Types of Fulbright Grants
In general, there are two types of Fulbright grants:
- A Fulbright Full Grant, which funds one academic year of overseas study and/or research in one country
- An English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), which funds one academic year of teaching English in one country
Details on both of these types of grants follows. Additionally, Fulbright offers several specialized grants, including Travel-Only Grants (which are usually given to graduate students, and only for Italy, Germany, and Hungary), Fulbright/mtvU Awards, Critical Language Enhancement Awards, Fulbright Business Grants (Mexico, Spain, and the Netherlands), Fulbright Journalism Grants (Germany and UK), and Country-Specific Awards to Australia (CSIRO), Ireland (Irish Language), Italy (Slow Foods and Deaf Studies), Mexico (Graduate Degree and Public Policy); and the Netherlands (Water Management)
Link to Fulbright's official page on Academic Full Grants
Academic or Full Grants allow students to undertake a year of study, research, and/or professional training at an academic institution in a different country. For graduating seniors, it is strongly recommended that your plan relies heavily on coursework. While this coursework may be supplemented by other experiences (internships, archival research, fieldwork, labwork, independent study, etc.), at least 50% of your time should be spent in the classroom, and it is perfectly acceptable to have a project proposal consisting solely of coursework. Indeed, many countries offer one-year taught Master's programs that may be completed on a Fulbright. Full grant applicants should plan to obtain a letter of affiliation from someone at their host institution who will oversee and guide their fellowship year. Details of the grant duration, preferred topics, preferred candidates, affiliation requirements, grant benefits, language requirements, housing, additional stipends for dependents, visa requirements, etc. are all determined on a country-by-country basis. Potential applicants should review the Country Summaries on the Fulbright website to learn more about each individual country.
Link to Fulbright's official page on English Teaching Assistantships
English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs) are currently available in dozens of countries across all world regions (see link above to Fulbright website for a complete list and more details). Depending on the country, ETAs may teach in elementary or secondary schools, universities, or language centers. They are usually placed outside of capital cities, and sometimes live with host families. In some countries, ETAs may also pursue individual study and research in addition to their teaching duties. ETA candidates are rated by decision-making committees in six areas:
- Academic merit/achievement
- Quality of the written essays
- Personal qualities
- Language abilities (if required)
- Teaching / tutoring / education experience
- Other factors, such as community engagement, limited experience in host country, etc.)
This is a brief outline of the eligibility criteria for the Fulbright; all candidates should review the full list of eligibility criteria on the Fulbright website to ensure that they are eligible for the grant for which they are applying. Applicants must:
- Be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible.
- Hold a B.A. degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant.
- Be in good health.
Fulbright benefits are based on the cost of living in the host country, and vary by country. In general, though, Fulbright grant benefits (both Full Grants and ETAs) include:
- Round-trip transportation to the host country
- Maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country
- Limited Health Benefits
In addition, Full Grants may include (see relevant Country Summary for details):
- Book and research allowances (The allowance provides some funding for research, books, and/or supplies. Grantees with projects that require extensive research support, in-country travel, study materials, or equipment should explore additional funding from other sources to supplement the Fulbright funding.)
- Mid-term enrichment activities in many countries or world regions
- Full or partial tuition
- Language study programs
- Pre-departure and in-country orientation
For more details on Fulbright benefits, please see the Fulbright benefits webpage.
Candidates for a Fulbright may either apply as enrolled or at-large candidates.
Currently-enrolled Grinnell students should apply as enrolled candidates; Grinnell alumni may choose to apply as an enrolled candidate or as an at-large candidate. Enrolled canddiates must meet Grinnell's on-campus deadline of Monday, September 17, 2012 by 5:00pm. These candidates will be interviewed by a campus committee in early October, and will have a Campus Committee Evaluation added to their applications. All enrolled candidates must submit the following materials by the deadline given above:
- 1) A completed Fulbright application, created by the Fulbright online application, including your project proposal and personal statement. This is submitted electronically via the Fulbright website.
- 2) An unofficial copy of your Grinnell College transcript, obtained from the Registrar's Office. This must be delivered as a hard-copy to the office of social commitment. Do not simply print off a grade report from PioneerWeb. Later, we will request an official transcript on your behalf, which you will scan and upload to the Fulbright online application before the national deadline.
