- On the Fulbright website you will find information and instructions for applying. As soon as possible, read ALL the information under the “About” tab, as well as the first three sub-entries under “Applicants” (Getting Started; Application Components; Application Tips). Instructions must be followed to the letter; failing to do so means you won’t get an award.
- Decide on the type of grant you’re applying for (Research/Study, Arts, or English Teaching Assistantship), and make a preliminary decision about the country to which you will apply. For more information, click on “Countries” and read the summaries of those you are considering.
- Go to Applicants > Application Tips, and then select the type of grant for which you are applying (Academic, Arts, or ETA). Under References, click on this and you will find information on how to choose the people who will write your recommendation letters. If your particular grant requires it, you will also need a “Foreign Language Evaluation”; click on that tab for information. Further notes on choosing and obtaining references are on the back of this sheet.
- The most important pieces of the application are your Statement of Grant Purpose and your Personal Statement. All applications must include these, and they must be top-quality essays in order for your application to be competitive. (See the separate handout for requirements for writing these statements.) You should begin writing them as soon as possible, and e-mail your drafts to both advisors (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com). Please write them in Word format, double-spaced, with a filename that includes your name (not just “Fulbright” please!); eventually you will single-space the document.
- See the separate handout for a timeline for confirming your interest, naming your referees, and writing initial drafts of your essays. You should expect to revise these statements many times, working one-on-one with faculty. This is why we ask you to get started on the process early.
- You will need a transcript of your work at Hope, as well as from other colleges you have attended (unless those courses are listed, with course names, on your Hope transcript). If your Hope transcript only lists generic transfer credit, you need an additional transcript from the other institution from which the credit was transferred. (Ordinarily you do not need a transcript from an institution at which you did a study-abroad course, as this is usually listed with course names on your Hope transcript.) You will upload your transcript(s) yourself as part of the application, but you cannot use a printout from Banner; the document has to come from the Registrar's office. It will be stamped Issued to Student; that is acceptable. Do not order your transcript until the August when you are applying, so that it has your most recent information.
- You need to finish and submit the entire application by late August, one year before you plan to take up the award. Do not be misled by the official deadline in mid-October; colleges have earlier deadlines so that they can conduct on-campus interviews on the basis of complete applications. You should not expect to do more than polish up your application in the Fall term; most of it should be done during the Spring semester of your junior year.
We hope you will apply for a Fulbright Grant! Good luck!
Please see the separate handout for dates and deadlines.
Revised September 2015
Instructions for Reference Letters and the Foreign Language Report
All reference letters are to be completed on-line. Every application must have three reference letters; some applications also require a Foreign Language Report. This last item is required whenever the applicant must show foreign language ability; for example, for most English Teaching Assistantships (with the exception of those in Asia and some Eastern European countries; see information under your specific country on the Fulbright website) and for any Research grant that requires a foreign language for its project.
You must register your referees (and the language evaluator, if required) electronically as part of the online application, in order to give your referees the opportunity to complete the form online and have it submitted with your application. However, before you do this, you first need to speak with the Campus Fulbright Advisors about your choices; you then need to ask your referees whether they are willing to write for you. Keep in mind that the Fulbright program is extremely competitive, and that you need excellent references.
Please keep our office aware of your choices of reference-letter writers (including any changes that occur over time). We communicate with them to make sure they fully understand the process and that everything runs smoothly. Again, do not register your referees online until you (1) have informed our office (and received the go-ahead), and (2) have spoken to your referees individually to explain your interest in the Fulbright program and to make sure they are willing to write a specialized recommendation for you. In all cases, be sure that you heed the following advice:
- In all your communication with your referees, be prompt, polite and deferential. Requests should be in person if possible, by telephone if not and by e-mail only if appropriate for the nature of your relationship with that person (or if you are off-campus for the whole semester). You are asking a favor, and you want a top-notch reference; therefore, please do not be hasty, rude, late or carry an attitude of entitlement.
- Contact your referees before April 1 and make sure that they are willing to write for you by the September 1 deadline (earlier if possible). Let them know that they will receive more information from our office. Let us know when they have agreed to write for you.
- Provide your references both your Statement of Grant Purpose, and your Personal Statement (or at least draft versions of these). Offer to talk with your referees about your project; ask their advice if you are applying in their field.
- Keep our office informed of your referee choices so that we can be in direct communication with those who are writing your references.
- Never ask to see a reference letter. They are only effective if the confidentiality of the process is maintained from beginning to end.
Revised September 2015
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