Fulbright 2012-2013

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Posted

I've been stalking the pages of the 2011-2012 Fulbright thread for weeks and figured now was as good a time as any to start a new thread for next years applicants.

I would love to get a dialogue going with those working on their applications. Bounce around ideas and provide some encouragement when necessary. And for anyone with past experience applying for Fulbright and/or alums... please, please, please contribute your thoughts and advice! I'm sure I speak for many when I say, we could use the help.

Anyway, I've begun the exhaustive process of rough-draft after rough-draft for my research proposal. I've also started shooting off emails to professors and other contacts fishing for advice and possible affiliation. Good times!

I know everyone in the other Fulbright thread is stressing out and anxious to hear their results.... all I can say is, "Good luck, and I can't wait to be in your shoes a year from now!"

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Posted

This is awesome. Starting at early as possible is the key and chatting with current applicants as well as former applicants are both useful! Very good for being on top of things!

What do you plan on proposing (if full grant) and where do you want to go?

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Posted

Hi crimsonengineer. Thanks for jumping on board with this thread, I hope you'll be able to provide us new applicants with plenty of info seeing as you were successful in getting a grant. I know I definitely found the conversations in the previous Fulbright thread very helpful.

So I'm most likely applying for a grant to Germany. There are a few other options I'm entertaining in Europe but what I've been able to track down in Germany most aligns with my interests. I'm looking at programs in international relations and sustainable development. I'd like to continue on with the kind of work I did for my senior project in undergrad. It was a collaborative capstone in rural Nicaragua working with various sustainable technologies (PV, micro-hydro, bio-gas) to improve access to drinking water, provide electricity, and cut down on the use of the surrounding vegetation for cooking fuel. I figure with Germany's recent push toward renewable energy technologies that it would be a great place to study and research.

Here's a question for you if you don't mind, what did you end up doing for your affiliation? How were you able to track down relevant contacts? Any tips on reaching out to them while also being mindful of their busy schedules?

And pertaining to Germany specifically, are you going to matriculate into a full 2-year program?

Thanks for the help.

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Posted

Hi crimsonengineer. Thanks for jumping on board with this thread, I hope you'll be able to provide us new applicants with plenty of info seeing as you were successful in getting a grant. I know I definitely found the conversations in the previous Fulbright thread very helpful.

So I'm most likely applying for a grant to Germany. There are a few other options I'm entertaining in Europe but what I've been able to track down in Germany most aligns with my interests. I'm looking at programs in international relations and sustainable development. I'd like to continue on with the kind of work I did for my senior project in undergrad. It was a collaborative capstone in rural Nicaragua working with various sustainable technologies (PV, micro-hydro, bio-gas) to improve access to drinking water, provide electricity, and cut down on the use of the surrounding vegetation for cooking fuel. I figure with Germany's recent push toward renewable energy technologies that it would be a great place to study and research.

Here's a question for you if you don't mind, what did you end up doing for your affiliation? How were you able to track down relevant contacts? Any tips on reaching out to them while also being mindful of their busy schedules?

And pertaining to Germany specifically, are you going to matriculate into a full 2-year program?

Thanks for the help.

Hi Bkid,

You've got some really good questions! First, I think you've got a good start with your statement of grant purpose, especially for Germany and sustainability! That's most def an important and relevant topic. Secondly, I found my affiliation by asking my advisor if she knew any contacts in Germany. Apparently her advisor, who is basically the "father in hydrology", worked with a few folks in Germany. I also did a few Google searches and looked at many German university sites. I ended up making a spreadsheet with my top 6 or 7 to email, rather than sending out mass emails. I would send our emails to my first couple and see what would happen and then continue down the list. If you need more help with that, I can send you a sample email. In terms of being mindful, short email that is able to explain everything would be nice. Then usually if the professor is interested, they will usually solicit for more info. Does that make sense?

And I'm not going to matriculate into a full 2-year program, or I don't have plans to (but plans could change). I'm currently on a PhD track for a degree in civil engineering. I decided to get a PhD here if I got the Fulbright. It's a long story, but to make it short, I felt I needed this experience b/c I'm getting all three degrees from the same institution (yikes!). So yeah.

Hmm, feel free to ask more questions! I just might be a little slow to respond since things are piling up since it's near the end of the semester! Hope I was able to help!

AND kudos for starting early in the process!

