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Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowships

Program Overview

Fulbright Israel (the United States-Israel Educational Foundation)  plans to award 16 grants of $47,500 to post-doctoral scholars who are about to begin a program of research during the 2020/2021 academic year at an accredited university or non-profit research institute in the United States.

The period of the award is nine to twelve months.

This program is open to researchers in all fields of study except programs that include clinical activities involving direct patient care.

Grant Benefits

  • $47,500 award;
  • Basic health insurance for the grantee only for the duration of the grant;
  • J1/J2 visa administration;
  • Pre-departure orientation meeting in Israel;
  • A support agency in the U.S. that assists with visas, events and networking.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must be Israeli citizens. Dual American-Israeli citizens or permanent residents of the United States are not eligible to apply.
  • Researchers who have already begun their projects in the United States or who are planning to depart Israel for the United States before July 2020 are not eligible to apply.
  • The selected candidate must give proof of completion and approval of his or her PhD at least one month prior to the proposed grant start date.  
  • Grant recipients must depart for the United States no later than May 15, 2021.
  • The program is open to candidates who have received their doctorates within 3 years prior to the submission of applications.
  • Candidates who received the doctorate before August 2016 are not eligible to apply. 
  • Candidates must be in Israel for the interviews. In addition, nominated fellows will have to be resident in Israel 4 months prior to the starting date of their fellowship in order to acquire a J1 Visa at the US Embassy in Israel.
  • Candidates who were previously issued J visas (J1 or J2) under the Exchange Visitor Program categories of “professor,” “research scholar,” or “short-term scholar” are subject to the 24 month bar on repeat participation in the same category, per SEVIS regulations.   These individuals cannot reenter the U.S. on J1 or J2 visas in the research scholar category through Fulbright until after the 24 months have passed. Please be aware that the 24 month bar may impact not only the Fulbright candidate, but also his/her spouse if they are planning to pursue a fellowship in the U.S. within the next few years that would necessitate J1 or J2 visas in the same category.  Interested applicants for whom these circumstances apply are encouraged to contact USIEF directly for guidance and to ensure that they will be eligible for the necessary J1 visa. 
  • Applicants must arrange their own institutional affiliation. An application may be submitted even if the candidate has not yet completed arrangements with a host institution.
  • 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.
  • Prior to activation of the grant, the candidate selected must give proof of having obtained adequate financial support for his/her stay in the United States.
  • Holders of tenured or tenure-track positions are not eligible to apply.
  • Selected candidates must provide proof of acceptance as a post-doctoral research fellow at a recognized research institution in the United States. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the offer of a fellowship and transfer of the award offered to another candidate.
  • Candidates must be in good health. The selected applicant will be required to submit a Medical History and Examination Report before the grant can be activated.
  • Prior conviction or current indictment for a felony may result in disqualification.
  • Applicants will be considered without regard to race, religion, gender, age, and/or physical impairment.
  • The following persons are ineligible for grants during and for a period ending one year following the termination of such employment, association, or service:

a. Employees of U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development. This provision includes all employees, paid or unpaid (including part-time or temporary employees, consultants, externs, fellows and contract employees). This provision does not apply to interns;

b. Board members or staff of a Fulbright Commission;

c. Officers of an organization, in the United States or abroad, including members of boards of trustees or similar governing bodies, and individuals otherwise associated with the organization, wherein the organization and the individuals are responsible for nominating or selecting individuals for participation in any exchange program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs;

d. Immediate families (spouses and dependent children) of individuals described in paragraphs a-c. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting children who live apart from their parents;

e. For purposes of this section, the one-year period of ineligibility is calculated from the date of termination of employment, service, or association until the due date for submission of applications for programs under this chapter.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Academic excellence is the primary criterion for the evaluation of candidates.
  • Preference will be given to projects expected to bring particular benefits to Israel and the United States.
  • English language proficiency is an important evaluation criterion.
  • Leadership qualities are an important evaluation criterion.
  • Since the aim of the Fulbright Program is to foster cultural understanding between the US and Israel, preference will be given to applicants who have not had a substantial recent academic experience in the United States or another English-speaking country.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have not had previous Fulbright grants.
  • Demonstrable ambassadorial skills required to promote mutual understanding between the United States and Israel is an important evaluation criterion.
  • Fulbright Scholars serve as cultural ambassadors and should be prepared to speak about their countries, cultures and research to academic and community groups.

Conditions of Award

  • Funding is for maximum of one year. Grantees who wish to extend their research must arrange for funding for the remainder of their stay in the United States.
  • The grantee is responsible for making his/her own travel arrangements in compliance with the Fly America Act.
  • The grantee must travel on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa sponsored by the Fulbright program.
  • Grantees must receive appointments as "Postdoctoral Fellows," and not as lecturers or any other position or employment.
  • While on the Fulbright grant, grantees may teach no more than a course per semester/quarter.
  • Upon the conclusion of the one-year Fulbright funding period, the grantee must arrange for transfer of visa sponsorship from the Fulbright program to his/her American host institution.
  • Current visa regulations limit the stay of J-1 scholars to five years. Limited extensions of the visa may be granted by the visa sponsor or by the State Department.
  • It is a condition of the visa that after completion of their Fulbright program, including any transfer of visa sponsorship, grantees must return to Israel and reside in the country for two years before being eligible to immigrate to the US, to take up permanent residence there, or to enter the US with a work permit. The purpose of the two-year home residency requirement is to ensure that exchange visitors return home and fulfill the exchange objectives of the Fulbright program.
  • Two years must pass from the completion of the grantee’s Fulbright program or any visa transfers before the scholar will be permitted to return to the US as the holder of a J-1 visa in the professor/research scholar category.
  • The above restrictions do not apply to re-entry to the United States as the holder of a J-visa in another category (short-term scholar, specialist, international visitor), or as the holder of a student or tourist visa.
  • Dependents of grantees will enter the US as holders of J-2 visas. Only individuals who have a marriage certificate may apply for a J-2 visa. Many conditions applying to the grantees as holders of J-1 visas, such as the two-year home residency requirement and other restrictions, also apply to the holders of J-2 visas.
  • Unless they have received a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement, Fulbright Scholars holding J-1 visas are ineligible to change their status from J-1 to J-2 while in the US. Similarly, accompanying dependents who possess J-2 visas are ineligible to change their status from J-2 to J-1 while in the US, unless they have received a waiver of the home residency requirement.
  • Awards cannot be deferred to the following year. Awards must be taken up no later than May 15, 2021.
  • Fellows will be asked to act as Fulbright Israel Programs Ambassadors  – to share their experiences with others, to disseminate fellowship information among colleagues and potential candidates and to participate in information sessions for new candidates that may be held in their region. Alumni will also be invited to attend Fulbright Israel's activities and events and, from time to time, asked to assist in the reviewing process for incoming candidates. 

The Interview Process

The most highly-ranked candidates will be invited for an interview in Israel. All interviews are held on the same day. In order to be considered for an award, applicants must be available for interview in person on the date scheduled by Fulbright Israel.

The Foundation reserves the exclusive right to determine, within the framework of applicable law and regulations, the qualitative standards for the evaluation of applications.  The Foundation is not under any obligation to provide the reasons for its decisions regarding the allocation of Fellowships.

Timetable for 2020/2021

 

Earliest date for submission of applications August 01, 2019
Final deadline for submission of applications December 02, 2019
Academic referees review applications December 2019-January 2020
Interview of finalists February 2020
Candidates notified of results February 2020
J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board approves grants March-April 2020
Earliest departure to the U.S. July 2020