Fulbright Program

APPLICATION DEADLINE for 2024-2025 is NOVEMBER 15, 2023 The Fulbright Scholar Program in Estonia offers research grants for Estonian scholars and researchers to conduct research at universities or special libraries/collections in the United States in all fields, except for medical studies involving direct patient contact. Candidates may be university teachers or researchers, or professionals whose expertise would be enhanced by further study or research in their field.

Grants are awarded for a period of three to nine months within one study year. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are subject to fund availability.

Eligibility requirements for Estonian researchers:

  • Estonian citizenship
  • Doctoral degree or equivalent professional training or experience
  • English proficiency appropriate to the proposed lecturing or research project
  • Detailed statement of proposed activity for research or lecturing at an American institution                  

Candidates with an invitation letter from a U.S. institution are preferred.

Please visit the Fulbright Program Application Database to file your on-line application.

After filling out the on-line application, please also submit a .pdf copy/download copy of your application to SusiJ@state.gov

Finalists will be interviewed in late December 2023 by a bi-national (American-Estonian) selection committee.

The application deadline for the 2024-2025 academic year is November 15, 2023.

The Fulbright program is administered by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs which is represented in Estonia by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section. The primary purpose of the Fulbright program is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the peoples of other countries through a variety of educational activities.

Fulbright Student Program for 2024-2025

The Embassy of the United States of America in Estonia is pleased to announce the Fulbright Graduate Student Program competition in the United States for the 2023-2024 academic year. Scholarships are awarded competitively and are subject to the availability of funds.

Application deadline: August 20, 2023

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and administered under policy guidelines established by the William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The scholarship is administered in Estonia by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Office in cooperation with the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The Fulbright Graduate Student Program offers multi-year grants for Estonians who intend to enter graduate degree programs (MA, MSc, LLM) at U.S. universities in any field (except for medical studies, but including public health studies). Grants are also available for the study abroad year during the PhD studies in Estonia.

Please note, that once you have been recommended for a grant, IIE in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy will assign you a placement coordinator, who will be responsible for applying to universities and managing the application process on your behalf. You do not need to contact universities, nor should you send applications or supporting documents to universities. These documents should be sent to the U.S. Embassy, who will then forward them to the IIE. Please see information about the placement procedure. Exceptions are considered for the PhD exchange program, please consult the program advisor at the Embassy.

Fulbright Student Program – Academic Placement

There are three main factors that affect where your placement coordinator will send your application:

  1. Tuition funding: IIE seeks tuition funding from the universities to which we apply. Tuition funding is available through many universities in the form of tuition waivers, scholarships, or assistantships. However, tuition funding is not available at all universities and is quite restricted in some fields.
  2. Academic competitiveness: Universities, especially those that are well-known, receive many more applications than they can accept; therefore, admission is competitive. Admissions decisions are based on many factors, including standardized test scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation, previous academic grades, research, and professional experience. You will be competing for admission against many other candidates, and the chances of admission will be determined by the overall strength of the applicant pool and the relative strength of your application. Some departments receive so many applications that they use standardized test scores as a preliminary measure to reduce the applicant pool to a manageable size.
  3. Match of academic/research interests: Academic departments differ in their focus. With 40 years of experience in placing grantees, IIE has extensive knowledge of university programs and will work to place you in an institution that is an appropriate match to your interests. Your statement of purpose is a vital factor in clarifying your interests for both your placement coordinator and for university admission committees. It is extremely important that you clearly express your specific interests in your statement of purpose essay.

As a general rule, IIE applies to three or four universities for each grantee. We only submit applications to universities where there is a reasonable possibility of tuition funding and admission. IIE’s role is to place you in an appropriate university with tuition funding.

Your placement coordinator will consider the universities you have suggested, if any, to determine if they are appropriate options given the three factors described above. Your placement coordinator will also suggest appropriate university programs if you have not expressed a preference or if some of your suggestions would not be viable options. Please note that the final decision about your placement lies with the IIE and the U.S. Embassy.

