Here are your instructions:

Submit the following as a SINGLE pdf to

  • A good working draft of the relevant application (Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes)–you can save or print to pdf. Note: NO LETTERS OF REFERENCE AT THIS POINT. However, we do need to know who you intend to ask for letters. If entering that data automatically triggers an email request to the recommender, you can simply add a page listing the names of people you intend to ask to write on your behalf.
  • A degree progress report. You do not need to submit an official transcript at this stage.
  • A current resume

Your materials are due by 5pm on Monday, September 2. Once I know who is applying, I will send you information about signing up for an interview with the British Scholarship Committee, to take place the week of September 8th (but not on the first day of classes–I assure you!).

Any questions or difficulties or if I’ve overlooked anything, let us know at or by phone 802-443-3026. Please note: Colleen and I will both be out of the office from August 20-26.

If you are applying for the Gates-Cambridge, you do not need to apply for nomination. I am happy to talk with you about your application, provide feedback on essays etc, but you apply directly to that scholarship–see instructions on the Gates-Cambridge website.

From the NSF:

The 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Solicitation has been published. All prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to review the 2015 Solicitation for important information about eligibility and supported fields of study, application preparation and submission instructions, and the merit review criteria.

The 2015 NSF GRFP application is expected to open in early August.

Program Update from Fulbright: The Turkish Fulbright Commission is pleased to announce two awards in honor of the Commission’s 65th anniversary. These two Fulbright awards – one at the Master’s level, one at the Ph.D. – are open to students who wish to pursue a degree program at a Turkish university. More information on the awards is available here.

The first group of grant recipients were recently announced: . For those of you thinking about the Nat Geo Fulbright, in addition to the very helpful info and instructions on the Fulbright website, make sure you address the following in your project proposal:

  • Feasibility of your project in each country proposed.  How will this work in each country? Why is each country setting an important part of your proposal?
  • Who stands to benefit from your project and how? Think about the communities you’d be living/working with as well as US audiences
  • What is your language proficiency? How does lack of proficiency impact your project? How would you address that?

Reviewers will be looking for the demonstrated feasibility of your project in each setting, your demonstrated skills in digital storytelling, your connection to the topic and your genuine interest in exploring a topic (rather than approaching with a particular agenda or view).  The application tips are enormously helpful–read carefully!

Also, like any multi-country proposals, your proposal must be approved by each country you propose to visit. If you select three countries and one does not approve the project, your application will not be successful. So message is to choose what makes most sense for your project!

If you’re thinking about an ETA in France, you should apply to BOTH the the Fulbright ETA and the French government Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).  The Fulbright awards 6 ETAs to France; the general French Government TAPIF offers an additional 1,100 positions.

To apply for both, you will need to make two separate applications, one for the Fulbright and another for the TAPIF.

For further information on the French Government Teaching Assistant Program in France, please consult the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. website: .  Note: you must be a native English speaker and US citizen or permanent resident to apply.

Sadly, could not stay for the whole tour. Here’s a list of the universities I missed–all excellent and worthy of looking at:

University of Surrey

University of Southampton

University of Birmingham

University of Nottingham

University of East Anglia

University of Cambridge 

Sorry not be to be able to offer first-had impressions!

Day 5, traveled to Wales to visit Cardiff University. Like Ireland, the country is bilingual, and signs everywhere are written in both Welsh and English. I have always considered myself  pretty good with languages. However, we did have a Welsh lesson, and I can say with certainty, this is one language that I would have great difficulty with. Yes, it uses the Roman alphabet, but has far fewer vowels, new consonant arrangements are vexing (my rolled “R” in Spanish is brilliant in comparison to the Welch “ll”), and there don’t seem to be entirely predictable rules. Here’s the longest word:

But lucky for me, English is everywhere, just like in Ireland. Particular university strengths in Cardiff include Welsh studies (obviously!), performing arts (music, drama). You can find more about research agendas at Cardiff here. And for Dr. Who and Sherlock fans, those shows are filmed in Cardiff.

Continuing the theme of historic things, among the delightful historical objects at the University of Bristol was the first-known portrait with a cricket paddle (18c) and the DNA model used by Watson and Crick (on view in an undergraduate lab room).  Bristol is a comprehensive university in a medium-sized city. With aerospace technology nearby, there’s strength in the sciences, but also a commitment to humanities inquiry, particularly in the interplay with sciences. Had very interesting talks from faculty: Dr. James Ladyman on philosophy of science;  Dr. Mark Horton from archeology (who has been exploring early colonial settlements along Cape Hatteras with the Croatoan Archeological Society); and Dr. Gareth Williams, who has recently authored a book about the history of the polio vaccine–and he himself was one of the early experimental subjects for Dr. Hilary Koprowski’s oral polio vaccine. You can find more information about graduate study at Bristol here. Also a place keen to attract more international students.

Day 3. I always find it fascinating to walk around old cities. Living in the US, anything of the eighteenth-century vintage is noteworthy, but looking at a twelfth-century building? That is really something. And that history is part of the delight of Oxford.

and then there are all those famous Oxonians: Erasmus, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Locke, Adam Smith, William Penn, Robert Harvey, Oscar Wilde, Cecil Rhodes, Benazir Bhutto,  Elena Kagan, J. R. R. Tolkien to list a few. No doubt about it, there’s lots to recommend Oxford. I spent the day at the Rhodes House, talking with current Rhodes scholars, and then the afternoon in the Blavatnik School of Government , talking with faculty from economics, physics and history. Ended the day with a lovely meal at the Turl Street Kitchen, where the menu was largely organized around locally-sourced foods. Very much like home. So, if you’re interested in Oxford, research the programs of interest, talk with faculty and if you can, with current students. I spoke with students who were delighted with their experience, and others who did not feel it was the right fit. The 2008 RAE ratings are also helpful when evaluating specific departments and programs. I would also refer prospective students to the information about graduate study funding for international students; you need to apply by their January deadline to be considered for university or departmental funding (and this is entirely separate from Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships).

Day 2–a short drive out of London to Royal Holloway, also part of the University of London system, although not located in London. The most immediately arresting feature of the campus is  this building:


In a word, Hogwarts. But really, the Founder’s Building above was inspired by the Vassar campus–and Royal Holloway was initially established as a women’s college (at the suggestion of founder Thomas Holloway’s wife, Jane). University is highly ranked and most popular graduate degree programs are English, History, Media Arts. Distinctive courses: Holocaust Studies, Public History, and Crusader Studies. And yes, weather on this day really was as glorious as it looks in the photo!

Then, slowed by traffic for the Royal Ascot (horse race; I had to inquire), on to the University of Reading. Located in the Thames Valley (Britain’s Silicon Valley), it’s about a 3o minute ride to Paddington Station. Ten departments are ranked in the top ten; major focal areas include climate change, food security, health, and sustainable environments. You can read more about the 2008 RAE evaluation here. Definitely some noteworthy departments, including philosophy and archeology.

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