75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program: A Community Based on Shared Values

Written by Fulbright on 10/14/2021. Posted in News

The Fulbright community in Hungary celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program and the 30th Anniversary of the Hungarian Fulbright Alumni Association on October 7-8, 2021.

75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program: A Community Based on Shared Values

2021 is the 75th Anniversary of the launch of the Fulbright Program. In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed legislation into law to establish the Fulbright Program, an international academic exchange program with an ambitious goal to increase mutual understanding, and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program now operates in 160 countries and has provided over 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and in all fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges.

Chargé d’Affaires Marc Dillard of the US Embassy in his keynote address at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences highlighted that “the Fulbright program has continued to exchange some of the best and brightest minds, building a cultural bridge which links our two nations. The continuing collaboration between Fulbright participating institutions is a great example of how to get the most out of a Fulbright grant, how Fulbrighters can make a long-term impact, and how beneficial it can be for a larger community.”

Deputy State Secretary Balázs Nagy of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology emphasized in his keynote address that the Government of Hungary is to quadruple its annual contribution to the Fulbright Commission in three steps, reaching HUF 200 million (USD 700,000) in 2022.

See here the detailed program of the conference.

For more pictures of the festivities (by photographer Péter Szalmás), see here:

75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program


Visit to the Parliament

75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program

Prior to the conference, on October 7, 2021 MP Zsolt Németh, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee hosted 24 US Fulbright grantees of AY 2021-2022 at the Hungarian Parliament for a talk and a tour of the building.


Reception at the Royal Guard Café


In the evening the Fulbright Commission organized a reception to honor US Fulbright grantees, their Hosts and Institutional Partners at the Royal Guard Café, Buda Castle.

U.S. Fulbright grantees welcomed in Budapest virtually

Written by Fulbright on 03/02/2021. Posted in News

U.S. Fulbright grantees welcomed in Budapest virtually

In late January, 7 newly arrived U.S. Fulbright students and scholars participated in a unique orientation session in Budapest. U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs James Land greeted the group virtually, stressing the value of exchange, and encouraged them to develop and strengthen personal and professional ties between Hungary and the United States. ED Karoly Jokay noted that the grantees joined the ranks of the many notable Fulbright alumni who have participated in the global program since its inception 75 years ago. The Fulbright grantees will, for example, teach English, do peer advising, read Ottoman documents, study high-level math, offer courses in Native American studies, collaborate with medical researchers, and observe MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) investigators.

Fulbright Student Project Publishes Roma Eger by Chandler Fritz

Written by Fulbright on 12/01/2020. Posted in News

Fulbright Student Project Publishes Roma Eger by Chandler Fritz

This book is a culmination of seven months of work with the Eger Roma Residential College of Eszterházy Károly University, during which Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Chandler Fritz ’19 interacted and collected paintings, recipes, and essays from students.

“I write this note far from the artists, scholars, cooks, and friends who have created this book. It is a testament to the dedication of our supporters and the spirit of this group that such a project prevailed despite the distance. It is, in fact, entirely due to the proven commitment and resilience of the Roma students I met in Eger that I was able to pick myself up from the pandemic and play my small role in their great cause. If you’re anything like me, you could use a bit of that same inspiration these days. I’m proud to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, that you can find it in grand abundance in the work of these students.”

Fulbright Hungary is proud of its Roma English Teaching Assistant projects:

and continue to expand collaboration with the Roma Residential Colleges and other foundations throughout Hungary in upcoming academic years.

To view the booklet, see issuu.com/fulbrighthungary/docs/roma_eger

To download the booklet, see www.fulbright.hu/doc/Roma_Eger.pdf

Dr. Michael Penkava passed away on September 6, 2020

Written by Fulbright on 09/14/2020. Posted in News

Dr. Michael Penkava passed away on September 6, 2020

As a Professor of Mathematics of the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, he came to Hungary on a Fulbright grant in January 2008 to collaborate with mathematicians of Eötvös Loránd University.

Ever since that time, he returned to Hungary twice a year – each time with a fun story, and with lots of energy to continue his research with his Hungarian colleagues. The last time he visited our office, he was pale and tired, but ready to fight his illness. We are sorry he did not succeed. He is part of Fulbright Hungary history. We remember him fondly.

Fulbright Hungary launches John von Neumann Distinguished Award in STEM

Written by Fulbright on 06/19/2020. Posted in News

Thanks to significantly increased funding from the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Fulbright Hungary proudly announces a new distinguished grant in STEM for US scholars starting in the Academic Year 2022-23 competition (deadline: September 15, 2021).