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Posted

I'm currently a junior engineering student in the US and I've just started to consider grad school prospects and the possibility of studying and researching abroad. Of course, this had led me to discover the Fulbright and all its possibilities. The good news is that I've already identified my country (Sweden); this is based upon my study and interest in room acoustics and not any predetermined desire to live or travel here (though it would be nice). From what I've read, the academic fit is the #1 priority for selecting a country, so I think I've already done well in this regard. Since my field is relatively small, it was easy to research possibilities and ultimately pick what would be best for me.

I'm looking for guidance/advice on what to do next. Should I start drafting my statement of purpose and research proposal or should I try to develop my affiliation? I know what university I want to go to and I have a very small friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend type of connection to a senior professor and a leader of the research department at my proposed university. I'm thinking I should try to cultivate my affiliation because I'm not 100% set on a specific research topic, but rather a broader field in general. I'm open to suggestions though.

This was written rather hastily, so let me know if you need any additional information about me.

I'm glad to have found this forum ... seems incredibly informative and helpful in general. Thanks for any help.

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Posted

Hi bjs...

I would suggest that you work to develop both your SoP and your affiliation concurrently. That's the approach I'm taking right now. I've been sending out emails of inquiry to various contacts and bouncing around some ideas. The responses I've been receiving from these possible affiliations have helped me to better define my interest areas. At the same time, I've been writing and rewriting various components of my SoP. This process has also led me to revise my plans and/or hone in on a more specific area of interest. Since we're getting such an early start on things, I don't see why you can't develop both aspects (SoP and affiliation) at the same time.

Though I would caution, don't contact possible affiliations if you haven't really developed any sort of game-plan for your research. That would be a bit off-putting I imagine from their perspective.

Also, I've been in contact with past professors who will probably serve as my letter-of-reference writers. So far they've been my best sounding board for ideas. It helps to have their input and it demostrates to them that your serious about this work and have already put a lot of thought into it, items that can enhance the reference letters they will eventually write for you.

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Posted

Thanks BKid for starting this thread. I have always wanted to apply for a Fulbright and think this might be the year to do it -- I think I have a sound research topic stemming from my dissertation study and also some good contacts that should be able to provide letters of affiliation.

I was just looking at the online application and I am wondering if it is different from previous years? Did Fulbright change the format? It looks like a personal statement isn't required, just the proposal? Is that right, or am I missing something in the online application?

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Posted

Thanks BKid for starting this thread. I have always wanted to apply for a Fulbright and think this might be the year to do it -- I think I have a sound research topic stemming from my dissertation study and also some good contacts that should be able to provide letters of affiliation.

I was just looking at the online application and I am wondering if it is different from previous years? Did Fulbright change the format? It looks like a personal statement isn't required, just the proposal? Is that right, or am I missing something in the online application?

I can't figure out how to delete my post -- but please ignore it. I was looking at the scholar grant application, not the student grant application. Ooops.

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Posted

From the Fulbright website I was able to find a past winner (about 4 years ago) in my field who studied at my proposed university. Would I look like a crazy stalker if I try to develop some line of communication with the guy? I'm interested in his impressions of the university and faculty first and foremost. Of course, it would also be nice if he'd be willing to give me some advice on the Fulbright too. Hopefully I would be able to better gauge my affiliation's interests by speaking with a former student. What do you guys think of this plan?

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Posted

From the Fulbright website I was able to find a past winner (about 4 years ago) in my field who studied at my proposed university. Would I look like a crazy stalker if I try to develop some line of communication with the guy? I'm interested in his impressions of the university and faculty first and foremost. Of course, it would also be nice if he'd be willing to give me some advice on the Fulbright too. Hopefully I would be able to better gauge my affiliation's interests by speaking with a former student. What do you guys think of this plan?

I've done this a couple times, and it worked out okay. They may be more or less open to communicating depending on their personality. Just stay polite and interesting.

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Posted

I have a suggestion: edit the first post to include a link to the 2011-2012 spreadsheet and the 2011-2012 thread. Both of those resources have a lot of useful information, might as well put it at the top.

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Posted

Hello everyone! My name is Daisy, I am new to the forum here and it's nice to meet all of you! I look forward to interacting with everyone.

I am planning to apply for full grant in South Korea for the 2012-2013 year. As of now, I am not worrying about the application too much because I still need to get through finals next week in school. However, I will spend the remainder of the summer hard at work for my proposal.

