This is a frequent question from Fulbright applicants: how do I find an affiliation? What should a letter of affiliation say? Here are some guidelines:

Finding an affiliation:

1. Review the country-specific information about affiliations. A majority of Fulbrighters will affiliate with universities, although in some countries it is possible to affiliate with other types of organizations, such as research institutes or government ministries. Make sure your proposed affiliation is acceptable for your country and appropriate for your project.

2. Talk with faculty here or at schools abroad about ideas for potential affiliations. They may know people who could be helpful and be willing to facilitate a connection.

3. Review the list of Fulbright scholars at http://www.cies.org/ . This is a list of academics who are/have recently spent time at institutions in the US. Both the scholar and the US host may be helpful in identifying potentially good affiliation contacts in country.

4. Organizations you have worked with (in country and in US) may also have connections. Inquire!

What the letter should say:

1. The letter should come from the institution/individual in the host country with whom you are proposing to work. It should be written in or translated to English (and you can translate it yourself), printed on official letterhead and signed by the author. Email correspondence is not acceptable, but you can receive a letter as a scanned document to upload to your application.

2. The letter should confirm that you will be able to affiliate with this organization and describe ways in which they provide resources or assistance to you for your project. This may include the ability to audit courses, access archives, labs or libraries, participate in research conversations, or be part of a research group–really anything that will support your project. If organizations/individuals have not had experiences with Fulbright grantees in the past, you may need to advise them about what to include.

3. Make sure the affiliate understands your project and it’s great if they can speak positively in support of your project and the importance of this work.

How to ask for a letter of affiliation:

  1. In most cases, this is done via email. Write a brief email introducing yourself, that you’re applying for a Fulbright grant, your project, ask whether they would be willing to let you affiliate with them and explain what you hope they may be able to provide. If this is person has not worked with Fulbright before, you should explain that the affiliate host does not provide any financial support to you, but may provide some of the things identified in the previous section (#2).
  2. Yes, it is fine to send out a few requests at once. Some people may be slower to respond than others. Some may not agree to help you.

Give yourself ample time for this process. August is generally a difficult month to get responses from academic institutions in particular. And review the Fulbright website, both your country-specific information and in the application tips. There is a lot of great advice there! Fulbright also has a webinar coming up on July 26 talking about letters of affiliation and research/study grant proposals. See http://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/information-sessions .