Research, Teach or Study Abroad with a Fulbright Award
Are you interested in living and working abroad?
Do you want to find ways to learn about new cultures and peoples of the world?
Are you a UA graduate, or soon-to-be graduate who is interested in doing research or teaching English in a foreign country?
The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering students and recent graduates international opportunities to study, conduct research and teach. Each year, approximately 1,600 Americans study or conduct research in over 140 nations with the support of the Fulbright.
Types of Grants
The U.S. Student Fulbright Program is designed to give recent college graduates, graduate students, and young professionals, opportunities for personal and career development and international experience. Most awards are for one academic year. There are two types of grants — Full Grants for Study and Research and Full Grants for English Teaching Assistantships.
Full Grants for Study & Research
These grants are provided for an individual to conduct research or study in a host country of their choice for one academic year. Applicants for the Study & Research Grants plan their own programs. Projects may include university coursework, independent research, special projects in the creative or performing arts, or a combination thereof.
Full Grants for English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs)
ETAs are offered in many countries worldwide. Each ETA Program is designed by the host country. ETAs differ from Study & Research grants in that their primary purpose is to engage students in the classroom. ETAs may, however, propose small research projects or community engagement activities that complement their ETA award and fulfills the purpose of the Fulbright program. Applicants must show interest and ability in teaching in their application.
Applicants must submit the following:
• General Application form
• Statement of Grant Purpose (2 pages for Study & Research grants, 1 page for the ETA)
• Personal Statement (1 page)
• Three email addresses for Reference letters
• Foreign Language Report (when applicable)
• Letter(s) of Affiliation from Overseas contact (for Study & Research grants, and in exceptional cases the ETA)
• Official Transcripts
- Email a UA Fulbright Program Advisor
- Print and complete the Fall 2019 Student Interest Form and bring it to your first meeting with Dr. Hawk or Dr. Feminella
- Check out the official Fulbright website
- Attend one or more Fulbright Information Sessions on campus.
Fulbright Program Advisors
Fulbright Program Growth
How to Get Started on the Fulbright Website
Important Notice: If you are enrolled at The University of Alabama you MUST apply through the UA Fulbright Program Advisor. If you are a UA alumni, you are eligible, and encouraged to apply through our office as well.
The Online Application:
1. Create an account on http://us.fulbrightonline.org. Click on “Applicants,” from the menu bar and click on “Fulbright Online Application.” Please create an account and fill in the required information, including choosing THE University of Alabama as your institution. Please email Megan Wagner (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about the online application.
The Campus Deadline: The campus deadline is a FINAL deadline. It is Friday, September 4, 2020. All application materials must be submitted in the on-line application system by the campus deadline. For the campus deadline, please do the following:
1. Proofread your online application
2. Print out your online application
3. Submit your online application
4. Once you have submitted, you may sign up for an interview time slot. (More details will be sent to you via email.) You will not be assigned an interview time until your application is submitted. The application must be submitted by the campus deadline in order for an interview to be scheduled for you.
Please make sure you remind your recommenders that their letters are due by the campus deadline. Fulbright requires that recommendation letters be submitted online. Please make sure you have entered your recommenders’ information in the online application system correctly. This will generate an email to them with a username and password, which allows them to upload their letters. Recommenders do not submit hard copies.
It is your responsibly to make sure that all of your letters of reference and foreign language evaluation(s) are uploaded by the campus deadline. Please do not call or email to ask about the completeness of your application. You can check on the Fulbright application system to see if letters of recommendation and language evaluations have been uploaded and submitted.
What is the purpose of the campus interview?
The purpose of the campus interview is to provide additional information about your candidacy to the National Screening Committee. The interviews are your only chance to articulate, in person, your reasons for wanting to teach, study or conduct research abroad. Each applicant will be interviewed individually for about 30 minutes by a panel of UA faculty and staff. Panelists may question students on contacts they have made overseas, academic preparation for the study, knowledge of the host country, and language training.
How does the panel evaluate applicants?
The panel’s rating of your application is based on an evaluation of your complete application and the campus interview. A panel of the Screening Committee will assess the content and feasibility of your proposal, your language preparation, your knowledge of the host country, etc., and then complete the Campus Committee Evaluation Form. The panel will rate your candidacy. The campus interview is NOT a mechanism for disqualifying applicants, but it is a mechanism for rating—not ranking—the applicants. Your rating will not be disclosed to you at any time, nor will you be given feedback regarding the confidential Campus Committee Evaluation Form.
PLEASE NOTE: No one is eliminated from the competition at the campus level. UA is asked by IIE (the organization that administers the Fulbright Program) to forward all applications submitted, regardless of the rating given by the campus committee.
What is the makeup of the panel?
In most cases, we try as best as possible to tailor the panels to fit your project and host country. Members may in fact be previous Fulbright recipients, natives of the host country, or an individual in your area of expertise. While we do have a large number of faculty and staff who serve as committee members, it is not always possible to be interviewed by someone in your field. Committee members have often had years of experience in working with Fulbright applications, and they are very aware of what makes a good application. In addition, your application at the national level will not only be read by people specifically in your academic field, but by others who have knowledge of the country or area where you wish to go.
