Answers questions about Fullbright Awards and applying for them at the University of Dallas
provided by Stephen Maddux, PhD.
UD Fulbright Program Adviser
(Carpenter 207, mobile 214-929-6518, email@example.com)
updated May 8 2012
UD Campus Deadline for Fulbright Applications:
October 1st of the Year Preceding The Award
What are Fulbrights?
Awards, usually for an academic year, allowing US students (recent BAs and graduate students) to spend a year abroad, either studying (Academic Grant) or teaching (English Teaching Asistantship). They are sponsored by the US Department of State, but administered by the IIE (Institute of International Education [www.iie.org]), a private outfit that also sponsors the Gilman Scholarship program.
Who is eligible?
US citizens, who are
recent BAs/BSs; graduate students; or young professionals or artists.
What else do I need?
• A good academic track record, and people who will recommend you;
• A good reason for wanting to spend a year abroad;
• Adequate linguistic preparation.
What is the application deadline?
The campus deadline for online submission of all materials, including recommendations, is Otober 1st of the year before the year of the award. Do not be misled by what is called the “official” deadline for online application (see Application Timeline); that is the FPA’s (my) deadline, not yours. Your complete application, including recommendations, has to be submitted, and electronically, by October 1st.
When should I begin preparing?
1) For language preparation, you should keep working on developing your skills in a non-English language throughout your college years. Language requirements differ from country to country and according to type of award, but a good minimum for anyone is a UD language concentration (four upper-division courses) or the equivalent. Language requirements will be stiffest if you are working in a humane field of study (literature, philosophy, history…)
2) You will need three recommenders to write in support of your application. Speak with them and provide them with necessary information well in advance of the campus deadline (October 1st), ideally at least a month (say, early September). You will need tell them how to submit their recommendations online (Instructions for Fulbright Reference Writers); and you will also need to provide them with a copy of your Personal Statement and your Statement of Grant Purpose. These are the most difficult parts of the application; hence:
3) Begin working on your Personal Statement and your Statement of Grant Purpose earlier still, in the Spring and Summer before the application deadline.
How should I proceed?
1) Finish reading this document. 2) Visit the site The Fulbright U.S. Student Program (http://us.fulbrightonline.org/). 3) Come see me or otherwise consult with me, Stephen Maddux, the UD Fulbright Program Adivser. My office is Carpenter 207, my mobile number is 214-929-6518, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
What type of award should I apply for?
There are two main types: Academic Grants and English Teaching Assistantships. Information about them, plus a couple of other types of grant, is here: Types of Grants. You cannot apply for both at the same time, and the choice is an important one, which I urge you to discuss with me.
What country should I apply for?
Another issue you should discuss with me. For Western Europe, you can apply to only one country. Generally speaking, it should be a country whose language you know reasonably well. (English-speaking countries do not require knowledge of another language, but their awards tend to be very sought after.) Read carefully the country summaries for any country you might be thinking of. They may give pertinent information about number and types of awards, preferred topics for study grants, and required language ability. —In the past, the IIE site provided information about past competition statistics, so that you could get an idea of what the competition in the current year was likely to be for a given country. In the present set-up, I can find this information only for Teaching Assistantships (ETA Chart).
What’s included in the application?
To begin working on your online application, you will go here and open an account: Embark Online Application. For explanations and help, see Application Components, Application Tips, and Application Checklists.
A. What You Fill Out.
1. Fairly easy: “Biographical Data.” Mostly informational.
2. Very difficult: the Personal Statement and the Statement of Grant Purpose. Read what the links say about them. Once upon a time the site listed topics studied by previous grantees, but I cannot find that information on the current site. However, I have in my office examples of these statements, which you are welcome to consult.
B. What You Get Others To Fill Out. You will need to supply all these persons with your Personal Statement and your Statement of Grant Purpose (and well before the campus deadline).
1. An Affiliation Letter (required for an Academic Grant.)
2. A Foreign Language Form
3. Three Reference Letters
C. What Else You Submit.
Transcripts. See Transcript and Upload Instructions
What happens when I have submitted all the above (by October 1st)?
There will be an on-campus interview in the first half of October. You, dressed nicely, will be asked questions by a panel (made up of UD faculty) who will have read your entire application. Part of the interview will be conducted in the language of the country you are applying for.
What happens after that?
See the Application Timeline page. According to it, you will learn if you have been “recommended” by a National (i.e., American) Screening Committee on January 31st. This is equivalent to being a semi-finalist. Final notification of an award can come over a wide period: March 1 to May 31! This variability is due to that fact that the final selection is made by the individual countries, some of which are prompter than others.
Isn’t May 31st awfully late for a person trying to plan for the coming Fall?
Yes, you’re quite right.
Are there other competitions for international awards I should be applying for, in addition to (or instead of) Fulbright?
Quite possibly yes.
1) Rotary.org: Ambassadorial Scholarships. Note that the application deadlines are set by the local Rotary clubs, and that they can be as early as a year and a half before the beginning of the award.
In addition, some countries offer awards to US citizens that are not administered through the I.I.E.
Austrian teaching assistantships are not applied to through the IIE, though they do appear to be Fulbright-connected. You can find out something about them here: U.S. Teaching Assistantships. Page 13 of this document also has information: Austria…Education.
You need to be a higher being, a Q or better (much better, actually; for a transcendental being, Q was an ignoramus), to win a Fulbright grant to England. They are extremely competitive. But if you nevertheless go ahead and apply for one of these, you might as well be applying for a Marshall and a Rhodes as well. The UD adviser for both was, and perhaps still is, Philipp Roseman.
France offers only 6 Teaching Assistantships through IIE and Fulbright. In the country summary for France, we are informed that there are another 50 ETAs obtainable directly from the French government. The site for them is here: The Teaching Assistantship Program in France.
I have been warned that the purely French teaching awards are poorly remunerated compared to the Fulbright ones, so much so that a grantee scarcely has enough money to live on. However, if you are applying for a Fulbright ETA, as far as I know you might as well apply for a French one as well. You can find out what the French Government ETA remuneration is here: What is the assistantship salary? Is this enough to live on?
Spain is offering a total of 24+41+17+2+10 Fulbright ETAs.
Spain also has a separately administered program of ETAs, which you can find out about here: North American Language and Culture Assistants. I do not know that you cannot apply through both. The head of the UD Spanish program (Maria Pérez-Bernardo) may have more information.