Summer Research Symposium
Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 2 pm
Bicentennial Great Hall

Includes a poster session with refreshments. The entire campus community is invited to attend.

To participate in the symposium presenters must submit an abstract by Thursday, July 23, 2015 by emailing the application to

See go/summer for more information.

This is a frequent question from Fulbright applicants: what should a letter of affiliation say? Here are some guidelines:

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. 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, 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. And review the Fulbright website, both your country-specific information and in the application tips. There is a lot of great advice there!

For those who applied for British scholarship nomination in the spring and are interested in being nominated for the Keasbey Scholarship, information and materials for 2015 are now available at go/keasbey . Questions? Ask .

New changes for Indian and Chinese citizens studying in the US from the Rhodes foundation:

From this application cycle, Indian and Chinese citizens studying in the US may apply for the Indian and Chinese Rhodes Scholarships, respectively.

Rhodes Scholarship for India

Citizens of India, who hold an Indian passport, or equivalent proof of citizenship, who are studying for their undergraduate degree at a US university may apply for one of the Rhodes Scholarships for India. Candidates must have completed, or be due to complete by 1 October 2016, their undergraduate degree (to a standard equivalent to a First class degree in India, ie GPA c3.75 or above).

Candidates must have undertaken formal study at an educational institution in India for a minimum of 4 of the last 10 years, and have completed a school leaving exam (10th or 12th standard) at a school in India. Please note that only one of the five available Scholarships for India (and in exceptional cases, two) may be awarded to candidates who are pursuing, or have pursued, their undergraduate studies abroad.

Candidates must have reached their nineteenth birthday, and not have passed their 25th birthday at 1 October 2016, i.e. must have been born after 30 September 1991 and on or before 1 October 1997.

Applications open: 15 June 2015

Closing date: 31 July 2015

For further details, including full eligibility criteria and how to apply:


Rhodes Scholarship for China

Citizens of the People’s Republic of China who are studying for their undergraduate degree in a US university may apply for a Rhodes Scholarship for China.

Candidates must have completed (or be due to complete by August 2016) their undergraduate degree in China or overseas. If studying overseas, candidates must provide evidence that they have received at least five full years, out of the last 10 years, in full-time education in China.

Candidates must have reached their 19th and not have passed their 25th birthday on 1 October 2016.   This means applicants must have been born after 30 September 1991 and on or before 1 October 1997.

Candidates must have a GPA in the top 5% of his/her class.

In addition, candidates for the China Rhodes Scholarship must provide

  1. TOEFL or IELTS certificate to the standard described on the Oxford website:
  2. A GRE or GMAT certificate.

Applications open: 1 July 2015

Closing date: 25 September 2015

For further details, including full eligibility criteria and how to apply:

Sign up for this summer’s lunch and learn opportunities:

Research Luncheon: Marketing Your Research Skills
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 12 pm
Bicentennial Great Hall

Grab lunch in the great hall (if you signed up) and then move into 216 (STEM) and 220 (arts, humanities and social sciences). Presentations by the Center for Careers and Interships’ (CCI) Mary Lothrop and Tim Mosehauer. Sign up by Sunday 6/28 to reserve lunch.

Research Luncheon: Graduate School Panel
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 12 pm
Hillcrest 103

Join a newer faculty panel discussion on graduate school considerations. Panelists: Adam Dean (Political Science), AJ Vasiliou (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Ananya Christman (Computer Science), and Brandon Baird (Spanish & Portuguese). Sign up by Sunday 7/19 to reserve lunch.

More information can be found at go/summer

If you’re interested in applying for Watson Fellowship nomination in the fall and we haven’t yet talked, now is a great time to connect!  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. You can reach me at and/or 802-443-3183.

For the fall deadlines, I may need to adjust slightly—will have everything set in August, but it won’t vary greatly from what I’ve outlined below. If you haven’t sent me a preliminary Watson application or spoken with me yet about your interest, summer is a great time to do so!

For the nomination process in September, you will need to submit the following:

  • Watson Application Cover Sheet (available by through go/fellowships)
  • A proposal explaining what you want to do, your background/experience, and the source of your interest in the topic. Please consult the Watson Foundation Web site; this statement should be a blend of the Personal Statement and the Project Proposal. Draft proposals must be no more than 5 pages long, double-spaced, double-sided, in 12-point font. (Yes, if nominated, you’ll be reworking this into two separate essays.)
  • Résumé
  • Academic transcript, printed from Banner Web (provide the chronological format, NOT the degree audit format. We do not need an official transcript for this.)

