Fulbright - ISEF Postdoctoral Fellowship

Program Overview


Fulbright Israel and ISEF-Foundation plan to offer a joint fellowship to a postdoctoral scholar who is about to begin a program of research during the 2025/26 academic year at an accredited university or non-profit research institute in the United States.

Fulbright-ISEF Postdoc fellowship will be awarded to a researcher coming from the socio-geographical periphery of Israel and who has proven record in community service.

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.

Those interested in submitting an application for the Fulbright-ISEF scholarship must submit a number of additional documents, the details of which can be found in the Application instructions button at the bottom of the scholarship page.

For more information about ISEF: https://www.isef.org.il/ 

Grant Benefits

  • $60,000 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 2025 are not eligible to apply.
  • Grant recipients must depart for the United States no later than May 1, 2026.
  • Candidates who have applied on two occasions are not eligible to reapply. 
  • 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 2021 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 U.S. Embassy in Israel.
  • A grantee who has been previously issued a J visa under Exchange Visitor Program  under the category of “professor,” “research scholar,” or “short-term scholar” of more than 6 months duration, must reside outside of the United States for at least 24 months after the end of his/her stay in order to commence the Fulbright fellowship.
  • 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.
  • In order to be eligible for a J1 visa, the selected candidate must give proof of completion and approval of his or her Ph.D prior to the intended starting date of the fellowship. In addition, the candidate 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.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Academic excellence, involvement in community service activities and proven leadership in such activities, are 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.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have received their doctorates within two years prior to the presentation of their applications.
  • English language proficiency is an important evaluation criterion.
  • Leadership qualities are an important evaluation criterion.
  • Social involvement and community activity are important criteria.
  • Since the aim of the Fulbright Program is to foster cultural understanding between the U.S. 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 one year only. Grantees who wish to extend their visit 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.
  • 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 U.S., 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 the 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. 
  • Fulbright Scholars holding J-1 visas are ineligible to change their status from J-1 to J-2 while in the U.S. Similarly, accompanying dependents who possess J-2 visas are ineligible to change their status from J-2 to J-1 while in the U.S.
  • Awards cannot be deferred to the following year.  Awards must be taken up no later than May 1, 2026.
  • 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. 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 fixed 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 2025/26

Earliest date for submission of applications August 1, 2024
Final deadline for submission of applications December 1, 2024
Academic referees review applications December 2024-January 2025
Interview of finalists February 25, 2025
Candidates notified of results February 2025
J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board approves grants March-April 2025
Earliest departure to the U.S. July 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

I hold dual citizenship – both Israeli and American. Am I eligible to apply for a Fulbright award?
No. Only Israeli citizens are eligible to apply. Israeli citizens holding citizenship of another country other than the U.S. in addition to Israel are eligible to apply.
I am already enrolled in a program in the U.S. May I apply for a Fulbright award to complete my program?
No. Fulbright awards are granted to applicants who have not commenced their programs in the U.S.
I am a qualified medical doctor. May I apply for the post-doctoral program?
Yes. However, medical doctors (MDs) must also have a PhD in order to be eligible for Fulbright Postdoctoral fellowships. In addition, research in the United States, must not involve clinical contact with patients. Post-doctoral Fellowships are not available to support clinical internships. This is only relevant for Postdoctoral programs.
Can I avail myself of a Fulbright award for a project that I want to work on in Israel?
No. Fulbright awards are for study/research in the United States only.
Are Fulbright grants available for attending conferences, seminars and paper presentations in the U.S. and other countries?
Fulbright grants are not awarded for these purposes.
How do I apply for an award?
You should read the Instructions and Information and submit your Application Form using the Applications Embark online system. Applications which are not submitted online cannot be considered.

For inquiries:

Leon Franco

Tel: 03-5213808 

Email: [email protected]

Print page