Please do not worry if your campus interview panel is made up of faculty and staff from outside your area of study. In fact, one of the key concepts of the Fulbright is to be able to articulate your proposal to a “lay” audience.
Please be aware that the campus interview is meant to support your application and is not the deciding factor in your application. The interview and evaluation is meant to give the National Screening Committee as much information to work with as possible, and is, thus, very important. The campus level interviews will be your only interview through the Fulbright process, except in a few cases (e.g., the performing arts).
What if I will be away from campus during the fall semester?
Please notify us immediately. Most students who apply for the Fulbright at The University of Alabama have a campus interview in person, but we can accommodate an interview over skype, facetime, or zoom if an applicant is out of town.
*TIPS FOR A BETTER INTERVIEW*
- Be yourself! Do not forget, however, that you are being interviewed in a formal situation.
- Bring a printed out copy of your application in case the committee has questions.
- Dress code: Dress in a manner which will make you feel comfortable, but dress for a job interview.
- Don’t worry about being nervous. Everyone is. The interviewers just want to challenge you.
- Language Ability: The feasibility of your proposal is very important in the evaluation process. For this reason, foreign language skills are carefully considered, if you are going to a country where the native language is not English. The interviewers may ask you questions in the language of your country. Always reply in the language in which you are asked a question, even if it is to ask the committee member to repeat the question. The committee is not so much looking for fluency, but more for your potential to communicate in the language.
- Know something about the country to which you are applying. Familiarize yourself with current events, politics, literature, cultural events and what is going on in your field in that country. Some interviews will not go into these subjects with much depth, but some will.
- Know something about what is going on in the US (especially issues relevant to what you study).
- Reread your application (including your transcript) before going into the interview. Interviewers may ask you about any and all parts of your application, and you need to be prepared to talk about any statement you have made. It is so easy to forget a seemingly insignificant point you may have made, and it is quite embarrassing to draw a blank concerning an essay you wrote.
- Do not be afraid to state your opinions and argue them. As long as you are able to support your opinions, and do so without becoming angry or defensive, you will do fine. Some interviewers are curious to know how you will react in a situation where your beliefs are being questioned. The same interviewer who presses you to the wall about your thoughts on a particular matter may agree with you completely, so don’t waffle for the sake of agreement. Just be straightforward and stand by your convictions.
- Channel your nervous energy into enthusiasm. Be genuinely enthusiastic about the scholarship and the opportunities it can afford you. Be positive and don’t hesitate to let them know you really want the scholarship.
- Unsure of a question? If you are unsure of what a question is getting at, you can do one of two things: Take a definite line on what you thought the question was, or ask politely and briefly for clarification. Some applicants, when asked an especially tough question, request clarification in order to gain a little time to think.
- Know something about the origin and intent of the Fulbright Program. Read the Fulbright US Student Program Handbook or website for this information.
- How you enter and exit is important. Smile at everyone when you come in and leave time for a casual or humorous comment or two at the beginning. Let them set the pace. Thank them and make a polite exit when they indicate the interview is over, but don’t rush out the door.
The National Screening Process
After the campus process, Fulbright applications are screened in two stages. Applications will first be reviewed by a nationally appointed committee. Except in a few cases (e.g., performing arts, Russia and UK short-listed applicants), you will not be asked for any further interviews. The Institute of International Education (IIE) will notify you via email in January whether or not you have passed national screenings. If you pass (that is, are “recommended”), your application will be sent to the supervising agency in the country to which you are applying, and the final decisions will be made.
You will receive final notification from IIE anywhere from mid-March to late June. Alternates sometimes receive notification as late as July or August. There is no standard timeline by which country committees make their decisions—every year can be different. Please contact us when you receive official notification, as we are often not informed until a later date.
- Make this scholarship application a priority and manage your time well!
- Get everything in on time. Supporting materials can be submitted late, but you should make every effort to have a completed application by the campus deadline. Incomplete applications will reflect poorly on you at the campus and national levels.
- Please contact us with any questions you may have.
2020-2021 NEW Awards Spotlight
Australia Fulbright Future Scholarship (10 awards, 24 month term): The Australian-American Fulbright Commission is pleased to offer, new this year, the Fulbright Future Scholarships. This unique opportunity provides significant funding for projects that seek to have a positive impact on the health, prosperity, and livelihoods of Americans and Australians. Thanks to generous support from The Kinghorn Foundation, the Fulbright Future Scholarships are looking to support projects that seek to advance cutting-edge applied science, kick start innovative business collaborations that foster the creation of new jobs, or further the development of impact-driven emergent technologies. Fulbright Future Scholarships are open to postgraduate students, PhD researchers, academics and professionals. Awardees will receive funding for full tuition/visiting researcher expenses at an AUS institution of their choice, as well as travel and living costs.
