The Fulbright Application or What I did last summer

I spent weeks, months really, on my Fulbright application. Some was easy. I do know my name, address, and specialization without looking it up. I am well-aware of how little Romanian I know. But the project statement, despite being only 5 pages long at most, was a challenge.

I studied the guidelines carefully (http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/us_awards/Content_Guidelines.htm).

I dissected the sample statements with care (http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/us_awards/ProjectStatement.htm).

I listened to some of the archived webinars (http://www.cies.org/Webinar/#Archive).

I wrote and revised.

I pondered and fretted.

Given that I was applying for a teaching/research award I needed to include both of the descriptions below (from the Fulbright website http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/us_awards/Content_Guidelines.htm).

Project Statements for teaching Awards

Specifically describe:

  • Why this country – what can you contribute to the host institution and what will it mean for you professionally?
  • What experiences have prepared you to teach in this country— experiences that indicate your collegiality, adaptability, cultural sensitivity, ability to serve as a cultural ambassador.
  • Preparation to teach courses abroad – what have you taught, how do you teach, your involvement in curriculum planning, thesis advising, or administrative responsibilities?
  • What do you propose to teach?
  • How you will adapt your materials to the culture and language of the host country?
  • How will you adapt to a pedagogically different teaching environment in which the first language for your students may not be English?
  • What impact do you expect on your teaching and/or professional work and how do you expect to use the experience upon your return?

Project Statements for Research Awards

Specifically describe:

  • What you will do – state clearly your objectives and your methodology, if the research is quantitative or qualitative in nature.
  • What is the academic and professional context of the project—include a bibliography (not exceeding 3 pages) referring to the leading works by others and the current state of the field.
  • What teaching and professional experience prepared you for this work
  • Why does it need to be done—what significance does it hold for your discipline, your development, the host country’s benefit
  • How you will do the research (methodology, logistics, time frame)
  • Why it must be done in this country—what research facilities and resources are found in the host country
  • How local political or cultural issues may impact your work, if necessary
  • How your results will be disseminated

I did manage to fit all of that in 5 carefully worded and painstakingly crafted pages.

Thank you to the Fulbright folks for giving me so much information on what to include. I used it all!

Finally, several days before the deadline at the beginning of August, I gathered everything together, reread it all, filled in all the appropriate boxes, uploaded the correct documents, and, with fear and trepidation, hit submit.

A confirmation appeared in my inbox.

And then the wait began.

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