If anyone who got the full grant for South Korea last year sees this post: first, congratulations and second, it would be much appreciated if you PM or e-mail me because I have some questions about securing an affiliation - I'm not too sure how to go about that. If anyone else has any tips, please let me know. :)

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Posted

Hi all! First-time poster and Fulbright hopeful here.

I plan on applying for an ETA in Spain but I've been looking at the data and spreadsheets from last year and it looks like the majority of those selected are students right out of undergrad. I'm in an MAT/English program at a state university and I have a few years of professional editorial work under my belt. Might I be not be an ideal candidate? Until recently the candidate profile on the website stated preference for future teachers of English and Spanish or those going into international education (I fall under two of the three), but now it just says "Graduating seniors and recent graduates with the initiative and flexibility needed to assistant-teach in high schools are encouraged to apply."

Do you think I'd be better applying for a ETA position in a different country or region?

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Posted

Hello all,

Spain research applicant here. I've started the application process, and followed he previous year threads as well. Good luck to everyone!

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Posted

Hey all!

Planning to apply to full grant in Germany. My field of study is psychology, though I prefer psychophysiological methods. I've found several professors in Germany that I'd love to work with, whose interests are very much aligned with my own. Right now I'm still trying to work out a research project idea, but I'm interested in cultural differences regarding psychopathy, aggression, and emotion dysregulation.

Good luck to everyone. :)

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Posted

So, as some of you probably know, the 2011 round of Fulbright Hays awards was cancelled this year due to budget cuts. Has anyone heard anything about the IIE (or the Hays) funding status for this coming year?

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Posted

The director of my country's program told me the grants were reduced for the incoming cohort slightly. Have not heard anything about the coming year yet.

So, as some of you probably know, the 2011 round of Fulbright Hays awards was cancelled this year due to budget cuts. Has anyone heard anything about the IIE (or the Hays) funding status for this coming year?

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Posted

Hello!

I'm a first time poster and applicant for the ETA program in Spain -- for the region of Cantabria, specifically! smile.gif

Good luck to everyone! I look forward to interacting with all of you on this board!

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Posted

Hi!

My name is Chris and I am applying for the Full Grant to The Netherlands this year. This fall, I will be a 1st year grad student at Drexel University. My field of study for the Fulbright is interdisciplinary, but leans towards Anthropology. I'm wondering if there are any people on the site that have been through the application process before, as I have some questions about doing a field of study that is not in my graduate program (My 5 second autobiography, I was an Anthropology major in undergrad with a minor in Political Science).

Good luck to everyone!

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Posted

I am going to be applying to Australia or Switzerland. From my understanding, we have to have a solid proposal. Does anyone have any advice for this part?

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Posted

So I've been plugging away on my application materials. I've connected with a few contacts in Germany as potential leads for affiliations but haven't really found exactly what I'm looking for. I've identified a few other faculty members who I think could be the kind of connections I want. I'm just a bit nervous about reaching out to them given that they might be on the admissions board for the schools (I'm hoping to complete a Masters while over there) and I want to make sure my first impression is a good one.

Can anyone provide some insight as to how they've connected with affiliation contacts? Any examples of what you said in your first email to them would be very helpful.

Thanks!

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Posted

So I've been plugging away on my application materials. I've connected with a few contacts in Germany as potential leads for affiliations but haven't really found exactly what I'm looking for. I've identified a few other faculty members who I think could be the kind of connections I want. I'm just a bit nervous about reaching out to them given that they might be on the admissions board for the schools (I'm hoping to complete a Masters while over there) and I want to make sure my first impression is a good one.

Can anyone provide some insight as to how they've connected with affiliation contacts? Any examples of what you said in your first email to them would be very helpful.

Thanks!

Hey,

My interaction with potential affiliates have been in Spanish, so probably a lot less useful to you. But I just wanted to chime in that I waited until I had a decent draft of my proposal before contacting potential affiliates. I think it made me more confident and made me seem more professional. I didn't send them a copy in the initial email, but having one handy proved pretty useful.

I just said something like

Hello,

My name is X and I am a graduate student at university Y. I am writing to in hopes that you would consider being my affiliate under the auspices of the Fulbright program.

I am really interested in XXX, and In light of your interest in XXX and your university's/department's focus on XXX I would like to work with you.

