Monday, April 27, 2009

Working with Your Fulbright Program Adviser, By Walter Jackson, Program Manager, Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Students who are currently enrolled in a U.S. college or university with a campus Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) are required to submit their applications through that individual. The name and contact information for your FPA can be found on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website. Click here to select a U.S. State (or territory) to find your institution and campus Fulbright Program Adviser. All applicants are required to apply online.

If an FPA is not listed, you would apply as an at-large candidate from your U.S. state of permanent residence and contact U.S. Student Programs at IIE for guidance and answers to your questions.

It is important that you contact your FPA as soon as possible to find out the campus deadline for applications. If you have already graduated, you may be able to apply through your alma mater; this will be at the discretion of the FPA. Contact the FPA and ask if he or she works with alumni. FPAs are not obligated to work with alumni but will often do so.

Your FPA will also give you information on the campus interview schedule. All students applying through their campus FPA will have a campus committee interview prior to the application being submitted to IIE. The interview is an important part of the application process as faculty from your school will provide feedback on your application.

Your FPA does not have access to your application while it is being developed. It is important, however, that you complete the basic information requests, including your name, country of application, field of study, college or university information and the name of your FPA as soon as possible. In doing so, your FPA will know that your application is in progress.

While the content and presentation of the entire application is important, your FPA will be most interested in reviewing your two essays: The Statement of Grant Purpose and the Personal Statement. For both of these essays, you should refer to the 'Preparing an Application' section on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website, where you will find important advice on content and style. You should share your essays with your FPA, who will be interested in working with you as you construct and refine them. First drafts may be requested. The essays should be created offline in a word processing program, and then sent electronically or in hard copy to your FPA for review. Once you are completely satisfied with the content of your essays, you can then upload them into the online application system.

Your FPA will also want to know who you have selected to complete your foreign language evaluation (if required) and three letters of recommendation and why these individuals can best support you and your project.

One official copy of your complete academic record is also required. You should coordinate with your FPA on the submission of your transcript(s).

You and your FPA will decide the best time to submit your application electronically. Only after you have electronically submitted your application, will your FPA be able to view it.

All Fulbright grantees must have a host country affiliation. Affiliation varies by type of grant and country of application. Affiliation may be a host country university, art or music school, research institute, or non-governmental organization.

Applicants for study or research awards may or may not need to secure their own affiliation. Please refer to website and the individual participating country summaries for country-specific information on affiliation. Fulbright Program Advisers and IIE country program managers can provide additional guidance on affiliation and appropriate documentation.

Applicants for English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs) do not need to secure their own affiliation. Affiliation for successful ETA candidates will be arranged by the program sponsors in the host countries.

Finally, in addition to completing and submitting the application electronically, you are also responsible for printing a final hard copy of the application, signing it and delivering it along with hard copies of all your supporting documents to your FPA by the campus deadline. Follow the online instructions for printing the final PDF version of the application and use the 'Application Inspector' within the Embark application to make sure your application is complete.

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