It’s officially August (gasp!) and this is usually that time when I get a lot of questions from students and alumni wanting to apply for a Watson or Fulbright and they’re just thinking about that now. It’s also the time of year when I try to take a wee bit of vacations, since summer is lovely and the fall fellowships season is coming. So below is an effort to answer some common questions. So read on–and read carefully! It is long.

Is Dean Gates around? How do I talk with her? I have limited appointments open on Aug 7, 8 and 14 right now–you can schedule these at go/appt . You can also email me. However, I will be out of the office or busy reading application and essay drafts during the latter half of August so far less available during that time. Appointment hours for Sept. will be posted later in August. So a word to the wise: now is a really good time to reach out!

I missed the preliminary deadline for Watson or Fulbright. Can I still apply? Yes, you can! The only HARD deadlines coming up are Middlebury’s internal deadline: Tuesday 9/10 at noon for Watson, Wednesday 9/11 at noon for Fulbright.

I’m just thinking about a Watson or Fulbright right now. How do I get started? Review the information and directions at go/fulbright or go/watson and send in the preliminary application! Some application types may be more or less feasible at this point in time, so it’s important you get some feedback.

I’m an alum and interested in the Fulbright. Can I still apply through Middlebury? Yes! You will need to adhere to our internal deadline and have a brief interview with our campus committee via Skype or phone if you’re not on campus.

I want to apply for the Watson. How do I access the Watson online application? If you are not yet registered for the Watson online application, contact We will register you, but check your junk/spam/clutter for the link. Read the instructions at go/watson carefully regarding which application sections to complete.

Where do I find info about the Watson internal application process? Instructions for nomination materials and submission are online at go/watson . Please review the following documents carefully:

Middlebury’s Watson Applicant Timeline and Checklist

Middlebury’s Watson Application Guidance

Fulbright Applicant FAQs

What is this August 15 “Intend to Apply” deadline, what do I send you, and what happens if I miss it? This deadline tells us who is planning to apply in this cycle. It is not a hard deadline and you can still apply if you miss it and you can decide in September that you don’t want to proceed–just tell us. But we have this deadline because it gives us a sense of the number of applicants and most importantly, TIME to send you feedback on your drafts before the internal deadline.

What to send on 8/15: Send a copy of your Fulbright application as a pdf AND a word doc with the Statement of Grant Purpose (SGP) and Personal Statement (PS) in an email to We do not need recommendations or letters of affiliation at this point (but the latter is fine if you have it!). Label the subject field: Fulbright Application Draft [your name]. Title the word docs with your last name, SGP or PS (depending on whether you’re giving us one or both) and the date. If you have not conferred with Dean Gates about recommenders already, provide names of your intended recommenders, language evaluators (if relevant), and status of affiliation (if relevant). To generate the PDF of the Fulbright application, go to the review section of the application and you’ll see a link to generate a pdf. Be sure to label each file with your last name. This is really important, as we get a lot of files on this date.

Note: We do not expect a polished application at this point. Recommendations, transcripts, affiliation letters, etc. are not needed at this time (but if you have an affiliation lined up, include a copy of that). We will review your materials, send comments as needed, and you can continue working on your application. We will order transcripts (no charge) for those who send us draft application materials by August 15.

If you do not send in your materials by Aug 15, yes, you can still apply! We may be less able to provide substantive comments on your essays depending on when you send in your materials to review. You will also need to order your own transcript. If you discontinue your application after this point, that is also fine, just let us know as soon as you determine that. See for complete application instructions, guidance documents and the Middlebury Fulbright Applicant Checklist. Read all this info carefully.

Is September 11 at noon (Wed) a hard deadline for my Fulbright application? What if I’m missing some recommendations or a letter of affiliation? Yes, this is a hard deadline. No applications will be accepted after this date. If you have a letter (recommendation, affiliation) that is late in arriving, just be in touch with us. You still need to submit the application by the deadline and we can add the missing materials when they arrive (to a point of course!). As always, if you have questions, talk with us.

Are you expecting a polished and complete Fulbright application on Sept 11 at noon? Yes. But see note above about missing letters–it does happen sometimes. But everything in your control should be done and finalized at this point. Essays must be polished with no grammatical or spelling errors. Revisions after this date only happen when the campus committee review process notes issues that require your attention. Note: by submitting the application, you are sending it to the Fellowships office at this point, not to Fulbright. After your committee evaluation is added, we submit to Fulbright in October.

Do you have any helpful information in preparing the application? I’m so glad you asked–we do! Please review the following documents carefully:

Middlebury’s Fulbright Applicant Timeline and Checklist

Fulbright Application Guidance

Fulbright Essay Guidance

A few important notes:

Transcripts: Fulbright will accept unofficial transcripts as well as official ones at this stage.  If you meet the Aug 15 “intent to apply” deadline, we will send you a Middlebury transcript to upload. If you miss that and upload an unofficial transcript, make sure that it is concisely organized, in chronological order, and contains the necessary elements on an official transcript (courses, grades by semester, overall GPA, major, etc.). If you are a transfer student or have grades from other schools you would like represented, you will need to obtain a transcript from those previous institutions and upload.

Affiliation letters (study/research grants): The affiliation letter is 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. If an English translation is provided, both the original letter and the translation should be uploaded. Letters should include the author’s position title, indicate the author’s willingness to work with you on the intended project, should speak to the feasibility and validity and merits of what is being proposed. The letter should also indicate any additional resources or contacts that the adviser can provide to support the work. Letters will vary, but the strongest letters will address these points noted.

Recommendations and language evaluations: It’s courteous to give at least three weeks notice for these. You can certainly schedule the language evaluation to take place when you return to campus, but the evaluation needs to be submitted by our internal deadline. If recommenders have difficulty meeting the internal deadline, please contact us to discuss. You want to choose recommenders who know you and are best suited to comment on your proposed research or ETA grant application.

Fulbright has a great Application Tips section on the website and make sure to follow any special instructions on the specific country page.

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

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