the U.S., refer to some helpful advice provided by Anagha Kikkeri, a Fulbright-Nehru Student Researcher from 2023-24 cohort.

You will also find some tips from FY23  Student Researcher, Frances Walker, who has shared her experience of obtaining IRB approval and offers some invaluable guidance for students who will be navigating the IRB process.

Contact us

12 Hailey Road New Delhi 110 001

Tel.: +91-11-4209-0909/2332-8944