Please note that once applications have been made to universities, you must not contact these universities yourself; IIE in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy, will communicate with the universities on your behalf. Negotiating admission and tuition funding is a time-consuming and delicate process. Contacting universities yourself creates a great deal of confusion. IIE has extensive experience in arranging for admission and tuition funding on behalf of grantees, and the relationships we have developed with universities represent a resource that we provide to you as an IIE-administered grantee.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be an Estonian citizen;
  • By the spring of 2024, you must have obtained a Bachelor’s degree, or have completed the first year of your Master’s program after a 3-year Bachelor’s program;
  • Your U.S. studies must be in your previous undergraduate field of study;
  • You must have clearly defined study goals and career objectives;
  • You must have an excellent academic record and a knowledge of English appropriate for studying in the U.S.;
  • Preferred candidates should not have studied or lived more than six (6) months in the United States;
  • Applicants must be eligible for J-1 visa, which requires the grantee to return to Estonia for a minimum of two years at the end of the grant period (See note below);
  • Applicants must receive a satisfactory medical clearance;
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are no older than 30 years of age by the application deadline date; exceptions exist for the PhD exchange year candidates
  • Preferred candidates will have to be ready to take relevant admission tests for U.S. university programs (TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT) shortly after the completion of a successful interview at the U.S. Embassy, Tallinn. For successful candidates the test vouchers for some tests will be provided.

Test Information

  1. TOEFL – minimum of 79 to 80 IBT (550 PBT); recommended a 100 IBT (600 PBT) or above (In Law, a minimum of 600 is required);
  2. GRE – required in most fields of study with the exception of MBA and Law programs;
  3. Subject GRE – standardized test requirements will vary by field of study and institution;
  4. GMAT – required for MBA and business-related programs.

Instructions for Completing the Fulbright Student Program Application:

On-line application forms are available at: Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The closing date for submission of applications (please note: medical forms and tests are not required with the application) is August 20, 2023

Finalists will be interviewed in early September 2023 by a bi-national (American-Estonian) Fulbright Committee.

Please see the application guidelines HERE.

The following must be sent by the program deadline to the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy, Kentmanni 20, Tallinn 15099

  • official academic transcripts in Estonian and English
  • copies of diplomas in Estonian and translations in English
  • transcript release form (for post-secondary U.S. transcripts only), if applicable

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

As a Fulbrighter you will be participating in an exchange program that requires you to return home to share your experience. To fulfill this requirement, Fulbright Program Fellows must return to their home countries when their authorized academic exchange activities in the United States end. As a J-1 Exchange Visitor, United States law requires a two-year period of home residency before an individual applies for non-immigrant (H and L) visas as temporary workers, for permanent residency in the United States, or as immigrants. This requirement does not prevent you from reentry into the United States within the two-year period to attend conferences, tourism, or further study.

Disqualification Factors

  • Students who have already begun their studies in the U.S. universities are not eligible to apply.
  • Persons desiring permanent residence in the United States are not eligible.

For testing information and consultations for the essays please contact the Educational Advising Center at the Tallinn University of Technology

For further information regarding this program, please contact Jane Susi at the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section at 6688155 or e-mail to SusiJ@state.gov.

About the Fulbright Specialist Program


Deadline for the draft proposals for 2024-2025 is May 1, 2024 to Jane Susi, SusiJ@state.gov. We also welcome and encourage applications on rolling basis starting from October 1, 2023. For individual consultations, please reach out to SusiJ@state.gov. 

Application Form (MS Word 108 KB)

The Fulbright Specialist Program is a field-driven initiative in which foreign host institutions conceptualize and design projects of interest within an eligible discipline that represent a priority for their respective organizations. These projects are then paired with a highly qualified U.S. academic or professional, who shares their expertise and assists with strengthening linkages between U.S. and foreign host institutions. Participating foreign host institutions benefit by:

  • Gaining global perspectives from experienced U.S. academics and professionals;
  • Executing projects that require a rapid response or flexible timeline through short-term, year-round exchanges; and
  • Building sustained relationships with individuals and institutions in the U.S.

Eligibility Requirements for Host Institutions

Institutions that may be eligible to request a Fulbright Specialist include, but are not limited to:

  • Institutions of Higher Education;
  • Schools, Vocational Schools and other educational institutions
  • Government Institutions (ministries or agencies, courts, government foundations);
  • Cultural Institutions (libraries, museums, etc.);
  • Non-Governmental Organizations including issue-centered institutions and think tanks; and
  • Medical Institutions (public health organizations, teaching hospitals, etc.).

Eligible Disciplines

Projects designed by prospective host institutions should focus on one of the following eligible disciplines:

  • Agriculture
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Biology Education
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry Education
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering Education
  • Environmental Science
  • Law
  • Library Science
  • Math Education
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies
  • Physics Education
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Public/Global Health
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Urban Planning

If you are looking for information about the English Language Specialist program, please visit https://elprograms.org/specialist/.