Greenland ETA Award (2 awards): Affiliation to be held in Nuuk, Greenland, through coordination among the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, the Greenlandic Ministry of Education, Greenland University, and the Nuuk High School. Nuuk has 17,000 inhabitants and is a vibrant little city; however, the weather is harsh come October with frost, snow, and very little daylight. Due to the environmental conditions, a grant period is only possible for four months from mid-August to mid-December. Host institutions close for several months over the winter, and ETAs would not be able to continue their assignments for a full six months. Applicants should demonstrate flexibility, initiative, and eagerness to engage with the local community.
UK Partnership Award: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (1 award): One award is offered to pursue a one-year Master’s degree (or the first year of a Master’s or doctoral degree program) in any discipline at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, a part of the University of London, was founded in 1906 by vocal specialist Elsie Fogerty. Located in Swiss Cottage, a stone’s throw from London’s West End, the school is currently positioned at the top of The Complete University Guide’s rankings for Art, Drama and Music and hosts a world-leading research department. A specialist institution for the dramatic arts, Central has the largest number of postgraduate students in theatre/performance in the UK across a range of one-year MA and two-year MFA courses in a variety of areas taught by industry-leading professionals and academics at the cutting edge of theatre and performance in the twenty-first century. Alongside small class sizes, industry-standard facilities and unprecedented access to the industry, students benefit from bespoke training allowing them to follow in the footsteps of graduates such as Judi Dench, Riz Ahmed, Nonso Anozie, Harold Pinter and Gareth Fry. Course specific information is available on their website. Applicants are responsible for arranging their own affiliation and must apply for admission according to the relevant university’s admissions procedures. Applicants are not expected to have a letter of admission/affiliation at time of application, but awards are made conditional upon acceptance by the chosen institution before arrival. Applicants for PhD programs should include a letter from their proposed supervisor. Applicants will complete two applications, the Fulbright application and the university’s application (according to the university’s admissions procedures). The Fulbright Program does not cover the application fee for the university.
Paraguay ETA (2 awards): ETAs will be assigned as language-learning assistants working up to 25 hours per week, but they will not be responsible for teaching entire courses. They will develop and lead language learning activities and classes under the supervision of faculty and/or host staff, and promote U.S. culture through cultural and social programs. ETA grantees will also pursue an independent research, study, or volunteer project. The project is a secondary activity that will supplement the grantee’s ETA responsibilities. Applications from graduating seniors and graduate students are welcome. Candidates with degrees in English, Spanish, Education or TEFL/applied linguistics with experience teaching or tutoring and who have an interest in working in an international educational environment are preferred. Other fields will be seriously considered if combined with teaching experience and/or coursework in TEFL and/or pedagogy. Foreign Language Proficiency: Required Intermediate Spanish.
- Help coach and build up debate programs at Taiwan’s top school
- Build up a local debate circuit and run and judge local tournaments
- Train interested Fulbrighters, including English teaching assistants, students, and scholars, how to coach debate. This would provide an avenue for these Fulbrighter’s community service.
- Traveling with teams to tournaments
- Generate and research arguments within a group setting
- Work with other teachers to further develop the debate program
- All coach/trainers must remain for the entire teaching semester(s)
- Organize a debate camp in the summer for interested students
- A partial housing allowance is provided by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan)
Guatemala Fulbright-Fogarty Public Health Fellowships (3 awards): The Fulbright-Fogarty fellowship in Guatemala offers U.S. graduate and post-graduate students in the health sciences practical experience designing and conducting clinical research in Guatemala. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) UVG is a non-profit, private university offering research opportunities in HIV, emerging infectious diseases, environmental health and nutrition. Since 2010, investigators at UC San Diego have collaborated with UVG researchers at the Center for Health Studies (CES) on a NIDA-funded R01 exploring rising substance use and its association with HIV at the Guatemala/Mexico border. Because of the area’s potentially strategic importance in infectious disease transmission, the UC San Diego-UVG collaboration has expanded to include a number of studies focusing on health issues related to migrants, sex work and sex trafficking, barriers to healthcare faced by men who have sex with men, and molecular studies to improve understanding of regional HIV transmission dynamics and antiretroviral drug resistance. Since 2008, UCSF has collaborated with CES in environmental health, specifically the impact of air pollution exposures from cooking stoves during pregnancy and early infancy National Institute of Environmental Health Studies -funded R21; future UM1). UVG has a long-standing collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in conjunction with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health (MoH), evaluating national prevention efforts related to vector-borne, arbovirus and emerging infectious diseases. Other CES-CDC efforts include pneumococcal and other vaccine trials. New areas of investigation focus on the detection of the Chagas and Zika viruses. CES investigators include faculty in the Department of Epidemiology at UVG who have become a resource for public health surveillance activities, outbreak investigation and field epidemiology training at the Guatemalan MoH and throughout Central America.
Bama Fulbrighters Blog
Do you wonder what its like to go abroad on a Fulbright grant?
Do you want to apply but can’t decide which country you want to work in?
Are you curious as to what Fulbright winners do while overseas!