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Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Tips

9 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for the Next Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Competition

Written by The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)

It’s never too early to start thinking about applying to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Each year, the competition launches in February and accepts applications until September 16. There are over 470 unique awards available that offer 800 scholars and professionals the opportunity to teach and research in 143 different countries. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others.

Below we offer some tips that will help you prepare for the upcoming competition.

  • Sign up with MyFulbright to register your interest and receive important notifications about the program.
  • Learn about the program by watching an archived webinar.
  • Consider whether you’d like to teach, conduct research, or pursue a combination of teaching and research during your grant. This will help you narrow down the hundreds of opportunities listed in the Catalog of Awards.
  • Peruse the Catalog of Awards to get an idea of what is offered and where. You may search according to discipline, region, country, career level, grant length, and more. Remember, you may apply to only one award!Research possible host institutions/collaborators abroad (if one is not listed in the award description) and start developing contacts.
  • Attend a local Fulbright Scholar workshop.
  • Discuss your interest in Fulbright with your dean or department chair and the Fulbright Scholar Liaison on your campus. It may also be helpful to reach out to Fulbright alumni at your institution (find them in the Fulbright Scholar Directory) to learn about their application experience and sabbatical arrangements during their grant.
  • Shortlist 3-5 colleagues you would ask for letters of reference.
  • Share your proposal draft with colleagues within and outside of your discipline for feedback. It is important that academics outside your discipline can understand your project, so make sure to limit your use of discipline-specific jargon.

As you navigate the application process, Fulbright Program staff are available to guide you towards resources and provide 1-on-1 advising. Contact information is available on the Contact Us page. We look forward to receiving your application!