Fulbright Specialist Program Activities

The Fulbright Specialist Program encourages host institutions to tailor projects to their own needs. However, all projects should have an education or training focus. Due to the short-term nature of the exchange, projects should have concrete objectives that can be achieved over the course of the Specialist’s visit. Past Specialists have supported host institutions by conducting activities such as:

  • Delivering a seminar or workshop
  • Consulting on faculty or workforce development
  • Developing academic or training curricula and materials
  • Lecturing at the graduate or undergraduate level
  • Conducting needs assessments or evaluations for a program or institution

Note: Personal research projects, including clinical medical research or projects involving patient contact are not eligible for funding under the Fulbright Specialist Program. 

Program Parameters

  • All exchanges must range from 14 to 42 days in length, including weekends, holidays and travel days.
  • Projects are restricted to one country, and all project activities must take place in the country requesting the project.
  • Each project is limited to only one Fulbright Specialist grantee.

Multi-Visit (Serial Projects)

  • If a host institution would benefit by having the Fulbright Specialist visit the host institution more than once, host institutions may apply for their project to be Multi-Visit. Please note that the majority of approved projects are not Multi-Visit, and host institutions will need to provide a strong justification for why this approach would strengthen project outcomes. Please find below some general program parameters for Multi-Visit projects.
  •  Multi-Visit projects cannot include more than a total of three trips.
  •  All trips must be completed within a one-year period by the same Fulbright Specialist. The one-year period is calculated by adding 12 months from the initial start date of the first visit through the end date of the final visit.
  •  Each visit must be a minimum of 14 days, and the total number of days across all visits cannot exceed six weeks (42 days).

Identifying Fulbright Specialists

Host institutions are not required to identify U.S. academics or professionals to serve as their project’s Fulbright Specialist prior to submitting their project proposal. On the contrary, if a host institution’s project is approved, the program’s implementing partner, World Learning, will identify candidates on the Fulbright Specialist Roster whose professional experience, academic credentials and foreign language skills match the knowledge and skills articulated by the host institution in its project proposal as being critical to the project’s successful implementation.

If a host institution has identified a candidate that it would like to serve as the Fulbright Specialist, please note that the following conditions must be met:

  • The individual must be approved by U.S. Embassy Tallinn;
  • The individual must be approved to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster; and
  • The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board must approve that individual to be matched with the host institution’s specific project

For more information on the Specialist matching process and the Fulbright Specialist Roster, please visit http://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org. 

Program Funding and Cost Share

The U.S. Department of State typically covers round-trip, economy class international airfare, enrollment in a limited health benefits program, and a daily honorarium for participating Fulbright Specialists. In general, host institutions should be prepared to provide the Specialist with lodging, meals, and in-country transportation, either through monetary or in-kind contributions, throughout their full stay in country. The stipend for in-country transportation should allow the Specialist to travel to and from their lodging and project activity site as well as allow the Specialist to conduct local activities such as grocery shopping or visiting a local market, pharmacy, etc. In case of not being able to cover the host contribution, please flag it to the U.S. Embassy staff in advance.

Application Process and Deadlines for Host Institutions 

Embassy approved host institutions must submit a project proposal via World Learning’s online portal after Embassy’s approval, May 1, 2023 deadline for projects occurring during 2024 and early 2025. U.S. Embassy in Tallinn kindly asks you to submit a draft proposal by May 1, 2024 to SusiJ@state.gov. Instructions for completing the application are available online (PDF 332 KB). Please note that applications are encouraged on rolling basis as well.

After a project proposal is received, it will be reviewed by the U.S. Embassy in Estonia. Only project proposals that have been pre-reviewed and approved by the Embassy will be reviewed. Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Estonia typically receives more project proposals from prospective host institutions than it is able to support with limited funding. Therefore, not all proposals submitted will be approved. If your project proposal is approved by U.S. Embassy in Estonia it must then be approved by multiple offices within the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Contact Information

Prospective host institutions should direct all questions to Ms. Jane Susi, Public Engagement Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, SusiJ@state.gov, ph. 6688155.

U.S. academics and professionals interested in applying to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster, should visit https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/eligibility-specialists/.


The Fulbright Program, the U.S. Government’s international exchange program, was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Senator J. William Fulbright. The program is designed“to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries”. Under the Fulbright program, grants are awarded to American and foreign nationals to study, teach, lecture and conduct research abroad.