- 3) Three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be submitted via the online system (once a letter is submitted via the online system, it cannot be corrected, edited, or revised). For ETA candidates: please be sure that your letter-writers know that their "letter" is actually a series of short-answer questions, and not a typical letter. They will be able to access these questions through a link that will be sent to them once you register them in your online application.
- 4) A Grinnell College Scholarship Nomination Permission Form and Waiver. This should be printed out, completed, and submitted in paper copy to Doug Cutchins in 1233 Park St. Because the CRSSJ (1233 Park St.), which houses the Office of Social Commitment, is inaccessible to students with mobility disabilities, please contact email@example.com if you would like to make alternative plans to submit your application materials.
- 5) All applicants will be required to bring a 3-5 page paper to their interview in early October. This should NOT be submitted with your application on September 17. Instead, bring this paper with you to your interview. The paper should describe what research you have done on the country you propose to live in during your Fulbright year, and what you have found interesting about its history, culture, relationship with the United States, and educational system. Full grant applicants should also include information about the insitution that they wish to attend during their Fulbright year. The interview committee will use and draw on this document during your interview and while writing your Campus Committee Evaluation. The most helpful and successful papers are those that show that the author has done research about the country to be visted and the systems in which they will be researching or teaching; research about current events and educational policy are generally more relevant than research about food. It is particularly helpful when students show how their personal experiences would prepare them for or give them insight into these challenges.
Additionally, the following materials may be required of enrolled candidates for the on-campus nomination process, depending on their country of study and area of study:
- 5) Supplementary materials for candidates in the arts, as needed (instructions from Fulbright here). These should be submitted in hard copy to Doug Cutchins in 1233 Park St. Because the CRSSJ (1233 Park St.), which houses the Office of Social Commitment, is inaccessible to students with mobility disabilities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make alternative plans to submit your application materials.
- 6) A foreign language background report, completed online, as needed.
- 7) A foreign language assessment, completed online, as needed. Please note: due to a quirk in the Fulbright online system, if someone is submitting both a letter of recommendation and a Foreign Language Assessment on your behalf, they will have to use separate email addresses for each document (e.g., an @grinnell.edu email address for the letter of recommendation, and an @gmail.com email address for the Foreign Language Assessment).
- 8) A letter of affiliation. Candidates for Full Grants are generally well-advised to obtain a letter of affiliation from someone at their host institution stating the nature of the relationship and that they will welcome the Fulbright applicant if s/he is offered a grant. This should be hand-signed and on letterhead, and uploaded to the Fulbright online application.
Of the above items, only #4 and #5 are submitted in hard copy; all of the other items are submitted electronically through the Fulbright online application. To submit all of the other items in your online application, press "submit" on your online Fulbright application before the on-campus deadline. Please know that once you have taken this step, the application is not yet released to Fulbright, just to Grinnell's Fulbright Program Advisor (FPA). If you have already submitted the application online and need to revise it, please contact your FPA, who can "unsubmit" your application back to you at any time after the on-campus deadline, allowing you to continue working on it. Interviews for all enrolled candidates will take place during the week of October 4. Enrolled candidates who are alumni or who are currently studying abroad will be interviewed by phone or Skype. Following the interviews, enrolled candidates will work cooperatively with the campus FPA to submit the applications to Fulbright by the mid-October deadline.
Grinnell College alumni are welcome and encouraged to apply through our enrolled candidate process; national statistics show that enrolled candidates win Fulbright at about twice the frequency as at-large candidates. If they so choose, however, alumni may instead apply as at-large candidates. In this case, they would skip all of the above steps and apply directly to Fulbright at the mid-October deadline; no on-campus endorsement or interview process is required. Grinnell's FPA will work with and advise alumni candidates just as if they were enrolled candidates.
Resources for Applicants
Fulbright applicants from Grinnell College may find the following materials to be helpful:
- Advice on writing personal statements
- Advice from Joe Schall on writing personal statements.
- Advice for students on obtaining letters of recommendation
- Past Grantee Directory
- Competition statistics
Advice from Fulbright on the application elements is arranged by the type of grant for which you are applying. Please select the type of grant for which you plan to apply and review the tips for that category of grant:
All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.
Fulbright Program Advisor
Doug Cutchins, Director of Social Commitment Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice 1233 Park St., Grinnell, Iowa 50112 phone: (641) 269-4408; fax: (641) 269-4321 email@example.com