Humphrey Fellowship Program

Program Announcement:  Humphrey Fellowship Program

The U.S. Embassy Kabul is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program for citizens of Afghanistan.  We strongly encourage qualified women to apply for the program.  The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship is a Fulbright program that brings accomplished young and mid-career professionals with demonstrated leadership potential to the United States for a year of graduate-level non-degree academic coursework and professional development activities.  This ten-month program consists of academic coursework and an internship in a relevant professional organization.  By providing future leaders and policy makers with experience in U.S. society, culture, and professional fields, the program provides a basis for lasting, productive ties between Americans and their professional counterparts overseas.  Approximately 14 campuses have been selected through a competitive process to host fellows in groups with thematic and subject affinities.   All participants must return to Afghanistan immediately following completion of their program.

All grantees receive tuition, a monthly stipend, supplemental health and accident benefits, book and supplies allowance, travel support and the opportunity to attend Humphrey enrichment activities and seminars.  Selected candidates may be required to travel to the United States as early as April 2019 for pre-academic English and writing seminars or as late as the start of the academic year in late summer 2019. The U.S. government is committed to a clear and transparent selection process to identify the country’s most promising candidates. Please read the below guidance thoroughly.  Before you apply, consider whether you can commit to full participation in every aspect of the program.

Program Overview

The Hubert H. Humphrey Program enables Afghans to pursue graduate-level study in the United States, build leadership skills and build mutual cultural understanding with Americans. The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program provides ten months of non-degree academic study and related professional experiences in the United States. Because the Humphrey Fellowship does not offer a degree, Humphrey Fellows design and implement individualized programs to acquire career-related knowledge, interact with colleagues and gain professional experience, including arrangements for a six-week professional affiliation. In addition, Fellows may also attend special enrichment activities throughout their program. These activities are excellent opportunities to network with Humphrey Fellows from other countries and to interact with prominent Americans across a range of professional fields. Humphrey Fellows are selected based on their potential for leadership and their commitment to public service in either the public or the private sector.

The Humphrey Program fosters a mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding about issues of common concern in the United States and the Fellows’ home countries. The Program offers Fellows valuable opportunities for leadership development and professional engagement with Americans and their counterparts from many nations. More than 5,500 men and women have been honored as Humphrey Fellows since the program began in 1978. Approximately 150 Fellowships are awarded annually. The 14 host universities are chosen for their excellence in the Program’s designated fields of study and for the resources and support they offer Humphrey Fellows.

Humphrey Fellowships are awarded competitively to candidates who are mid-career professionals in many fields. All grantees are required to return to Afghanistan for at least two years at the conclusion of their grant in compliance with the J-visa requirements, to promote mutual understanding, and serve as future leaders in the public and private sectors of Afghanistan.  For more information please visit

Program Fields

Humphrey Fellowships are awarded competitively to candidates who are mid-career professionals in many fields, among them:

Sustainable Development

  • Agricultural and Rural Development
  • Economic Development/Finance and Banking
  • Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, and Climate Change
  • Urban and Regional Planning

 Democratic Institution Building

  • Communication and Journalism
  • Law and Human Rights
  • Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration
  • Trafficking in Persons and Prevention
  • Technology Policy and Management
  • Human Resource Management


  • Educational Administration, Planning and Policy
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Teaching of English as a Foreign Language

Public Health

  • Public Health Policy and Management
  • HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention
  • Substance abuse education, treatment, and prevention

For more detailed descriptions on study fields, please visit the site below:

Deadline for applications: 

The deadline for submitting applications is July 14, 2018 at 11:59 pm (23:59) Kabul time.  Please download the application form here. Late applications will not be accepted. 

Please note: The U.S. Embassy will notify only qualified applicants who will proceed to the Foreign Scholarship Board review process in October 2018.


Applications will be accepted until the deadline of July 14, 2018. The application review and interview process continues until mid-September 2018.  The most qualified and competitive candidates will be selected for further review by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) in Washington, DC which makes the final determination of candidates from nominees around the world. Candidates forwarded to FFSB will be notified of their second review status before the end of October, 2018. After the final selection is made in Washington D.C. by the Foreign Scholarship Board, those applicants will be notified accordingly in February 2019

The university submission and placement process continues until March 2019 and visa interviews take place through June 2019.  Selected candidates may be required to travel to the United States as early as April 2019 for pre-academic Intensive English Program, or as late as the start of the academic year in late summer 2019.  Placement in pre-academic programs is determined by the Embassy in coordination with the Institute for International Education (IIE).  Those selected for a pre-academic program must participate in order to continue in the program.

Eligibility Requirements:

Appropriate applicants are young and mid-career professionals in leadership positions who have a commitment to public service and the potential for professional advancement.