The founder of the program was Senator J. William Fulbright. The culture shock he experienced as a 21-year old Rhodes Scholar in England convinced him that the way to achieve peace in the world was for people of all countries to get to know and respect each other’s traditions, cultures, and values. Senator Fulbright’s idea was simplicity itself. Create a program, with the whole world as its stage, that would simultaneously encourage students from as many countries as possible to study in the United States while persuading young Americans to live in, and come to know and understand, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and the Pacific.

The program was originally financed by the sale of U.S. war surplus property, later also with U.S.-held foreign currencies from the sale of grain abroad, and by funds appropriated by Congress. In the early years, the program largely depended on American enthusiasm; as a new century approaches, it draws its energy from 51 binational Fulbright commissions and educational institutions in every corner of the globe. Today, about 60 percent of the program’s costs are covered by the government of the United States, with the rest coming from educational institutions, more than 40 governments of other nations, and the private sector. Now 21 of 51 partner nations match or exceed U.S. funding.

The term “Fulbright” covers a wide variety of programs: grants for American and foreign graduate students and graduating seniors; research awards for up to a year overseas for American and foreign scholars; lecturer awards; short-term faculty exchanges; efforts to bring public administrators to the United States; and programs to encourage exchanges of teachers and administrators, institutional linkages, the study of foreign languages, and doctoral and faculty research abroad.

Fulbright involves nearly every conceivable discipline in the arts and humanities, commerce and finance, science and technology, education, journalism, media, and government. It counts among its alumni distinguished men and women in every walk of life, at home and abroad. They include poets and presidents, Nobel Laureates and syndicated columnists, artists and business leaders, economists, physicians, actors, playwrights, financiers, and cabinet officials. Whatever the field of study or profession of its recipients, the Fulbright experience has enlarged and deepened the perspective of potential national and international leaders.

Since the beginning of the Fulbright Program in 1946, more than 189.000 foreign nationals have gone to the United States for study, teaching, lecturing or research. More than 101.000 Americans have gone abroad.

In the United States, the Fulbright Program is funded by the U.S. State Department through annual appropriations from the U.S. Congress. U.S. State Department

Grants are available to U.S. citizens for post-graduate study, post-doctoral research, and university lecturing in over 140 countries around the world. For non-Americans, grants are also available for similar purposes in the United States. Information for U.S. Citizens

Overseas, the Fulbright Program is administered by bi-national Fulbright Commissions. In non-Commission countries, the Fulbright Program is administered by the Public Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy. Overseas Fulbright Commissions.

William Fulbright (1905 – 1995) was born on April 9, 1905 in Sumner, Missouri. He was educated at the University of Arkansas where he was awarded the B.A. degree in Political Science in 1925. He then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where he received an M.A. degree.

When Fulbright returned to the United States, he studied law at George Washington University in Washington, DC. During the 1930’s, he served in the Justice Department and was an instructor at the George Washington University Law School. In 1936 he returned to Arkansas where he was a lecturer in law and, from 1939 to 1941, president of the University of Arkansas, at the time the youngest university president in the country.

He entered politics in 1942 and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, entering Congress in January 1943 and becoming a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In September of that year the House adopted the Fulbright Resolution supporting an international peace-keeping machinery encouraging United States participation in what became the United Nations, and this brought national attention to Fulbright.

In November 1944 he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served there from 1945 through 1974 becoming one of the most influential and best-known members of the Senate. His legislation establishing the Fulbright Program slipped through the Senate without debate in 1946. Its first participants went overseas in 1948, funded by war reparations and foreign loan repayments to the United States. This program has had extraordinary impact around the world. There have been more than 250,000 Fulbright grantees and many of them have made significant contributions within their countries as well as to the overall goal of advancing mutual understanding.

In 1949 Fulbright became a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. From 1959-1974 he served as chairman, the longest serving chairman of that committee in history. His Senate career was marked by some notable cases of dissent. In 1954 he was the only Senator to vote against an appropriation for the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which was chaired by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. He also lodged serious objections to President Kennedy in advance of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.

He was particularly in the spotlight as a powerful voice in the chaotic times of the war in Vietnam, when he chaired the Senate hearings on United States policy and the conduct of the war. In 1963 Walter Lippman wrote of Fulbright: “The role he plays in Washington is an indispensable role. There is no one else who is so powerful and also so wise, and if there were any question of removing him from public life, it would be a national calamity.”