For those thinking about applying for a Fulbright grant in the fall, here are some notes and suggestions to get you started:
If you haven’t yet sent me a preliminary application, we should talk! I am around for much of the summer, but will be traveling too—so my ability to respond to you may be faster or slower depending on when you contact me. In general, I will be generally unavailable during the following times:
June 14-July 2; July 13-18; August 2-5; and August 18-26. So plan accordingly, be patient and maybe a little bit of both. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or x3183.
Fall deadlines: I may need to adjust slightly—will know more in August, but it won’t vary greatly from what I’ve outlined below.
Application Process and Timetable:
By June 15: Have read through carefully the Applicants section of the Fulbright website, any/all country pages you are considering and have identified the place, grant type and rough project idea for your application.
By July 1: Create an account for the Fulbright U.S. Student Application 2015-2016 online. Link available through the “Applicant” section of the Fulbright website http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about . You may begin filling out the application, but DO NOT submit names of recommenders until you have talked with me about who you plan to select. Why? Because when you enter recommender names into the Embark system, an email link is sent to them, allowing them to upload a confidential letter. If you change your mind about who you want, that can create awkward situations! Also note that you will be applying through Middlebury College (you’ll see Prof. Jeff Cason’s or my name).
By July 15: Draft research proposal and/or application essays. Send to me and (as possible) share with relevant faculty/advisors for feedback. Relevant faculty/advisors are people who know something about the academic project and/or geographic area.
By August 30: Have arranged for letters of recommendations to be submitted by September 27.
Early September: Look for on-campus workshop/info session, date/time TBA.
By September 15: Have secured a letter of affiliation and made arrangements to have language evaluation (if needed) completed by September 26.
By September 24: Have picked up your transcript from my office to upload into your application. My office will order transcripts on your behalf (no charge!) based on active applicants earlier in September.
By September 26 at noon: Have submitted all components of your application. Essays must be polished with no grammatical or spelling errors. There will be very limited opportunities for revision after this date, generally in cases where there are observations made during the campus interview process that need attention.
Early October: You will sign up for a brief interview about your application. This interview is required for us to evaluate your strength as a candidate and we share that evaluation with Fulbright.
October 13: All must be done, proofed, in place, etc by end of day for me to send your application to Fulbright on October 14.
Most of these deadlines above are not absolutes, but guidelines intended to help you organize the different parts of the application and get everything done so that you are ready to go by the September deadline. Note: the campus submission deadline, that campus interview, and that October 13 final check—those really are hard deadlines.
A few important notes:
- Faculty and contacts abroad may be less available when semester is not in session. Contacts abroad may also have a different definition of responsiveness to email, depending on culture—so you need to give yourself several weeks in many cases to secure your letters of affiliation and/or research proposal feedback. Letters should be on university/organization letterhead and signed by recommender.
- When asking for letters of recommendation: for Middlebury faculty/staff, ask 3-4 weeks in advance of the deadline. For recommenders from elsewhere, depending on where, you may need to allow even more time. When asking for a letter, share your current draft of a research proposal or ETA statement of purpose and a current resume. Also share the recommender guidelines from Fulbright. You want your letters to address the selection criteria Fulbright is evaluating you on!
- For you ETA folks, you will need 3 letters of recommendation too. However, Fulbright requires them to fill out a form with short answers to questions that focus on ways in which you express yourself in English; whether you have any demonstrated experience with teaching/mentoring; how well you work in unstructured situations; and anything else that would have bearing on your ability to work successfully in the ETA position.
- Some research proposals will require IRB approval. What’s that? Why might you need it? Look at their website at go/irb . Good news—you DO NOT need IRB approval to submit the Fulbright application in September. But if you’re selected as a finalist in January, we have you go through the approval process (as needed) so that when you do receive the grant, you will have a safe and vetted research proposal and methodology ready to go. Point being—be aware that your research proposal may fall into this category and know that conversation about this may come up during the campus interview in October.
- All letters of affiliation and recommendation must be in English. If your letter is written in another language, there must be a translation provided in addition to the original. For letters of affiliation, you can provide that translation, since this is not confidential and you upload that letter. For letters of recommendation, your recommender must obtain that translation (and not from you!) and upload both documents him/herself.
- Performing/creative arts candidates: You will need to submit your supplemental materials by the Sept. 26 deadline as well.
- Transcripts: if you transferred to Middlebury or have courses from other schools that are relevant, you are responsible for obtaining and uploading these transcripts.
- Foreign language evaluation form: required for non-English speaking countries. Some exceptions for ETA grants—but read the country/grant information carefully. In most cases, you will be able to take care of this in September with a Middlebury faculty member. If you’re an alumnus or seeking evaluation in a language not taught at Middlebury, you would need to find an appropriate professional language teacher to complete the form.
- Critical Language Enhancement Supplement required ONLY if you’re applying for one! The Critical Language Scholarship grants may also be a good source of additional language support prior to the Fulbright grant beginning— see http://www.clscholarship.org/ .