For those in the nomination process for the Marshall, the online application is now available here: . In my emails to you, I specified which district you should register through–if you don’t have that info or have questions, let me know. We do try to spread potential nominees across different districts as much as possible.

Also, read carefully this information about recommenders:Applicants must now identify the type of recommender.  They must identify a preferred recommender – this recommender should have supervised their college or university training.  They should also identify one recommender who can address the applicant’s leadership and ambassadorial potential, and this need not be provided by an academic, the applicant should choose the leadership option for this letter.  Candidates should only have one preferred and one leadership recommendation.”

You do not need to solicit letters of recommendation until you know that you have been nominated. For those working on applications for nomination review in August,  do not add email addresses for your recommenders at this time. If the system makes this difficult, you can simply send me your choices (noting which is the preferred recommender and which will speak to leadership/ambassadorial potential) via email by Aug 10.

For those who have been nominated already, please discuss your choices with me before requesting letters of recommendation. Finally, please note that I have set a deadline of 9/24/17 for receipt of letters of recommendation (this is so we have access to your letters for the endorsement process).

Please note this changed internal deadline for Fulbright applications! The websites and summer Fulbright notes reflect this updated deadline.

If you’re interested in applying for Watson Fellowship nomination in September and we haven’t yet talked or emailed, June is a great time to connect!  I am in and out of the office during the summer, so my ability to respond to you may be faster or slower depending on when you contact me. See go/fellowships for how to best reach me during the summer.  Remember, you are only eligible for this fellowship as a senior/super-senior. All citizenship types are eligible and there is no GPA minimum. What matters is you, your passion and your project.

Middlebury can nominate four students for the Watson. To be considered for nomination, you must submit the following  by Tuesday, Sept. 12 at noon. No exceptions! Please read the instructions below carefully. (This is a new process, so there may be updates noted during the summer.)

  1.  To apply for nomination, email a pdf of the online Watson application (specifications noted below) to with the subject line “Watson nomination application” by Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at noon.  Please also complete the online Fellowships Permissions and Waiver form by this deadline. No late applications will be accepted.
  2. To access the Watson application for nomination consideration, please follow these instructions and complete to these specifications:
    1.  Contact with your full name and Middlebury email information and request access to the application. If you submitted a preliminary application on April 15, we will register you with the Watson application system. No further action is needed on your part. We expect the application to open in early June, so will register students after that happens. Update: the application is now open and students registered. If you have not been registered and want to be, please contact .
    2. Complete the application with the following exceptions:
      1.  do not add email addresses for your recommenders. We only want their names at this point. No recommendations are needed for nomination.
      2. compose an abbreviated personal statement and abbreviated project statement– no more than about 800 words for each section. If nominated, you will rewrite and expand these. You will not be enhancing your nomination chances if you exceed this limit.
      3. Include an unofficial academic transcript, printed from Banner Web (provide the chronological format, NOT the degree audit format. We do not need an official transcript for this. The advising transcript works well.)
  • We will invite a group of applicants to interview with Watson campus committee members later in September to choose our 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 (recommended): Work on personal statement and project proposal drafts and send to me for feedback. Also share with other relevant people for feedback. Develop your list of in-country contacts relevant for your project and reach out to those contacts. We don’t expect everything to be solidified by Sept. 12 but being knowledgeable about contacts and having some contacts in place helps us understand the feasibility of your proposal. I will provide feedback on drafts after this date, however, I am out of the office during part of August and as we get closer to September, the application draft volume increases–hence the recommendation to get some feedback earlier!
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 12 noon: Email your nomination materials to See specifications above.  And yes, this is right after the start of classes. And yes, this is a hard deadline.
Late September: We will hold Watson interviews for a subset of applicants. Dates/times TBD.
Early November: Watson foundation application deadline–also a hard deadline.

Summer dates above are guidelines 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. The campus nomination and foundation deadlines are hard deadlines. No exceptions.

A few important notes about the Watson:

  • 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. It does not matter if this project is similar to something someone else did; what matters is that it’s the right project for you.
  • Selecting countries: 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 3 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. Any country on the US state department travel warning list or the US treasury department embargo list may not be included. We don’t expect you have figured out everything with respect to the feasibility of all components for the nomination process, but we 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.
  • Recommendations—if you are nominated, you will need 2-3. No recommendations needed for nomination. If two, both can be from Middlebury or one from Middlebury and one external. If three, one must be from Middlebury, one external.
  • 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 personal statement and project proposal, 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 thinking about applying for a Fulbright grant in the fall, here are some notes and suggestions to get you started. Please read carefully!
If you haven’t yet sent me a preliminary application, we should talk! I am in and out this summer—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. My appointment (phone, Skype or in person) availability will be online at go/fellowships by June 6. You can also reach me at or x3183. And yes, even if you haven’t contacted me yet, you can still apply for a Fulbright this fall! Just make sure you adhere to the August/September deadlines below.

