Postgraduate Award Application Instructions

We are looking for applicants who can engage with the USA in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

Applications for the academic year 2020-21 competition are now closed. Applications will re-open in August 2020.

Academic excellence is important, but we are looking for more than that. The best applications are from well-rounded students who can demonstrate:

  • Strong academic proposals and/or research projects
  • Ambassadorial skills
  • Intercultural sensitivity 
  • Genuine desire to learn more about the USA and to share aspects of British culture
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Community involvement
  • Leadership potential
  • Plans to further the Fulbright mission and give back to the UK upon returning

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is committed to growing the numbers of applications and participants in the UK Fulbright Postgraduate programme from under-represented groups and to continuing fair access to the programme. We do this by maintaining equitable application and selection processes and providing the opportunity -- for students who otherwise could not afford to participate in the programme -- to apply for additional financial support through the Opportunity Fund.

We recognise that the cost of taking up a US Education, even with a Fulbright Award, is a barrier for many UK students. As part of our commitment to increasing participation of under-represented groups and continuing fair access, the Fulbright Opportunity Fund will be available for the first time in the 2020-21 application cycle. This fund is designed to provide financial support for students who are selected to receive a Fulbright Award, but who cannot afford to fully fund their US study after exhausting all options to find funding. Those selected for a Fulbright Award will become eligible to apply for the Opportunity Fund. We encourage applications from students of all backgrounds to apply for Fulbright Awards. We believe the Opportunity Fund will help students overcome the financial barriers which may prevent them from taking up an Award.

We also welcome candidates from British Overseas Territories.

Choosing an Award

There are several Postgraduate Awards available each year. The All Disciplines Award is by far the most competitive, so it's important to apply for an Award that best fits your experience and interests.

Choosing a US university

Selection committees and interview panels will be looking for clear reasons for selecting your US university preference. We expect candidates to conduct a thorough university search and to identify institutions that are a strong fit for their academic, personal and professional goals.

When choosing the US universities to apply to, applicants are encouraged to be open-minded and flexible, and consider the many excellent universities throughout the US. We specifically encourage applicants to look beyond the Ivy League institutions. If you are applying to an Ivy League institution, we require you to explain why you have chosen to apply to an Ivy League over another excellent institution in the US.

You may find Fulbright's EducationUSA resources helpful in identifying universities which are a good fit.

Register for tips and advice

If you're interested in applying for a Fulbright Award, or you're an advisor/administrator who wants to promote the programme at your university, sign up here to receive news, tips and advice.


Applications for the academic year 2020-21 competition are now closed. Applications will re-open in August 2020 and will follow the below instructions. If you are interested in applying for the British Friends of Harvard Business School Award, please visit this page.

1. Review the UK-specific application information:

2. Complete an online application. The online application includes:

  • Biographical information
  • Academic, professional and extracurricular accomplishments
  • Study/Research Objective
  • Personal statement
  • Details of the US institution(s) to which you will apply
  • Three referee nominations

The online application requires you to upload the following required documents:

  • Scanned passport photo page
  • CV
  • Official final and/or interim transcripts
  • US university admission letter (if applicable)
  • Creative writing or artwork sample (if applicable)

3. Complete the separate online US-UK Fulbright Commission Supplemental Form.

This is a required part of the application for all applicants, and your application will be considered incomplete without it. Please follow the link above to access the form.

3a. If you are submitting an application with a 2:2 undergraduate result, you must additionally complete the 2:2 Undergraduate Result Form.

We may accept applications from individuals with a 2:2 overall result in some exceptional cases. We will evaluate these applications separately and on a case by case basis will determine if the application will be included in the competition.

4. You must make a separate application to your chosen US institution(s), the timeline and deadlines for which will vary from the Fulbright application.

University and graduate programme application guidance is available from our EducationUSA advising centre. You do not need to have applied to a US university before submitting your Fulbright application, but must receive an offer of admissions from the institution(s) nominated in your proposal to receive your Fulbright grant if successful. 


Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a panel interview. Interviews will take place from 3-14 February in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast (exact dates TBD). Postgraduate Student Award interviews are in person and cannot be rescheduled.


All applicants will be informed of their application outcome by March. The Fulbright Commission cannot comment or provide feedback on individual applications.