I will hold an info session again in the summer (date TBA) and am looking at a September 17 campus deadline for nomination applications. We will invite a group of applicants to interview with Watson campus committee members; that group will select up to four nominees and one alternate.

Application Process and Timetable:
By June 30: Have read through carefully information on the Watson fellowship site—both at go/fellowships (click on Watson in list) and at .
By July 20: Draft of cover sheet and combined proposal/ personal essay for nomination application (see materials above) to me for feedback. Do also share with other relevant people for feedback.

Early August: Look for online info session–date TBA.
Early September: Talk with those you would want to write letters of recommendation for you, just giving them a heads up. Note: letters are only needed IF you are nominated! But you do want to start the conversation with those you would ask.
By September 15: Have some local contacts in countries in place.
September 17: Submit your application for Watson nomination. And yes, this is right after the start of classes.
Late September/early October: We will hold Watson interviews for a subset of applicants. Dates/times TBD.
Early November: Watson foundation application deadline
For the most part, deadlines above are not absolute, 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 and foundation deadlines really are hard deadlines.

A few important notes about the Watson:

  • Really read through (and think through) the Watson website, especially the eligibility section.  There are lots of good questions for you to ask yourself and your project idea to see if this is a good fit.
  • Your application should really reflect YOU. This is not an academic fellowship. It’s about a deep, abiding personal interest you have and it’s also about you as a deeply curious, independent, courageous person. The Watson foundation is looking for fellows who are independent, imaginative, resourceful, responsible, bold, and self-motivated. Your project is just that—your project and should embody, reflect a passion you have. It does not have to be unique to you but definitely can be. It should grow organically from your life—things that you’ve done, explored, studied, wondered about, are inspired by—and should be personally significant to you. Watson priorities are person first, project second.
  • Selecting countries for visiting: you should be choosing places that are new to you (the stretch factor). You may have been inspired by a period of study abroad or travel in a certain place, but depending on the amount of time you spent there (more than 4-6 weeks typically), you should not include that country/area on your project list. (And often there are ways to adapt a particular interest to a different set of countries/areas). Also, some countries are of such a broad and diverse scale, you may be able to justify a visit to a different part of that country. China or Russia might fall into the latter category. The Netherlands would not.  For some of you, this is an area we may need to discuss further and think about how you might adapt your proposal. And any country on the US state department warning list (NOT travel advisory),  you may not include that country on your list. And as you develop your proposed  travel itinerary, keep in mind, this may be ideal and you should have back up plans. Sometimes things won’t work out, or the money won’t stretch that far—all possible. I don’t expect you have figured out everything with respect to the feasibility of all components for the nomination process, but I do expect you’ve given serious consideration to different ideas and are prepared for some shifts in your plan. The list of countries ultimately may change between application for nomination, application for Watson, Watson interview  and departure, and actual fellowship year. Any country on the US state dept warning list may be listed provisionally in case it changes (and of course, countries may also shift in the other direction too).
  • Contacts abroad may take some time to identify and connect with, so definitely allow for that. What you want from them may differ according to your project, but they should provide a resource and a kind of grounding for you in the community/country/project focus. You may also be contributing to them as well—but make sure that your mission, your project is still your own.
  • When thinking about recommendations—if you are nominated, you will need 2-3. If two, both can be from Middlebury or one from Middlebury and one external. If three, one must be from Middlebury, one external. If you are nominated, I will talk with you further about what is most helpful in these letters for the Watson selection committee.
  • Language ability: you will definitely propose going places where you do not speak the language—and you should. But do think about how you will conduct the work of the project in these spaces. Guides/interpreters may be essential in some cases.
  • In thinking about your blended personal/project statement for the nomination application, you want to describe the following: Your plan for the 12-month fellowship year, including a description of your project and details about how you intend to carry it out. (In addition to focusing on a topic you are passionate about, the project should be personally challenging (yet feasible), independent, and sustainable over 12 months.) Discuss why you chose your topic, how it developed out of previous interests or experiences, and how it represents a new challenge. You may also want to describe your background, your college years, your professional goals and aspirations, and your reasons for seeking a Watson Fellowship.

For those applying for a British Scholarship (Churchill, Gates-Cambridge, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, Keasbey) in the fall, read on for notes to help you structure your work on applications.
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. Contact me at or x3183.

