The American Dream

A partnership agreement between the University of Bordeaux and the prestigious Franco-American Fulbright Commission was signed on the 24th September 2018 in Bordeaux. This event marks a significant milestone in the strengthening of high-level academic and scientific collaboration with the United States.

  • 03/10/2018

Stéphanie Debette et Arnaud Roujou de Boubée © G. Dufau Stéphanie Debette et Arnaud Roujou de Boubée © G. Dufau

The agreement was signed in the presence of Daniel Hall, Consul of the United States in Bordeaux, Arnaud Roujou de Boubée, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission and Stephanie Debette, Vice President External Relations of the University of Bordeaux. 

The main objective of this unique collaboration is to implement an annual exchange program that will initially focus on boosting outgoing doctoral mobility from the University of Bordeaux to the United States. Dedicated funding will allow French PhD students (enrolled at our Graduate Research School), to partake in a research visit in the United States, by integrating an American university or research institute. At a later stage, this program will also encourage incoming mobility from the United States to Bordeaux. 

"When Senator Fulbright created this program in 1948, he aimed, through individual exchanges, to develop a mutual understanding between communities and to thus work for the cause of world peace" declared Arnaud Roujou de Boubee.

To become a Fulbright laureate is to understand that one embarks not only on a scientific but also a human adventure. 

Arnaud Roujou de Boubée — Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission

An exceptional opportunity 

As a Fulbright alumni herself, Prof. Debette related “the Fulbright program is really unique. It was an experience that strongly influenced the development of my career”.

The signing ceremony was preceded by two conferences that informed undergraduate, master, PhD students as well as post-doctorates and researchers about some of the opportunities proposed by the Fulbright program. The first conference, targeting our Bordeaux students, covered the funding available to promote outgoing mobility for French students who wish to  pursue a Master or PhD degree in an American university. This includes over 10 grants for French students for a mobility period to the USA lasting 9/10 months, the French Assistant program (financing around 30 positions for graduate French students in universities throughout the USA), grants for summer schools, etc. 

The second conference "Financing research visits in the United States" presented the grants available for French PhD students (15 in total for stays in the USA of between 4 to 12 months), and also the funding for French researchers to carry out a mobility period (2 to 6 months) in the United States.

This agreement, effective as of the 24th September 2018 and valid until the 31st July 2022, is part of an already privileged relationship between the University of Bordeaux and Fulbright as our university has welcomed two winners of the Fulbright-Tocqueville Chair in the past: Tim Deming, UCLA (in 2015/2016) and Martin Richardson, University of Central Florida (in 2016/2017).


The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Operating in over 160 countries worldwide, the Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals. Approximately 370,000 "Fulbrighters" have participated in the Program since its inception.

The Franco-American Fulbright Commission was established in 1948 to foster leadership, learning, and empathy between the United States and France. Today the Commission provides grants for its laureates to study and to conduct research in the United States or in France, thanks to the funding of both French government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and American government through the Department of State.

In 2018, the Franco-American Fulbright Commission held events throughout the world to celebrate its 70th anniversary.