The highly anticipated 2023 Fulbright Student competition for Master’s and PhD level students commenced in February, with the closing date set for May 11. The announcement received wide press coverage.
In a message to potential applicants, USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar encouraged anyone who is eligible, plans to work for the social or economic improvement of Pakistan, and dreams of studying in the United States to consider applying. The scholarship is merit-based, with merit defined broadly and not simply restricted to grades and test scores.
“Fulbrighters come from all over Pakistan, about half are women, some are working professionals and others are fresh graduates, and a number are differently-abled,” she noted.
While all disciplines except clinical medicine are eligible, USEFP especially welcomes applicants in the disciplines of energy, water, agriculture, health, education, environmental science, and social sciences. Please note that while clinical medicine is not included in the Fulbright Program, non-clinical public health applications are encouraged.
An enduring partnership
The competition is part of the prestigious Fulbright Program, which is the flagship scholarship of the U.S. Department of State, offered in 160 countries. The program fully funds graduate level study at leading U.S. universities, including tuition, maintenance, insurance, and air travel. Upon completing their degrees, returning Fulbright participants contribute to Pakistan’s development and growth by teaching at Pakistani universities or otherwise engaging in important civic and government service.
“Just as leadership in the United States cuts across the full range of American society, so too does the Fulbright program, which takes a broad view of what constitutes high achievement and leadership,” said the U.S. Embassy’s Cultural Attache Farah Chery-Medor. “The U.S. Mission is proud to support this rigorous, competitive program that builds solid connections between Americans and Pakistanis, and seeks applicants with diverse academic interests and extracurricular activities.”
Since 2005, Pakistan’s Fulbright Program has been the world’s largest in terms of financial contribution from the U.S. Government. In 2021, USEFP received 1,191 applications. After a rigorous selection process, 213 grantees (138 Master’s and 75 PhDs) from 51 different universities were selected. Out of this number, the Government of Pakistan partners with the United States to annually fund 25 of the PhD students.