Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022

Fulbright Commission in India (USIEF)

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) was founded in 1950, when India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and U.S. Ambassador, Loy Henderson signed the Indo-U.S. bi-national Agreement on Educational Exchange, which established the United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) to administer the Fulbright Program.

On July 4, 2008, Indian and the U.S. committed to jointly fund the Fulbright Program as equal partners when India’s Foreign Secretary Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon and U.S. Ambassador Dr. David C. Mulford signed a new agreement.  As a result, USEFI was renamed as the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) and funding for the core programs, renamed Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships, doubled.

The current U.S. Ambassador to India and Indian Foreign Secretary are honorary co-chairs of the USIEF Board, a binational board of directors consisting of five Americans nominated by the U.S. Ambassador and five Indians nominated by the Government of India.  USIEF offices are located in the five metropolitan cities of India, New Delhi (headquarters), Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Presently USIEF coordinates all Fulbright program initiatives in India, including the advising and selection of its award candidates.  Fulbright-Nehru Awards enable the most outstanding students, academics and professionals in India and the U.S. to study, research and engage in work experiences with greater potential benefit for both countries.  India has one of the largest Fulbright Programs worldwide, having awarded approximately 20,000 Fulbright fellowships and other grants to Indians and Americans since it began.

Your Relationship with the Commission

The Fulbright name has a respected reputation and over 70-year legacy in India. U.S. grantees participate in the program as private and autonomous U.S. citizens. USIEF is your sponsor during your grant period and, together with the Department of State and IIE/CIES, can provide you with a variety of administrative and financial services and support in the case of an emergency.

USIEF is also responsible for approving all Fulbright grants to India, arranging grantees’ affiliation/assignment at an appropriate Indian institution of higher learning, and supervising grantees’ work in India.  Your responsibilities, benefits and requirements as a grantee depend on the kind of grant you have been awarded.  USIEF’s role and responsibilities also vary according to the grant.

Stipends and allowances as stipulated on your Grant Authorization will be paid promptly, according to the schedule of payments that will be shared with you prior to your arrival. All matters concerning payments such as the travel allowance, monthly stipends, and reimbursements, should be addressed to your main contact at USIEF.

All Fulbrighters must be affiliated with one primary host institution of higher education approved and listed on the website of the Ministry of Education, Government of India, including institutions accredited AICTE, UGC and other Apex Level Bodies of the Ministry or Medical institutions accredited by the National Medical Commission (NMC).

The affiliating institution nominates one of its faculty members as faculty coordinator/advisor/supervisor for the grantee.  Fulbrighters are required to be in regular contact with the concerned faculty member throughout the grant period.  USIEF advises all their grantees to establish contact with the faculty coordinator/advisor/ supervisor upon receiving the contact details. For Fulbright- Nehru grants, USIEF will pay the affiliation fee up to US$ 500, if asked for by the affiliating institution in India.

Changes in Affiliation

Once grantees have been affiliated to an institution, they should not request a change in affiliation unless there are compelling reasons to do so.  Fulbright-Nehru grantees obtain project clearance and a visa from the Indian Embassy/Consulate based on the certificate of affiliation.  Any change in the affiliation has to be taken up with the Indian Embassy/Consulate and it is up to the Indian Embassy/Consulate to approve the request for a change.

All Fulbright-Nehru Scholars and Student Researchers are strongly encouraged to remain in India for the duration of their grant.  However, all Fulbright-Nehru Scholars and Student Researchers, regardless of the duration of the grant, are permitted a cumulative total of 14 days of personal travel (including travel days) outside of India, with advance, written permission from USIEF.  Requests for international travel must be made at least two weeks before the scheduled trip.  The request should be emailed to the appropriate USIEF staff member who will process the request and inform the grantee whether he/she receives approval. 

U.S. Scholars on Fulbright-Nehru Research Flex grants, regardless of the duration, are permitted a cumulative total of 7 days of personal travel (including travel days) outside of India with advance, written permission from USIEF.

Any travel outside of India without the written consent of USIEF will result in the immediate suspension and possible revocation of the Fulbright-Nehru grant.

Note:  The SCA Regional Travel Grant for Senior Scholars is considered personal travel outside of India and part of the 14 days of out-of-country travel.

Permission for international travel will only be given during the grant period, and grantees must be in India on the last day of their grant.  Requests for international travel towards the end of the grant or during any extension period will not be entertained.  USIEF will not pay for any travel costs.  

Grantees traveling outside of India will receive normal grant benefits except Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) coverage, which will be withdrawn for any period they are out of India.

All personal travel unrelated to the grant project or research is to be kept to a minimum to honor the full-time nature of grants.

U.S. Fulbrighters to India are required to inform USIEF of any and all travel conducted outside of the primary grant location at least one week before the scheduled trip.

All senior scholars should send their travel requests to Priyanjana.  All Students should send their travel requests to Neeraj

Failure to abide by this policy could be considered a violation of the Program Terms and Conditions and therefore may result in the immediate suspension, termination, and/or revocation of the Fulbright grant, in accordance with FFSB Policies regarding revocation, termination and suspension of grants.

Jammu and Kashmir: Fulbright students and scholars in India are prohibited from traveling to Jammu & Kashmir without permission, which is only granted by USIEF in close coordination with the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, in exceptional circumstances.  Any travel to this region without prior permission will result in the immediate suspension and revocation of the Fulbright grant.


Medical Emergencies: In case the scholar has to leave India due to a medical emergency, including the medical evacuation as guided by the FFSB and ASPE policies, all grant benefits will be withdrawn for the period the scholar is out of India.  Once the scholar is medically fit to return and completes the formalities specified by USIEF, the period spent by the scholar out of the country will be added to the end of the grant period with all benefits.

Fulbright-Nehru Student Researchers

  • Grantee Monthly Report: due at the end of each month for the first three months of the grant
  • USIEF’s midterm (max. 500 words) and final narrative reports (max. 1000 words) on the progress of your research work. These reports must be countersigned by both the grantee and the grantee’s Indian academic supervisor.  These reports typed in single line spacing should be submitted to the concerned U.S. Program staff at USIEF
  • Grantee Final Reports: Both narrative and feedback final reports are due before the end of the grant
  • Online mid-term and final report to IIE

Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Awards and Distinguished Scholar

  • Midterm Report to USIEF for grants over six months
  • Grantee Final Report: due at the end of grant
  • Online mid-term and final report to IIE

Please read the CIES/IIE REPORT submission page to know about the procedure to submit reports.

The U.S. Program team will handle all your inquiries and will do their utmost to help you take full advantage of your grant. You can request USIEF for access letters to gain admission to National Archives and State Archives as well as research centers and to meet with individuals.

USIEF is an excellent source of information on India and can be a central contact between grantees and local sources. USIEF staff can be a general reference for advice regarding living arrangements, financial or research issues, and in personal dealings no matter how seemingly trivial. Grantees will be treated, always and in equal measure, as individuals and professionals living away from home who are carrying out important work in India. The Commission and supporting institutions and individuals will be 100% on your side should you need it. Be sure to share your experience with the USIEF staff – you too are an excellent resource to the Commission in its work with present and future grantees!

Contact us

12 Hailey Road New Delhi 110 001

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