The Fulbright Program is designed to give U.S. citizens opportunities for personal development through educational and cultural exchange.

The Fulbright Commission Portugal offers the Fulbright Open Study/Research Award with the support of the Azores Regional Government each academic year, for students interested in enrolling in a graduate studies program, for independent research or a combination of study and research.

Two grants to award.

All fields of study are considered. These fields are limited to subjects related to the Azores and study or research projects to be carried out at institutions located in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Portugal.


Over the last decades, Portugal has seen remarkable progress in learning, science and innovation, reflected in the quality of education offered at Portuguese universities. Internationalization and academic mobility are one of the priorities of Portuguese higher education institutions, which are increasingly attractive to a growing number of international students and researchers.

The academic year starts in mid-September or October, depending on the higher education institution. The fall semester ends in December and the spring semester starts in February and ends in May or June. In general, Portuguese faculty and students have good proficiency of English language.

More information about Portugal, the Portuguese Higher Education System and Fulbright Portugal Alumni can be found on Additional Online Resources.


Fulbright Commission Portugal Diversity Statement

The Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States of America and Portugal – Fulbright Commission Portugal strives to be a collaborative and innovative organization and is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

We seek to ensure that all our grants, programs and activities reflect the diversity of U.S. and Portuguese societies and are open to people regardless of their ethnicity, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. We work every day to build a culture of inclusiveness, respect for diversity, and understanding of the many differences that enrich the Fulbright Program.

Applicants requiring additional information and support are encouraged to contact U.S. Program Manager, Dora Reis Arenga (darenga@fulbright.pt), prior to submitting an application. Additional information regarding host institutions and details of the individual openings are available from IIE and the Fulbright Commission Portugal (www.fulbright.pt), in Lisbon.



CategoryU.S. Student Program.

Type: Open Study / Research.

All fields of study are considered. These fields are limited to subjects related to the Azores and study or research projects to be carried out at institutions located in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Portugal.

Grant Dates 

Grant Duration: 8 months.

Grant Period: September 1 – April 30 OR October 1 – May 31.

Grant dates should follow the academic year, either September 1- April 30 or October 1- May 31. Grantees should indicate what is their preferred starting month.

A grantee can travel to Portugal before the grant starting date, or extend their stay after the grant is completed, but must have means of support, a valid visa and insurance for any additional period of time.

Fulbright sponsorship is for 8 months only; no funds or other grant benefits can be extended or transferred to the following academic year.

Award Activity

Grant activity is flexible and projects may include university coursework, scientific research in a research center, independent library, museum or field research, classes in a music conservatory or art school, or a combination of graduate study with independent research.

Fulbright grantees may register as special students, and thus be able to attend courses relevant to their projects but are responsible for the payment of any tuition fees associated.


Grant activity is flexible and projects may include university coursework, scientific research in a research center, independent library, museum or field research, classes in a music conservatory or art school, or a combination of graduate study with independent research.

Candidates are responsible for arranging their own host affiliation and are required to submit letters of affiliation with their applications.

Graduate study candidates must make proof that they’ve been accepted into a graduate study program at the University of the Azores. Fulbright grant benefits only cover the first academic year and university fees are not covered by the grant.

A research candidate’s letter of affiliation must identify (name and position) the research supervisor and express their interest in the project, describe the proposed activities and timeline. It must be written in English and printed on institutional letterhead, signed by the supervisor and/or head of the corresponding department.

Before beginning the online application, candidates should secure their affiliation, taking into consideration the faculty, programs and/or research groups, but should also seek information about the Azores archipelago, particularly the island where their institution is located.

Appropriate host institution can be any accredited higher education institution, research center, cultural institution or museum, governmental or non-governmental organization with educational or scientific purposes, located in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Portugal (Azores – or Açores, in Portuguese – is an archipelago of nine islands in the North Atlantic Ocean). When searching online for appropriate institutions, candidates should preferably use the Portuguese spelling of the Archipelago’s name, “Açores”.

Other institutions not listed can still be considered suitable hosts. Candidates should confirm with the Fulbright Commission in Portugal before seeking a letter of affiliation.

Information about the Portuguese System of Education, Higher Education Institutions and Research Centers in Portugal, as well as information about tuition fees for international students, can be found on the Study & Research in Portugal website.


The Fulbright Commission in Portugal hosts a virtual pre-departure orientation in May and an in-country orientation in late September or early October, in Lisbon. Attendance is mandatory.

During the orientation, the Commission offers accommodation for grantees placed outside of the Lisbon metropolitan area.



Candidate Profile

Applications are welcome from well-qualified and motivated candidates, at all degree levels, who have completed a Bachelor’s degree before the start of the grant.

Candidates who complete a Doctoral program before their Fulbright grant period in Portugal are not eligible to apply. They should seek opportunities to Portugal under the U.S. Scholar Program.

A successful candidate must be able to describe in their application the project’s feasibility, objectives, timeline and methodology, the candidate’s academic and/or professional excellence, personal motivation, leadership qualities and plans for community engagement while in Portugal.