Appointment or application questions: Email us at .

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 adhere to our internal deadline and will have a campus interview (via Skype or phone). 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.

Fulbright webinars and tutorials: are ongoing this summer. Check out and  (click on webinars to see schedule).

Fulbright online application: Start your online application through this section .

Internal deadlines: August 15–intend to apply deadline (see below); Sept 13 at noon–internal deadline. See details 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 project idea for your application and review the Application Tips section. The country pages are full of good information as well as the application tips!  Make sure you understand all the application components. Also check out the Fulbright webinars and videos for applicants here –these can be helpful. If you need an affiliation for your application (likely for study/research grants), you should be reaching out to appropriate organizations and individuals about this now. Depending on the country, this can be a slow process, so you do not want to leave this until later. Your faculty advisors may have helpful suggestions about academic contacts in country. You may also find the Fulbright scholar directory helpful . This is a list of academics from other countries who have had grants to the US, so they are very knowledgeable about this program.
By July 1: Create an account for the Fulbright U.S. Student Application 2016-2017 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.
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.
By August 15: Have requested letters of recommendations to be submitted before noon on September 13. Request your language evaluation (if needed) now too.
August 15 “Intend to Apply” Deadline: You must send me a copy of your Fulbright application materials (pdf or .doc for essays) in its current state in Embark for me to review.  I realize this will not be a polished application.  Recommendations, transcripts, affiliation letters, etc. not needed at this time (but if you have an affiliation lined up, include a copy of that).  I will review your materials, send comments as needed, and you can continue working on your application. We will order Middlebury transcripts (no charge) for those who have an active application in the Fulbright Embark online system only. If you do not send me your materials by this date, we will not order you a transcript and you will need to take care of this yourself. I also may be less able to provide you with substantive comments on your essays. If you are a transfer student,  you will need to obtain a transcript from your previous institution. We will send pdf copies of the Middlebury transcript to you in time to upload for the Middlebury internal deadline below. If you discontinue your application after this point, that is ok–just let me know.
September 13 at noon (Wed): Submit your complete and polished Fulbright application in the Embark online system. All components of your application should be done at this point. 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. If you have late recommendations or problems with an affiliation letter, please still submit and be in touch with fellowships about the issue.
Late September: 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 4: All must be done, proofed, in place, etc by end of day for me to send your application to Fulbright on October 6.
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 and campus interview are hard deadlines.

A few important notes:

  • Faculty and contacts abroad may be less available when the 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 of affiliation should be on university/organization letterhead, written in English and signed by recommender. If written in another language, you can provide the English translation yourself and upload  the translation with the signed letter. You may also have more than one affiliation if that is relevant for your project.
  • When asking for letters of recommendation: for Middlebury faculty/staff, ask at least 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 recommendations using a short answer form.  The questions 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. You can find a copy of the sample form and instructions to the recommenders here: 
  • Some research proposals will require IRB approval. What’s that? Why might you need it? Look at go/irb for guidance . 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 (if 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 recommendations 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. 13 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 many cases, you will be able to take care of this in September with a Middlebury faculty member-though the schedule is very tight this year because of the semester start date and the internal deadline, 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 and you can contact Middlebury faculty members as well. If using the same person for a foreign language evaluation AND a recommendation, you must provide two different email addresses for them in the system.
  • Critical Language Enhancement Award Statement is 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  .

Middlebury Communications Story
April 26, 2017

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The classrooms and corridors of McCardell Bicentennial Hall were packed with students, faculty, and staff, and the Great Hall was teeming with intellectual activity all-day long for Middlebury’s 11th annual Spring Student Symposium on April 21, 2017.

An estimated 285 students shared their work via oral presentations, poster sessions, and art exhibitions on the one day of the year when no classes are conducted so all members of the college community, particularly Middlebury’s 2,500 undergraduates, can share in the high caliber of research and creative work accomplished by students. See full communications story with photos and a 360 video!

Coumba Winfield ’17 describes her research project creating a computer game to teach about cell organelles.

« go backkeep looking »