  • The U.S. Embassy strongly encourages qualified women to apply for the program;
  • Qualifying members of underserved groups, including those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply;
  • Applicants must be citizens of Afghanistan and currently reside/live in Afghanistan;

Candidates must have completed a university degree program requiring at least four years of full-time study to qualify for participation in U.S. graduate study programs;

  • Applicants must have a four year undergraduate (first university/bachelor’s) degree by June 2018 and a strong academic background as demonstrated by their post-secondary transcripts. Applicants with a Master’s degree would generally be considered stronger but it is not a requirement;
  • Applicants must have a minimum of five yearsof substantial, full-time professional experience  (prior to August 2019) in the relevant field after completing a university degree, and should be interested in the policy aspects of their field of specialization;
  • Applicants should demonstrate strong leadership qualities;
  • Applicants should demonstrate a record of public service in the community;
  • Applicants should submit application essays with clear goals, well-reasoned statements describing why a specific academic track is the best fit, and tying their academic plans to longer term professional goals;
  • Applicants must present two letters of recommendation (one from their current employer and preferable one from their academic institution);
  • Applicants should be proficient in both written and spoken English
  • Applicants with a valid TOEFL iBT score will be given preference when selecting candidates.  Candidates with TOEFL scores must include a screenshot or their highest such score in the application package. Selected applicants may be required to retake a TOEFL iBT later.  Competitive applicants should have a minimum TOEFL score of 525 (paper based) or 71 (internet-based).  *Please note that applicants are judged according to their complete application package (TOEFL iBT scores, essays, experience, interview, etc.); Exceptionally promising candidates with lower English Test scores may be nominated for the Long-Term English (LTE) training;
  • Individuals with dual U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent resident status may not apply to the program, since they are ineligible for a J-visa;
  • Applicants should have limited or no prior experience in the United States;
  • Applicants must be committed to returning to Afghanistan and a specific plan for using their Humphrey Fellowship experience in their professional lives and in service to their country;
  • Applicants currently living in the United States and U.S. citizens are NOT eligible for the program;
  • Persons who have a pending application for immigration to any country (this includes Special Immigrant Visas to the United States) are NOT eligible for the program;
  • Foreign Scholarship Board, local employees of U.S. Missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and USAID, and members of their families are ineligible to apply during the period of their employment and for one year following the termination of employment.

No Dependents:

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship in Afghanistan is provided for the recipient only; dependents, including spouse or Maharam, cannot be supported.  Dependents and family members of Afghan Fellows are not permitted to accompany them to the United States.  All Fellows must return to Afghanistan immediately following the completion of their academic program in the United States.

How to Apply:

Step 1: Determine eligibility. Read the instructions carefully. Before you apply, be sure that you qualify.

Step 2: Submit the application.  Please click here to download the application form. (PDF 1MB)

Step 3: After downloading the application materials, please read the instruction page carefully and be sure that you meet each of the qualification requirements before you apply. Complete the editable .pdf application form and sign applicable pages

Step 4: Collect all requested supplemental documents, then scan them all together with the completed application form as a single PDF file.  Send complete application packet (all application materials as one single PDF file) as an email attachment to by 11:59 pm (23:59) Kabul time on July 14, 2018.  Late applications will not be accepted. A complete application packet must include a scanned PDF file of the following:  (1) completed application form, including signatures at applicable pages; (2) copies of attested diploma(s) and transcript(s); (3) screenshot of TOEFL/iBT/IELTS score (whichever is applicable) or certificate of English proficiency test; (4) scanned copies of two recommendation letters; and (5) current CV or resume.

Step 5: The U.S. Embassy will review the complete applications submitted by the deadline and contact the most qualified and competitive applicants for an interview in September, 2018.

Step 6: Shortlisted candidates may be required to retake a TOEFL iBT.

Step 7: The U.S. Embassy will make decisions on the selected candidates and notify those applicants who will be sent to Washington as the Embassy’s nominees in October 2018.

Step 8: Final decision of the 2019 Humphrey Fellows will be announced in February 2019.  The U.S. Embassy will notify those finalists accordingly.

Applied for Humphrey before?

We encourage applicants who have applied previously to submit new and revised applications. Our Fellowships becomes more competitive each year as the number of applicants increases and you are encouraged to revise your essays and update your information.

Tips for Success

Please review the advice on writing a Statement of Purpose in the link “Focus on Your Essays.” Plagiarism – the unfair use of the words and ideas of others – will not be tolerated and can lead to disqualification from the Humphrey program. The Focus on Your Essays section has been particularly useful for previous applicants. There is guidance on preparing for the interviewTOEFL tests, and strengthening your letters of recommendation.


If you can’t find the answer here, please review the application and checklist. If you still have questions, e-mail for assistance.

Also, please see our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) for the Humphrey Programs and check out the official Humphrey website

Introducing the Humphrey Professional Fellowship