Fulbright @ ASU

Overview

The Fulbright Program provides grants for international educational exchange to students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists, and artists.  The program is sponsored by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute for International Education.

The Fulbright Program annually awards 2,000 grants to support graduate study, independent research, teaching, and artistic practice abroad. The program was founded in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.  It is among the most prestigious scholarships in the world.

Arizona State University supports and advises current students, alumni, and faculty who are seeking Fulbright grants.  Current undergraduate and graduate students and alumni will apply for the Fulbright US Student Program, while faculty will apply to the Fulbright Scholar program.  Applicants for the Fulbright US Student Program will apply through the Office of National Scholarships Advisement (ONSA), while faculty will work with the Office of the University Provost.

Application Process for Fulbright US Student Program

Before beginning the application process for the Fulbright US Student program, interested students are expected to have thoroughly reviewed the Fulbright US Student program website: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/. Prospective applicants should also carefully read the Country Summaries for their host countries of interest.  

Grant Types

The Fulbright US Student Program funds several types of grants. The two main types of grants are Academic grants and English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grants. One may only apply for one type of grant per application cycle.

Students applying for Academic (aka "Study/Research") grants design their own academic projects and typically audit courses at and/or complete projects under the supervision of faculty members at foreign universities. Specific program requirements will vary by country. Projects typically involve formal (i.e. classroom) study, directed study, independent research, or some combination of all three. Students may also apply for grants to support projects in the creative and performing arts.

Students who receive an ETA grant are placed in a classroom and assist teachers of English to non-native English speakers. ETA recipients also serve as cultural ambassadors. Specific requirements of ETA grants also vary by country.

Campus Application Procedures

The on-campus deadline to apply for the Fulbright US Student Program is September 11, 2018. Currently enrolled students are expected to apply through the campus process. The application is submitted entirely online via the Fulbright website.  Students who intend to apply for the Fulbright US Student program should meet individually with an ONSA advisor before starting the application - appointments may be scheduled online.  A step-by-step application guide and checklist is available here.

All campus applicants will participate in screening interviews with the Fulbright Campus Committee. Interviews typically occur during the last week of September. Students may continue revising their applications up to the final submission deadline set by the Fulbright Program Adviser (typically a few days before the national submission deadline).

Alumni applicants may directly apply for the Fulbright US Student grant and do not need to apply through the campus process, although they are encourage to do so. Prospective alumni applicants should consult the FPA before deciding on the proper method of application.

Application Components

To participate in the campus application process, students must submit a complete application by the campus deadline. Fulbright applications are submitted entirely online through the Fulbright US Student Program website. A complete application will consist of the following:

  • Biographical Data (basic CV information)
  • Statement of Grant purpose (one- to two-page grant proposal)
  • Personal Statement (one-page narrative essay)
  • Reference Letters (three)
  • Transcripts

Depending on the type of grant and the requirements of the host country, applicants may also need to submit the following:

  • Affiliation Letter (proof of agreement from host institution)
  • Foreign Language Evaluation
  • Supplementary Materials (for students in the creative and performing arts)

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I apply for a Research/Study grant or an ETA grant?
Students who have a focused interest in the host country that could be pursued through study or directed research should apply for the Research/Study grants. Students who have the appropriate background and professional aspirations should apply for the ETA. Many students incorrectly assume that the ETA application is “easier” than the Research/Study grant application, when in fact there are fewer ETA grants available and almost equal numbers of applicants.

Should I apply through the campus process or apply at-large?
All currently enrolled students are expected to apply through the campus process. Anyone who is eligible for the Fulbright may apply at-large; however, currently enrolled students who do not apply through the campus process may be viewed suspiciously by the national selection committee. Alumni may apply at-large and are not faulted in any way for doing so.

How can I decide which country to apply to?
Applicants should offer compelling reasons for their choice of host country. Research/Study grant projects should be tightly connected to the host country; ETA applicants should offer a compelling reason for their interest in the host country. As well, the applicant should demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the host country’s culture and possess the requisite language skills. A “strong desire” to visit the country or a “passion” for the country is insufficient.

How many people apply for grants? How many grants are there?
Full competition statistics are available on the Fulbright US Student Program web site.

How many ASU students apply for the Fulbright? How many get grants?
In a typical year, the College will endorse 50 to 70 applications. Of those applications, between 15 to 25 are typically awarded grants. Arizona State University is frequently among the top ten Fulbright-producing schools in the country.

Who can help me with the application essays?
The first and best resource is the Fulbright website, which provides ample guidance on how to approach the application essays. The IIE also holds several webcasts throughout the application season. The Fulbright Program Adviser can provide excellent guidance during the beginning stages of the application process. As the essays develop, however, applicants should seek the advice of faculty advisers, graduate students, and writing tutors.

How do I get an Affiliation Letter?
Most Fulbrighters undertaking Research/Study grants will affiliate with universities, although in some countries it is possible to affiliate with other types of organizations such as research institutes or government ministries. The Affiliation Letter should come from the institution/individual in the host country with whom the applicant is proposing to work. Affiliation requirements vary by country, so before starting the application applicants should note the specific requirements for the proposed host country. The Affiliation Letter should be printed on official letterhead and should be signed by the author. There is no “secret” method for obtaining Affiliation Letters – applications should initiate direct contact with potential affiliates well ahead of the application deadline.

How do I get a Foreign Language Evaluation?
The Foreign Language Evaluation Form is part of the online application and should be completed by a professional language teacher. The University offers a wide range of languages, and applicants should be able to find a faculty member who can do the evaluation.

What hard copy materials do I need to submit to ONSA?
None. The entire application is submitted online.

What are the screening interviews like?
The Campus Committee interviews are conducted by interview teams comprised of three to four faculty members and professional staff. The two main purposes of the interviews are to 1) provide constructive feedback to the applicant; and 2) gather enough information to complete the required evaluation form that will accompany the final application. No applicant can be rejected by the University – every completed application is submitted.

Can I keep working on my application after the campus deadline?
Yes – the applications will be returned to “in progress” status shortly after the campus deadline. Students may continue to revise the applications until the final campus deadline established by the Fulbright Program Adviser, which is typically a few days before the national deadline.

When will I know if I get the grant or not?
The selection process occurs in two stages. In the first stage, the national reading committee selects applicants that it will “recommend” to the host countries. These announcements are made by the end of January each year.