The Fulbright / Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) Open Study/Research Award is designed to give U.S. citizens opportunities for personal development through educational and cultural exchange.

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 for Portuguese higher education institutions, which are increasingly attractive to a growing number of international students, scholars and researchers.

To learn more about Portuguese Higher Education Institutions and Research Centers, visit Study & Research in Portugal.

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.



CategoryU.S. Student Program.

Type: Open Study / Research.

All fields of study are considered.

Grant Duration: 8 months.

Grant Period: October 1 to May 31.

Grant starting date is October 1 but grantees are expected to travel to Portugal to attend a mandatory on-site orientation in Lisbon, in late September. The Fulbright Commission will cover accommodation in Lisbon for grantees placed outside of Lisbon.

A grantee can extend their stay in Portugal after the grant is complete but must secure a 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.


Candidates are responsible for arranging their own host affiliation and must submit letters of invitation/affiliation with their applications.

Before beginning their online application, candidates should secure their affiliation, taking into consideration the faculty, programs and/or research groups in a wide range of institutions, but should also seek information about the proposed institution’s geographical location.

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 Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education’s Study & Research in Portugal website.

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


The Fulbright Commission in Portugal hosts a virtual pre-departure orientation meeting in late May/early June and a mandatory in-country orientation meeting, to be held during two days, in late September, in Lisbon.

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



Candidate Profile

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

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 self-motivated 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.



Benefits during the entire period of the grant include:

Base Stipend: €10,400 (maintenance allowance, to be divided into 8 monthly installments of €1,300).

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

Travel Allowance: €900 (one-time payment, intended as a contribution to international travel between the U.S.A. and Portugal).

Health Care Benefit Plan: Accidents and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE).

Housing: No housing allowance is available.

Dependents: Dependent support is not available.

Tuition: Tuition fees are not covered by the grant benefits.

Housing Arrangements

No housing allowance is available.

Grantees are required to live in the city, or larger metropolitan area, where the host institution is located.

Cost of Living, especially which relates to housing, is significantly higher in larger metropolitan areas such as Lisbon and Porto, when compared to other Portuguese regions.

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

The Fulbright Commission provides a list of resources and websites for house searching in Portugal. The Commission can also provide informal advice concerning housing in Lisbon (average prices per location, safe neighborhoods).

Dependent financial support is NOT available

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 or three grants, depending on availability of funds

Applications: Applications must be submitted through the Fulbright U.S. Students Program website: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/europe-and-eurasia/portugal/1734

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

FLAD – Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento

Study & Research in Portugal

Portuguese Higher Education System

EU Country Profile: Portugal

Visit Portugal