FULBRIGHT PROGRAM AWARDS
Official Website: www.us.fulbrightonline.org
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. The program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to "enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." In 2004, over six thousand grants, at a cost of more than $250 million, we awarded to U.S. students, teachers, professionals, and scholars to study, teach, lecture, and conduct research in more than 150 countries, and to their foreign counterparts to engage in similar activities in the United States. More than1,100 grants are given specifically to U.S. students to study overseas.
The grants offer students one academic year of study, research, or teaching assistantship experience. Projects may include university course work, independent library or field research, professional training in the arts, independent projects in the social or life sciences, assistant teach English, or a combination of these or other projects. Graduating seniors, recent graduates, and graduate students are eligible to apply.
APPLICATION AND DEADLINE
Although the stated deadline for the annual competition is around October 20 each year, each university must set a university deadline in order to follow all guidelines. As a result, to meet the Loyola campus deadline, students must submit their application 1 months prior to the Fulbright deadline, or approximately by September 20in order to be eligible (check Fulbright site for exact dates in a given year), and should draft a plan for the faculty review committee during the preceding Spring term (on line applications are available on May 1). On campus interviews are also required and may have to be scheduled on short notice during early–mid October.
All fellowship applications take great time and effort to prepare, but the Fulbright involves an even greater need to start early. A letter of support from the host nation is required, and the prior spring is the time to be requesting these letters. The IIE will only accept original, signed letters of recommendation and host support. E-mail copies and faxes cannot be forwarded with your completed application, thus you must allow plenty of lead time to receive these documents prior to the on-campus deadline.
FIRST- AND SECOND-YEAR STUDENTS
It may seem odd, but if you are considering a Fulbright the year after graduation, it is already the best time to be framing a project and establishing contacts on- and off-campus. Use your current and future experiences, especially if studying abroad, to think about what you might do for your Fulbright proposal of the future.
Dr. James M. Calcagno, Fellowship Office Director
Professor, Department of Anthropology
Sullivan Hall 285
Loyola University Chicago
TIPS FROM DR. C.
- The following is important enough to state again: The Fulbright application requires a great deal of work, and a successful proposal must be started as early as possible, preferably at least 6 months before the deadline. Prepare and leave time to write multiple drafts (perhaps 4-6) of your essays, which are critical to successful applications. Be sure to address how you can fulfill the mission of the organization when writing your essays.
- Contact your potential letter writers as soon as possible to give them time to write your letters, and ask if they will review and comment upon your essays. This will provide them with added information to improve upon their letter, and will provide you with helpful comments to improve your application. Although I hope to provide you with some comments, it is important that you receive advice from scholars whose work is more closely related to your chosen plans.