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Fulbright 2012-2013


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#21 Bkid-Sapps

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 03:03 AM

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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#22 Espanya2013

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:50 PM

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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#23 Miss K

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 02:59 AM

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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#24 eberry

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:12 PM

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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#25 theupshot

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:12 PM

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, 10 June 2011 - 01:14 PM.

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#26 grandstreet

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:33 PM

I'm not too familiar with the program, but I was under the impression it was for university faculty.

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.


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#27 grandstreet

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:35 PM

Good luck to everyone starting out their applications. ETA Argentina applicant here. Does anyone know when Competition Stats will be updated? I think the ones up there now are the same stats that have been up for months.
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#28 oa0176

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:31 PM

I am applying for an ETA in Turkey... I'm so glad this thread is here, and I'm really excited!
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#29 locura

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 11:38 AM

ETA applicants- I'm curious to know what you are proposing to do with your time outside of the teaching assistantship. I don't need specifics just wanted to see what everyone was thinking!
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#30 baku2012

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:21 PM

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!


Hey there! I'm applying to the ETA for Azerbaijan, which appears to have the same requirements as Armenia (I was also considering Armenia, but changed my mind at the last minute). I am not Azeri or Russian either, but I did take a year of Russian. However, both countries seem to want to distance themselves from Russia and are trying very hard to replace Russian with English. I read that, at least in Azerbaijan, locals would much rather speak Azeri than Russian. In other words, while Russian may be somewhat useful as you try to adapt once you're there, I don't know how much it should affect your application. At least that's my opinion. Good luck!
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#31 ktel

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 11:22 PM

I feel silly that I have never heard of this award before. That being said I didn't even look into attending grad school in the states or outside of Canada. I will definitely keep this in mind should I decide to pursue a PhD.
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#32 archer

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 02:41 AM

Hello brave Fulbright applicants!

I am planning on applying for a full grant/MA History program in Turkey, but I'm confused/unclear on an issue and hoped I could get some input.

What if I want to enter a two-year MA program? I know I wouldn't be funded for both years, but the implication on the Fulbright website seems to be that they are only interested in students entering one year programs. Would a two-year program disqualify me/make me less competitive? Should I make it clear that I don't expect to be funded for the full program?

Also, any other Turkey hopefuls?
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#33 strgrl522

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:33 PM

Hey all!

I'm applying for a Full grant to Spain. I had started the process last year, but decided to put it on the back burner due to a job offer. I'm contemplating whether to apply through my alma mater and work with the FPA there, or just apply At Large. It seems that at-large applicants are exempt from interviewing with a university committee, which is tempting.

Is anyone else applying a year out of undergrad? I know letters of rec should be coming from faculty, but am curious as to whether recs from work would be accepted for people who are out of schooling.

Best of luck to everyone!
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#34 strgrl522

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:40 PM

Hey Bkid-Sapps, awesome that you've already connected with some potential affiliations! Getting responses is often a difficult aspect of the application, and I'm steeling myself to potentially not hearing back! I'm sure the faculty will be impressed that you're pursuing a Fulbright. I agree with the poster who mentioned that having a relatively solid outline of your project to share if requested would make for a strong, focused first impression. Good luck!!

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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#35 Espanya2013

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:27 PM

Hey all!

I'm applying for a Full grant to Spain. I had started the process last year, but decided to put it on the back burner due to a job offer. I'm contemplating whether to apply through my alma mater and work with the FPA there, or just apply At Large. It seems that at-large applicants are exempt from interviewing with a university committee, which is tempting.

Is anyone else applying a year out of undergrad? I know letters of rec should be coming from faculty, but am curious as to whether recs from work would be accepted for people who are out of schooling.

Best of luck to everyone!


Hey,

I was in the same dilemma before I began my application process... I think it may depend on your FPA's philosophy on how it prepares students. My school's office strongly suggested that I not apply at-large, and instead work with them since they have more insights into the kinds of questions Fulbright committees look for.

This, I think is helpful, especially if you are so into your project that it becomes hard to see what people who aren't knowledgeable of your field would be confused about.

On the other hand, it can feel like they give you rigamarole... sometimes their comments are not particularly useful. Sometimes it may feel like they are gearing your application towards what they would be interested in researching or what they think Fulbright would consider a winner... so be prepared to stand your ground while still taking in their comments.