... well that is the shorthand version actually the following post (which I used as a sort of template to springboard off of for my contact letter) is on the previous Fulrbight thread somewhere, but instead of pulling it out I will paste it here. It's very helpful.

In the end, I was encouraged not to send them a copy of my cv in the first email, just a clean, short-and sweet "please be my affiliate" email. To be honest, most of them did not reply (three months later!). But all you need is one positive response and I got an immediate "I would love to be your affiliate" along with a "maybe."

Jim the Zym, I hope it's ok to repost your post on this year's thread.

Good luck!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Fulbright 2011-12 Applicants,

I'm jim the zymurgist over from the Fulbright 2010-11 forum. I successfully applied for a 2010-11 Fulbright Full Grant to Germany.

Crimsonengineer recently contacted me with some questions and, after responding in PM, I thought I'd share some of the contents of that message with applicants who are currently in the process of drafting Statement of Grant Purposes (SGPs), and finding and securing affiliates. I'm sure there are a wealth of opinions and suggestions on these matters, many of them differing in method, so I here offer my experience regarding my SGP and finding my affiliate--securing an affiliate is (basically) essential when applying for the Fulbright Full Grant to Germany.

Hope this helps!

Best,

jim the zym

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Dear Crimsonengineer,

I think one of the most important steps in the Fulbright application process is determining the affiliates who are absolutely essential to your project. And I think that finding an affiliate and writing a good Statement of Grant Purpose (SGP) are fundamentally bound up with each other. Obtaining an affiliate not only means that you have, well, secured an affiliate, but it also gets you to think about (and articulate) the reason why your project MUST be executed from your proposed country, city, institution, and (in some cases) with a specific person at said institution. Having this reason in your SGP makes for a better (stronger) SGP than not having it.

If you've already narrowed down your affiliate list, good, lots of work is already done.

If you haven't -- or if you have and want some questions to think about -- then consider the following: applying for a Fulbright Full Grant is you saying that you absolutely need to be in, say, Berlin in order to execute your research project on, say, the ethics of transnational identity among inner-city youth. This means that one approach is: have some general idea about your project as you start writing your SGP, find an affiliate that uniquely matches up with your project, then incorporate that affiliate (in its various aspects) into your SGP. Determine where you and your project 'best fit' in Germany; this constitutes your list of potential affiliates. (For my part, my list of potential affiliates was quite short for reasons I'll soon explain.)

Here, the Fulbright Commission looks to see if your project can't be completed at some institution in the US (or your home country), if it can, then you don't really need to be in residence for one year in your proposed host country. Questions to think about: Can I complete my project at some library here in the US? (Answering 'yes' is not a good thing.) What does my affiliate have that I can find no where else in the world? Why do I need to physically be at my affiliate institution?

Your Statement of Grant Purpose should include why your project requires your physical presence at your affiliated institution, and how your project cannot be executed without that.

It took me hours and hours of (primarily) online research and (secondarily) asking professors in order to find leads on affiliates. Naturally, professors can provide a wealth of lead info, especially if they are familiar with your field in Germany. Mine weren't. My current adviser (in German) knows few people in my proposed field of research (history), so she was only able to provide me with one name. And, in all truth, that German professor would have probably agreed to be my affiliate. I didn't go that route however, because I wanted to be engaged in a project that interested me. That certain potential affiliate (though in history) was just too far afield when it came down to our respective research interests. So, I spent lots of time trawling the internet trying to figure out the city/institution at which I belonged. This took me a couple of weeks, but in the end I found a place that I thought, generally, fit with my interests, and, specifically, provided me with reasons for having to physically be in Germany for one year.

So, I drafted my SGP with my potential (and perfect) affiliate in mind. By the time I was ready to send out feeler-emails, I had completed a full, revised (but not final) draft of my SGP. This means that I had a very solid idea of my project and why I was proposing to specific individuals at my potential affiliate institution. In the end I sent feeler-emails to about 4 individuals which means that my approach resulted in me not casting a wide feeler-email net; but I hoped that it also meant that my first round of feeler-emails would have some impact. So, onto the feeler-emails.