The Commission seeks mature, responsible, independent, open-minded and confident individuals who are capable of working independently with little supervision and able to adjust to academic, cultural and social settings different from those of their home country.

Candidates residing in Portugal at the time of the application, or any time thereafter, are not eligible for a Fulbright grant to Portugal.

Candidates enrolled in a graduate studies program in Portugal at the time of the application or in the subsequent academic year, or candidates who hold a valid visa during that period, are not eligible. Candidates attending study abroad programs in Portugal at the time of the application are eligible to apply, as it is not considered residency.

Dual U.S.-Portuguese citizens are eligible to apply but will only be considered if they don’t have extensive experience in Portugal (have lived in Portugal for a period of one year or more).

Portuguese Language Proficiency

Recommended – Intermediate (1-2 years college study or equivalent)

Intermediate Portuguese language proficiency is strongly recommended by the beginning date of the grant. However, a higher level of proficiency may be required, commensurate with the proposed study/research project.

Knowledge of Portuguese language and culture is particularly relevant to promote a deeper engagement with the host community.

Although the Fulbright Commission does not sponsor Portuguese language and culture classes, we offer resources and links to search Portuguese language study opportunities. We also encourage candidates to check with their proposed hosts if such possibility is available at the institution.

Candidates should include the Language Self-Evaluation and Foreign Language Evaluation forms with their applications.

Special Application Instructions

The Fulbright Commission in Portugal seeks accomplished candidates who have the potential for advancing their fields of study and for fostering research collaborations. Candidates should demonstrate clearly the reasons for pursuing a study/research project in Portugal and their choice of affiliation.

Additionally, candidates should have a demonstrated interest in the country and its culture and in engaging with the wider community while in Portugal.

As part of the selection process, some candidates will be invited for an interview with the Portuguese selection committee, via zoom videocall, during the month of February.



Award Benefits

  • A stipend broadly based on the cost of living in the host country. These funds may be used by the grantee to support housing, meals, and incidental costs during the grant period.
  • International travel benefits
  • Accident & sickness health benefits
  • 24/7 mental health support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
  • 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government

Grantees receive a total stipend of €10.400 to cover for living expenses.

Grantees also receive a one-time travel allowance of €900, intended as a contribution to travel between the U.S.A. and Portugal. This travel allowance is paid before the beginning of the grant.

The Fulbright Commission may adjust grant amounts if benefits received from other sources duplicate benefits provided by the Fulbright grant.

One-Time Allowances
  • Registration/Permitting fees
  • Local transportation allowance

Grantees placed outside of Lisbon metropolitan area receive an in-country travel allowance for participation in the following Commission events: Orientation Meeting, Thanksgiving Dinner and Fulbright Portugal Forum.

Other one-time allowances (for example, for registration in conferences or other grant-related activities) may be awarded, depending on availability of funds.

Additional Grant Benefits
  • Mid-year seminar

The Commission organizes the Fulbright Portugal Forum, a one-day conference in the Spring, where grantees present about their projects and experience in Portugal. Meals and travel between the Azores and Lisbon are covered.

Estimated Cost of Living

Estimated monthly costs average $200 – $400 for one person, without rent.

Cost of living is considered to be lower in the Azores Archipelago than in mainland Portugal. However, prices of housing in the Azores have increased in recent years, especially in Ponta Delgada, in the island of São Miguel, and can have and average monthly cost of $600 to $900, depending on location and size.

Portugal offers a high-quality, reasonably priced National Health Care Service (SNS): an emergency appointment at a public hospital costs approximately $25, and a medical specialty at a private hospital costs approximately $100.

Travel between the nine islands of the Archipelago is easy and not expensive, either taking the inter-island ferry or by plane, especially in the off-season. Residents on the island (for, at least, 6 months) can apply for a mobility subsidy in case they need to travel between islands regularly.


Dependent financial support is NOT available

Housing Arrangements

Housing allowance is not available.

Grantees are required to live in the Azores Archipelago during the entire period of their grant.

Grantees are responsible for finding their own housing but are encouraged to contact their hosts/supervisors and/or the institution’s international relations/mobility office for assistance in finding housing or for application to student’s acommodation at the institution.

The Fulbright Commission provides a list of resources and websites for house searching in Portugal.


Fulbright U.S. grantees must apply for a Temporary Stay Visa at the Portuguese Embassy in Washington, D.C., or at one of the Consulates in the United States, before travelling to Portugal.

For additional information about National Visas or the Portuguese Republic Consular Network in the U.S.A, visit the Diplomatic Portal.



Number of Grants: Two Grants.

Applications: Applications must be submitted through the Fulbright U.S. Students Program website: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/europe-and-eurasia/portugal/1873

For more information about grants for U.S. Students in Portugal, contact Dora Reis Arenga, US Program Manager at the Fulbright Commission Portugal, darenga@fulbright.pt.

Additional Online Resources

Fulbright Portugal Alumni

Azores Government Portal

Study & Research in Portugal

Portuguese Higher Education System

Diplomatic Portal – About Portugal

Visit Portugal

Visit Azores