Also, be prepared for lots of drafts... which isn't necessarily a negative thing.
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#36 Kimberly

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 05:59 AM

Hi Everyone!
This is my first post on grad cafe. I am considering applying for a Fulbright Full Grant to France for 2012-13. I will be getting a Masters degree this coming year in London and was wondering if that would be a problem in trying to secure a place in France, since I will have already been in Europe for a year. I will also be spending 2 months in France this summer. I have a strong research proposal, but am not sure if I would be at disadvantage having spent the year abroad during my application. If anyone has any insights or experience in regards to this I would be much appreciative!
Thanks in advance and good luck to all!
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#37 StephanieM

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:29 AM

It'll be another year or so till I apply, but, can the Fulbright cover an entire degree (say an MA) abroad? I'm not clear whether it's for a year or research or just the entire degree.
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#38 strgrl522

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:16 AM

It'll be another year or so till I apply, but, can the Fulbright cover an entire degree (say an MA) abroad? I'm not clear whether it's for a year or research or just the entire degree.


From my understanding, it depends upon the country.

From http://us.fulbrighto...dyresearch.html :

ADVANCED DEGREES ABROAD:
Candidates considering earning a graduate degree abroad should:

  • Make sure that the country to which you are applying will accept such a project. Some countries do not recommend that applicants apply to do a degree program. For example, it is often not possible to complete a degree in one academic year and questions about the feasibility for completion of the degree could affect the selection decision. In addition, the tuition fees that a degree candidate would be charged would not be covered by the Fulbright grant, unless specifically stated in the country summary. Candidates should confirm their ability to cover these fees, if they are not provided by the Fulbright grant.
  • Make sure that you apply for admission to the host university by their deadline. Do not wait for the Fulbright decision or you may be too late to gain admission to your preferred university.
  • If possible, include a letter of admission with the application. Although, it is not required at the time of the Fulbright application, in all cases having this support will strengthen your case. You can submit the acceptance letter whenever you receive it. But if your proposal is based on admission to a university or graduate program, a Fulbright award offer would be contingent upon your receiving placement at a university.

Applicants should review the country summaries to determine if there are any restrictions to applying to complete a degree program.


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#39 strgrl522

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:20 AM

Hi Everyone!
This is my first post on grad cafe. I am considering applying for a Fulbright Full Grant to France for 2012-13. I will be getting a Masters degree this coming year in London and was wondering if that would be a problem in trying to secure a place in France, since I will have already been in Europe for a year. I will also be spending 2 months in France this summer. I have a strong research proposal, but am not sure if I would be at disadvantage having spent the year abroad during my application. If anyone has any insights or experience in regards to this I would be much appreciative!
Thanks in advance and good luck to all!


Is there an FPA you can contact (perhaps at your undergrad institution)? I recall discussing this last year when I was considering applying... I don't believe having a long term experience (i.e. Master's) "hurts" an application as long as it's time spent in a country other than the one you're applying to. They wouldn't want someone who spent 12 years in Germany applying to Germany. I'm not sure about the 2 months in France timeline... I think the cutoff was 6 months, but don't quote me on that. I would contact an FPA or poke around the Fulbright website FAQ, etc. I believe the issue may be addressed on there...
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#40 strgrl522

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:22 AM

Hey,

I was in the same dilemma before I began my application process... I think it may depend on your FPA's philosophy on how it prepares students. My school's office strongly suggested that I not apply at-large, and instead work with them since they have more insights into the kinds of questions Fulbright committees look for.

This, I think is helpful, especially if you are so into your project that it becomes hard to see what people who aren't knowledgeable of your field would be confused about.

On the other hand, it can feel like they give you rigamarole... sometimes their comments are not particularly useful. Sometimes it may feel like they are gearing your application towards what they would be interested in researching or what they think Fulbright would consider a winner... so be prepared to stand your ground while still taking in their comments.

Also, be prepared for lots of drafts... which isn't necessarily a negative thing.


Thanks, Espanya2013! I think you and I have had similar experiences. I'll have to stay strong/committed to what is important to me about my app, but I think having my FPA's input would be more beneficial than not in the long run.
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