See: awards.cies.org/content/john-von-neumann-distinguished-award-stem

Named after Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann, who was born in Budapest, emigrated to the US in the early 1930s to Princeton, where he made major contributions in mathematics, physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, and quantum statistical mechanics), economics (game theory), computing (Von Neumann architecture, linear programming, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing), and statistics.

Priority areas for the von Neumann grant include, but are not limited to: autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G networks, molecular biology, physics and material science.

Some Hungarian institutions that specialize in these fields:

  • ELI-ALPS Institute in Szeged: Extreme Light Infrastructure research center funded by the European Union for attosecond projects. ELI is connected to the particle and x-ray center in Prague and the photonuclear center in Bucharest, Romania. Hungarian university researchers and their departments have access to ELI.
  • ZalaZONE Test Track in Zalaegerszeg, whose mission is to: “Establish a full-range validation facility for the vehicles and communication technologies of the future enabling multi-level testing opportunities from prototype tests till serial products development.” ZalaZONE is affiliated with three Hungarian universities.
  • Biological Research Centre, Szeged, affiliated with the University of Szeged, is a European Union Centre of Excellence, focuses on: biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, plant biology.

While US scholars are free to associate with any university in Hungary, the following departments have direct relationships with the priority institutes listed above and have strong ties to the Fulbright Commission in Hungary:

Scholars, of course, may seek affiliation with any accredited research facility and university not on the above list.

For more information, please contact Annamaria Sas, US Program Officer or Károly Jókay, Executive Director.

Fulbright Hungary May 2020 Update

Written by Fulbright on 05/18/2020. Posted in News

What has been happening at Fulbright Hungary since the Covid outbreak arrived in early March?

March and April:

The Fulbright office has switched to a work-at-home model on March 13th, as the Technical University campus, including our building, closed that week and we do not know when the campus will reopen. We have access to the office if needed.

The State Department in March issued a level 4 travel warning covering all of the EU, and we had to ask our US grantees to leave Hungary at their earliest convenience. All but two US grantees have left Hungary by early April.

All but 5 Hungarian grantees in the US have returned already.

Despite rumors about the global Fulbright program, all of our grantees have been paid until the end of their original grant agreements.

Academic Year 2020-21:

There are several “known unknowns” and “known knowns” (credit to Secretary Rumsfeld) that directly affect our grantees already selected for Academic Year 2020-21.

The global Fulbright program will be fully reinstated on January 1, 2021.

All of our Hungarian and US grantees, with a few exceptions, will start their grants in January, most of them for the original duration of the grants. US students will be able to choose between 6, 7, and 8 month grants (taking them through August, 2021).

We will have 13 Hungarian students and 12 researchers, as well as 12 US researchers and 11 students during the 2020-21 academic year.

We do not know when:

a) the level 4 Travel Warning will be lifted for the EU,

b) when the US will allow EU citizens to travel to the US,

c) when the Schengen Zone will allow US citizens entry,

d) when airlines will fly again and

e) when US and Hungarian universities will reopen for real (on-line does not really count, as Fulbright does not support off-site, online-only enrollment).

Academic Year 2021-22:

Despite complete uncertainty, we are recruiting for the 2021-22 Academic year, and expect Hungarian applications to arrive at the end of May and in October. US students have an October 13th deadline and scholars face a September 15th deadline. We will interview Hungarian applicants as usual in late June and early July, as well as late November. These could be on-line for the first time ever, we shall see.

In Loving Memory of Dr. Beatrix Kotlan

Written by Fulbright on 05/08/2020. Posted in News

In Loving Memory of Dr. Beatrix Kotlan

A few words of parting by Rita Hoffmann ’19, one of her fellow Fulbrighters:

“April 29th was the end of a long, difficult and merciless marathon. Bea did not arrive at a finish line of her choosing. But she is there now, exhausted, in eternal silence. Bea was an enthusiastic Fulbrighter, a community organizer, a struggling heroine, stubborn but all the more humble. God be with you dear Bea, may you rest in peace, you restless, eternally cheerful soul who strived for justice and a better world.”

Dr. Beatrix Kotlan was awarded a Fulbright research grant twice along with numerous other prestigious international fellowships. She did her Fulbright research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, in Santa Monica, CA (2006-2007) and the University of Texas Houston, MD Anderson Cancer Center (2014-2015).

Dr. Beatrix Kotlan was a leading researcher in biology and immunology at the National Institute of Oncology in Budapest, Hungary. She dedicated her entire life to research, first of all cancer research. She truly believed in the potential of immunotherapy. As a Fulbright researcher, she worked on developing this form of therapy.

