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INTERNAL PENN DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
Fulbright Grants fund 8-12 months of international experience in 155 countries. While Fulbright Grants are offered in various forms and are country-specific, they fall into three broad categories (most countries offer more than one option):
- Research grants offer applicants the opportunity to design and define their own programs. Projects may include independent research, field work, or a combination of activities.
- English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs), which may or may not require knowledge of the host country language and include time for additional activities. Interest in engagement with the host country is particularly sought.
- Some countries support applicants to pursue a degree, complete university courses, or take classes in a music conservatory or art school.
The Fulbright Grant desires applications from candidates who seek to engage with the people of the country in which they seek to study or work. Candidates interested in the Fulbright should explore the extremely informative Fulbright website (http://us.fulbrightonline.org/) to learn more about Application Components, receive valuable tips on applying, determine which countries they might wish to consider, and decide which grant type within a country might be right for them. (NOTE: Not all grant types are offered in all countries. You must review each country's information to determine opportunities available in that opportunity each year.) In addition to their excellent website, Fulbright staff hold useful webinars on applying.
Potential candidates are asked to attend a Fulbright Information Session and then schedule an individual appointment with Dr. Wallace Genser at CURF to begin the application process.
Fulbright also has a number of special programs:
- Fulbright National Geographic Digital Storytelling (NGS)
- Fulbright mtvU (has its own application timetable)
- Fulbright-Clinton (for young professionals in public policy)
- Fulbright Fogarty (for young professionals in public health)
Some countries also have special opportunities in journalism and business.
The Critical Language Enhancement Awards are available for additional time to learn languages of interest to US national security.
Eligibility and Qualifications
Selection is made on the basis of the applicant’s academic or professional record, language preparation, the feasibility and specificity of the proposed project, commitment and motivation as well as personal qualifications.
In order to be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a US citizen at the time of application
- Hold a bachelor’s degree before the beginning date of the grant
- Graduating seniors, graduate or professional students, or alumni of any age are encouraged to apply
- Have a strong academic record and appropriate preparation to conduct their chosen project or teach English
- Have a plan to engage with the people of the country in which they wish to live
- Applicants can apply to only one Fulbright program in any year
- Applicants may not hold a doctoral degree
Application Procedures and Selection Criteria
The single most important issue for Fulbright candidates to be sure to demonstrate is feasibility. In other words, can you demonstrate that you possess the skills and will have access to the necessary resources (e.g., for Research Grant applicants, an appropriate local affiliate) to complete your project within the alloted grant timeframe? The most important components of the application are listed below:
- Two-page statement of grant purpose (single-spaced) articulating the research project or plan of study and its feasibility. For ETA applicants, this statement should be one page. For National Geographic Digital Storytelling (NGS) applicants, it should be three pages.
- One-page personal statement
- Three letters of recommendation, two of which are usually from professors in the applicant’s proposed area of study. Exceptions are common. ETA applications require a recommendation form, not an open-ended letter
- Official transcript from every college attended (CURF will provide Official University of Pennsylvania Transcripts for all candidates who apply through the Campus Committee Evaluation process, and Official University of Pennsylvania Transcripts certifying receipt of their degree for Fulbright recipients. Candidates are responsible for obtaining any required Official Transcripts from universities other than Penn)
- Language proficiency report, to be completed by a language instructor whenever possible. May not be required in all cases
- Research grants require a letter of affiliation, usually from a scholar at a university or research institution in the host country
The 2015 application cycle for the 2016-2017 US Fulbright Student Program will be available on the Fulbright website on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
Complete applications are due on the Fulbright website no later than Wednesday, September 2. (A complete application includes all Fulbright application materials: Fulbright appilcation form including short answers, statement of grant purpose, personal statement, research plans, three recommendations, language evaluations, transcripts, and any additional required materials.)
Campus interviews take place in September/early October. This interview and the evaluation which result from it are intended to be supportive rather than a screening step, although candidates who have not given sufficient thought to their application or are otherwise deemed unsuitable for the experience may be discouraged from applying. Alumni are strongly encouraged to apply through Penn to gain access to this interview process, but alumni may choose to apply at-large without the benefits of the interview.
Applications must be finalized and are submitted online by candidates to the Fulbright website no later than 9:00am on Monday, October 12, 2015. CURF will then finalize completed applications on the Fulbright site by 5:00pm.
By the end of January 2016, IIE will notify candidates of their status after a preliminary national screening. Candidates recommended by the national screening panels have their application transmitted to the supervising agencies abroad for further review. Final selection for Fulbright Grants is made by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Notifications are sent directly from the US Fulbright Program on a rolling basis by country, typically in March and April. All grantees usually receive notification of the final decision by May.
Dr. Wallace Genser
Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
The ARCH, 3601 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6224
Please call 215-746-6488 to schedule an appointment