Fulbright Grants for Graduate Study and Research Abroad
of a Strong Grant Proposal
Preference will be given to extraordinary or creative topics. Projects should be well-conceived,
original, and fall within the guidelines of the individual country summary
of the Fulbright booklet.
(1) Feasibility relates not only to the resources of the host country or institution; it
may also involve the extent to which certain fields of study, e.g.,
investigation into contemporary or recent political or military issues,
might be sensitive for the host country.
(2) Another aspect of feasibility is the proposed method of carrying out the project.
It should be borne in mind that some methodological techniques, such as
extensive interviewing and/or the use of questionnaires, are inadvisable
and unacceptable in some countries. The project description should show
your sensitivity to the country's culture and current circumstances
(3) Feasibility also depends on having an appropriate scope for the duration of the
project. Fulbright grants are usually awarded for periods of 9-10 months,
most typically an academic year. You must justify the need for this amount
of time to complete your project. You should also be realistic about time
limitations. Consider how crucial each aspect is to your study and narrow
your project to the specific topics. The final paragraph of the proposal
should indicate the amount of time the study/research will take and the
planned date of departure from the U.S.
(4) Finally, for a project to be feasible, the applicant must be personally well prepared.
It is important that you have adequate formal training for the
study you wish to pursue. You should be well-grounded in the existing
literature in the field, cite that literature in the proposal, and place
the project accurately in its larger framework. You should also be very knowledgeable about your chosen country. Strong applicants have realistic expectations of living and working conditions in the host country,
and the impact of these conditions on the project.
The project should be planned in sufficient detail to make its initiation possible upon your
arrival in the host country. Graduating seniors generally will be expected
to attend regular university lectures, but should describe the study programs
they wish to follow in terms as specific as possible. Graduate students
will be expected to work independently without close academic supervision,
and be prepared to supplement lectures with independent work. If pursuing
research, the methodology should be airtight, with a description of the
use of libraries, resources, linkages, etc. If needed, clearance should
be obtained for the use of human subjects. If the project does not involve
enrolling in formal university classes, there must be a clearly designated
mentor or supervisor for the project.
Prior arrangements for sponsorship with scholars in the host country should be made if possible.
Letters of acceptance for study or testifying to the availability of resources
add weight to the application. If these letters are in another language,
translate them for the committee.
For candidates in the creative and performing arts, samples of the work in support of the
application are required.
Applicants for the
teaching assistantship programs should indicate both their reasons for
wishing to serve as teaching assistants and the supplementary study they
would undertake in their free time.
All applicants should indicate in some detail their reasons for choosing a particular country,
the form their work will take, the results they hope to obtain, and the
contribution that a foreign experience will have on their future professional
All proposals should clearly indicate the reason why a project must be carried out in a given
country. The National Screening Committee must be convinced that you could
not do a similar project here in the US. Translation projects are generally
discouraged since they can commonly be accomplished in the US. Wanting
to return to a site where you've previously lived for more than a
few months may raise questions. It must be completely clear that you are
returning for academic reasons.
Avoid writing a proposal
like a dissertation with highly technical terms. Ask someone outside of
your field to read your proposal, to make sure it can be understood. The
National Screening Committee members who read your application are familiar
with the region to which you are going, but not your field of study. Show
that you are knowledgeable, but don't be arrogant or write the proposal
as if you know more than the local people.
Be sure that the proposal is free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors, awkward constructions,
and meaningless phrases. Proposals should be clear and focused, and limited
to two pages.
of a Strong Autobiographical Statement
The biographical statement gives reviewers a sense of you as a person, your seriousness of purpose,
adaptability, etc. Relate your CV to your project, demonstrating how your
experience supports the proposal. The statement should be more of an intellectual
biography than a reiteration of family history, but relevant personal
information may be included.
Excessive self-congratulation should be avoided, but any unusual skills and/or preparation of relevance
to the project should be clearly stated. Some information on your strengths
is best conveyed through the faculty recommendations.
The statement, in conjunction with the proposal, shows that you have substantial knowledge
of the proposed host country. However, be careful not to repeat facts
and descriptions already given in the project proposal.