Please note: The schedule below is organized around the competitions requiring nomination by Middlebury–and the nomination interviews already took place in late spring for the Fall 2015 application cycle. The Gates Cambridge is a direct apply fellowship. You do not need to be nominated to apply, but I am glad to talk with you about the process and discuss essays with you. There are other fellowships supporting study in the UK not discussed here, either because you apply directly (without nomination) or there’s a much later nomination deadline (St. Andrews). See list of UK ideas in earlier post, and also look at the Fulbright as another option.

Application Process and Timetable:
By July 1:  A. Confirm the program(s)/universities you propose to apply to and which faculty or program contacts are important for you to connect with. You will want to have conversations (typically done through email, sometimes phone) to discuss your research interests, how they align with faculty in the program, and be certain this is a program that will help you reach your educational objectives (and that you’re a good candidate for it). If you’re planning on pursuing research with a faculty member, you will need to talk with them about your interest and affirm their interest in having you join their lab/project. You will need to note this in your essays.
By July 15: Complete a functional draft research proposal and/or application essays. Share with me and relevant faculty/advisors for feedback. Don’t underestimate how much writing/revision is needed for these. They are short, but challenging. Note the Rhodes policy about feedback on the essay; you are much more restricted for the Rhodes. I am happy to advise you about the policy.
August 15: Turn in a solid, working application draft in PDF form for the fellowships you are seeking nomination for, as outlined in emails I sent to you following the nomination interview. If you are seeking nomination for the Keasbey ONLY, you will need to get a copy of the Keasbey application from the fellowship website; this will be made available within the next two weeks. If you are also applying  for nomination for a Rhodes or Marshall, we will use those application determine our Keasbey nominees. Committee members will review this draft, provide feedback and make final determinations about nomination status where that is still needed.
Early September: You will be notified of final nomination decisions. At this point, you should ask for letters of recommendation if you haven’t already. If you have already been told you are being nominated, you can ask for letters earlier, after you have confirmed the recommendation choices with me.
September through September 30 or /November 11: Work on revising and polishing application and essays. Marshall, Mitchell final deadline is October 1; Rhodes expected to be October 7; Churchill is November 10. Gates Cambridge to be confirmed–last year it was October 15 (Round 1); December 3 (Round 2).
The schedule above is intended to help you organize the different parts of the application. If you are confused about any details, please ask.

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. So be patient if I am slow to respond. I will be away from the office June 12-28 and June 13-20. Contact me at or x3183.

For alumni applicants: if you are not currently enrolled as a graduate student at another institution, you can choose to apply through Middlebury College or At-Large. The primary difference is that if you apply through Middlebury, you will have a campus interview (via Skype or phone) and the campus evaluation will be added to your application. You will also be counted as a Middlebury grantee, which we like! But statistically, Fulbright states that there is not advantage to either method of application.

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 Suggested 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. The country pages are chock full of good information!
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 . 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. This is particularly important for the study/research or digital storytelling grants. 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. ETA applications are a little less complicated, but still require effective essays!
Early August: Look for  info about workshop/info session, date/time TBA. Session will be online and recorded.
By August 30: Have requested letters of recommendations to be submitted before noon on September 24. Request your language evaluation (if needed) now too.
September 9: Send an email to confirming that you intend to apply and request a transcript. We will order this for you (no charge) and send you a pdf to upload to your application by end of day September 22. Because these take time to generate, you need to notify us early about your intent.
September 23 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.
Late September/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 12: All must be done, proofed, in place, etc by end of day for me to send your application to Fulbright on October 13.
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 12 final check—those 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 response time to email than you are used to—so you need to allow 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 go/irb for guidance . 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.
  • Some countries require you to submit your essays in the host country language too–so read the country requirements carefully.
  • Performing/creative arts candidates: You will need to submit your supplemental materials by the Sept. 23 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-though the schedule is tighter this year because of the late semester start date, so be in touch with the relevant faculty member well in advance. 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 .

From Middlebury Communications:

College Names Kellogg Fellows in Humanities

May 13, 2015

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury College has announced the selection of eight students for a new undergraduate fellowship program designed to support seniors engaged in research in the humanities.
see story

In case you were missed the recent info session about the new Schwarzman Scholarship, here’s the video of the presentation! This is a new masters degree and leadership program, open to seniors and young alumni. See  for more information and to apply.

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