As a member of the Hungarian League Against Cancer, she regularly organized and supported free time activities, fundraising runs and walks in the true spirit of fighting against cancer.

Hungary to quadruple its support to Fulbright by 2022

Written by Fulbright on 02/10/2020. Posted in News

Hungary to quadruple its support to Fulbright by 2022

Fulbright Hungary is proud to announce that the Government of Hungary has decided to quadruple its contribution to the Fulbright Commission by 2022. Starting in 2020, support has doubled to $344,000. After another increment in 2021, by 2022 support is expected to reach $690,000 per year (HUF 200 million, subject to exchange rate fluctuations). With this largest ever increase and absolute amount, Hungary and the United States will be near parity.

In Hungarian forint term, Hungarian government support in 2019 was HUF 50 million and raised to HUF 100 million in 2020, HUF 150 million in 2021 and finally HUF 200 million in 2022.

The bilateral, so-called “Pre-Commission” program started in 1978 in Hungary, with over 1,100 Hungarian and 900 US alumni to date. With the signing of the first bilateral agreement in 1990, the Commission has been in operation since February, 1992.

This increase, along with continued US support (approx. $850,000 annually) at current levels, would mean the following:

*Higher levels of tuition support for Hungarian students, as well as larger stipends for US grantees in Hungary and Hungarian grantees in the US, increasing ouor competitiveness.

*Shorter lists of alternate grantees, that is, a larger portion of high-quality applicants may receive support in contrast to our usual waiting lists.

*Thanks to cost-sharing agreements with US and Hungarian universities, we will increase the number of grantees from the historical average of about 40 to 50 in AY 2020, and by 2022, we expect to have 60 grantees per year.

*We will continue to encourage applications representing all fields and all geographic areas in both countries. First-generation students, traditionally underrepresented persons from universities new to Fulbright and urban universities are particularly welcome. In Hungary we recruit intensively outside of Budapest and seek to place US grantees in all parts of the country.

*We are competing with 160 countries in the global Fulbright program, and have experienced twice to three times as many applicants as we have slots.

*Down the road, we will continue to support academic and geographic diversity, but expect to place a larger emphasis on the STEM fields starting in the Academic Year 2021-22 recruiting cycle.

Press Conference from left to right: Marc Dillard, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Hungary; Károly Jókay, Executive Director, Fulbright Hungary, Zsigmond Perényi, State secretary for EU funds, Ministry for Innovation and Technology
Hungary to quadruple its support to Fulbright by 2022

Fulbright Hungary visit to Washington, DC, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky

Written by Fulbright on 12/09/2019. Posted in News

Fulbright Hungary considers it a priority to visit US campuses, look up alumni, meet campus advisors, as well as to inform potential applicants interested in Hungary and the Central European region.

Fulbright Hungary co-sponsored the annual meeting of the Fulbright Association in Washington in October, 2019. We hosted the kick-off reception at Marymount University on the first day of the conference.

Fulbright Hungary visit to Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky

After the Fulbright Association and Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, ED Károly Jókay visited the University of Virginia, West Virginia University, Marshall University (WV) and the University of Kentucky in late October, 2019.

Fulbright Hungary visit to Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky

The international directors, deans in charge of study abroad and foreign students, as well as key alumni acted as hosts. Jókay met with Fulbright alumni of Hungary and other programs, with faculty and students interested in Fulbright grants in general and in some cases specifically Hungary or Central Europe. Each university offers programs and specializations that are of interest to future Hungarian scholars and students.

Fulbright Hungary visit to Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky

Fulbright Hungary looks forward to receiving applications for the 2021-22 Academic Year from the communities of scholars and students at these institutions. We will certainly encourage our Hungarian applicants to consider these US hosts in their applications.

Chargé d’affaires Marc Dillard visits Fulbright Office

Written by Fulbright on 11/12/2019. Posted in News

Chargé d'affaires Marc Dillard visits Fulbright Office (Nov. 12, 2019)

Fulbright Hungary was honored to host Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Dillard, Cultural Affairs Officer and Fulbright Hungary Board Member Lauren A. Perlaza and Public Affairs Assistant Katalin Bíró today at our offices. Our guests visited the EducationUSA advising office, and spoke with all program officers and staff members about their roles in keeping Fulbright running. Mr. Dillard was then briefed by Executive Director Károly Jókay on key aspects of our program such as grantee numbers, geographic and topical diversity, as well as plans for upcoming academic years.

Chargé d'affaires Marc Dillard visits Fulbright Office (Nov. 12, 2019)