By the time I started drafting my feeler-emails I already had completed and revised (and revised) my Statement of Grant Purpose. That means that I went through all of the above and (honestly) did not get around to sending out feeler-letters until sometime in September (which is too late). Get started early! This also means that I had found my compelling reason as to why I had to be at my proposed affiliate--which became the core of my project and my SGP. The drawbacks to this approach might be something like: I constructed a very narrow and specific project with a certain affiliate in mind, and what if my affiliate had not agreed to host me? or agreed too late? Then I would be at a total loss and I'm sure would not have made it past the first round of cuts. The benefits to this approach were: I spent all of my energy trying to get someone from my specifically chosen affiliate to host me, my Statement of Grant Purpose showed why I had to be there (specifically), and because my Statement was specifically tailored to that affiliate institution I thought that that upped the chances of someone responding to my feeler-emails. Someone (finally!) did.

I went with the 'all eggs in one basket' approach. That may not be for you. It was for me.

So, with all of this in mind I wrote my feeler-emails. It was one email. I drafted it, had someone copy-edit my German, had my adviser briefly look at it, then sent it out:

Dear Blahty Blah

¶1: My name is blah blah. I am currently studying at blah and am writing to you with the hope that you might agree to be my research mentor under the auspices of the Fulbright program. My proposed project is on fruit (some general term), and I am specifically interested on whether or not apples and oranges can be compared (one liner, specific description of your project--by now their interest should be peaked because they work in the same field of research).

¶2: My project specifically is blahty blah blah blaty blah (here a few, very tight sentences explaining your project). With this in mind I would like to conduct this research at your institution because your institution houses all manner of apples and oranges (here say why you need to be at that institution), and/or with you because your ground-breaking research in apple and orange comparison is essential to my project (here say why that person might be essential to your project).

¶3: If this interest you, I await with bated breath your answer and would be grateful for it (here, diplomatically and gently let them know that your ball is now graciously in their court; this is where you, in so many words, ask them to answer your email). In order to help you make your decision, I here attach my CV (attach your stellar CV to show them that you are awesome and that they'd love to have a young motivated individual like you around) and my proposed research statement (attach your fine-tuned research statement so they can see in detail what your project is all about). In the case that you're not interested in my awesome project, I would be grateful if you forwarded this to a colleague of yours that you think might be interested (here, this one is tricky, you may want to leave it out; but my thinking is, if they are not interested in my project, and I ask them very nicely/gently to forward this to someone they know who might be, then what's the harm?). If you have any questions or comments or whatevs please do not hesitate to contact me at blah@blahmail.com. I thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

MfG,

Me, the awesome Zymurgist

Undergrad or grad, Germanistik

Public State University of Awesome Fruit

Also, don't be afraid to contact department administrators. As you may have already heard, these German profs are swamped with work and are often times reticent to take on research students--they just don't have the time usually (at least that's what the profs at my home institution warned me about). If you diplomatically email the department administrators and ask them to give your materials to that professor who just hasn't answered your feeler-email, your materials may land at the top of that professor's pile of to-do stuff; or maybe the department administrator will inform you that that professor has recently moved to another university and give you the name of someone else you might want to contact from the same department (which happened to me--I waited and waited for a response from someone, then emailed again, still nothing, then finally emailed the dept. administrator who was kind enough to inform me of that prof's move and give me some other leads).

I hope all of this helps. I remember the process well. Keep your head up. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Best,

Zymurgist

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Posted

I'm just in the opening stages of filling out my ETA app. for Armenia! I can't believe that the process has started already, and I'm a little nervous that I'll put off certain aspects of the application too long, but hopefully it will all come together by the end of August!

I have a quick question about language proficiency. I am not Armenian, nor am I Russian, and do not speak either language. How much will this hurt my application? In Armenia's country summary it just says "language proficiency is helpful, but not expected" - does anyone have a less-vague idea of what this means?

Thanks so much - and good luck!

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Posted

I would like to apply for a Fulbright to go the UK and am a bit confused. I need to conduct archival research in the UK for my dissertation. However, it seems for the UK that most of the Fulbright grants are for getting a degree or otherwise studying at a specific university. I am hoping that someone on the list might know if it is possible to get a Fulbright as an independent researcher in the UK. I have a list of individuals and institutions to contact regarding affiliation, but from the Fulbright site the "open" awards and "partnership" awards don't seem geared to independent research. But, I am unsure. Thanks so much for the help!

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Posted (edited)

Sorry if this is in the wrong thread but what about the Fulbright US Scholars program. I've just graduated with a law degree but have no teaching experience. Is it possible to get a grant under this the US Scholars program?

Are statistics published anywhere for applications/accpetance by country for scholars? I can only find competition stats for students.

Edited by theupshot

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