Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

The Fulbright Fellowships

The Fulbright Fellowships

(Must be a US citizen)

The Fellowships

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program funds two main types of fellowships in more than 135 countries worldwide. They offer grants in nearly all fields and disciplines, including the sciences, professional fields and Creative and Performing Arts.

Fulbright offers two main types of programsFull Grants for Study/Research, and an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA). Applicants may also in some cases apply for a Critical Language Enhancement Award to help get their language ability up to a proficient level. In addition to these two categories, Fulbright also offers fellowships in the creative and performing arts as well as the mtvU Fulbright  (a specialized award centering around international music); more information on these programs can be found on the Fulbright website.

The Research Grant is for a year of post-graduate study and research abroad. In order to apply for this, you need to have a project/program in mind and find a faculty member or researcher in the appropriate country that will work with you and provide you with a letter of affiliation.

The other grant is called the ETA, or English Teaching Assistantship. This grant is ideal for recent grads (your application is due in September of your senior year) because it is much more focused on mutual understanding and cooperation. As an ETA, you spend about 20 hours a week helping students (of all ages; it depends on the country) improve their language abilities and knowledge of the United States. However, since you are only doing this about 20-30 hours/week, another 10-20 hours each week should be integrating yourself into the local community. When applying for this award, you should have sort of a mini-project in mind. For example, if you are interested in healthcare, you could propose volunteering in a clinic, with a particular NGO, etc. If you played a sport in high school or college, you could propose working with local children after school and setting up a sports league.

For more information on the mtvU and the arts fellowships, please refer to the Fulbright website.


The Application

The Fulbright Full Grant application is all online  (except for the possibility of the creative and performing arts) and consists of:

  • A detailed application form
  • letter of affiliation from a university or faculty member in the country you are applying to
  • three letters of recommendation (I strongly encourage you to have at least 2 of these letters be from academics)
  • transcript
  • sometimes a language evaluation (depending on the country you are applying to; typically only for commonly-taught languages)
  • a one-page single-spaced Personal Statement (sort of your intellectual biography)
  • a two-paged single-spaced Statement of Grant Purpose.

The ETA application is also online and consists of:

  • a detailed application form
  • three recommendations [these are online forms, NOT letters] (While two of these should probably come from academics, if you have a writer who could speak to your ability to adapt to a foreign culture that would be good)
  • transcript
  • sometimes a language evaluation (depending on the country you are applying to; typically only for commonly taught languages)
  • one-page single-spaced Personal Statement (sort of your intellectual biography)
  • one-page single-spaced Statement of Grant Purpose.

No matter which type of fellowship you apply for, I highly recommend that you check out the fantastic suggestions made by author Joe Schall in his book “Writing Personal Statements and Scholarship Application Essays.” The book is hard to find in print, but Schall has made it available for free online. Not only does he go through the nuts and bolts of writing all sorts of application essays, but he provides you with examples of successful Fulbright essays! Please, please, please make use of this great resource. You should also take advantage of the podcasts, youtube clips and other aids on the Fulbright website.

Application Timeline and Due Dates

The 2013 Fulbright campus deadline is September 15—all of your application materials MUST be uploaded to the application website by 11:59pm; and the final campus submission deadline will be October 7. The official deadline on the Fulbright website is Tuesday October 15, but I need to review all materials as well as add documentation to all submissions before they go to Fulbright so need a few days to finalize things.

The way the application process works for F&M is that you will initially work with me to put together a working rough draft of both of the application essays. By August 1, I will assign you to work with another member of the faculty fellowship committee who will also make suggestions on your application. You are encouraged to seek out other faculty members for assistance as well—the more eyes, the better.  You’ll need to have your entire application complete (transcript, affiliation letter if needed, and all letters of recommendation) and uploaded to the Embark application website by 11:59pm on September 15.

In mid-September you will have a 15-minute campus interview with our fellowships committee. The interview serves several purposes--one, we want to make sure that all of your relevant information and experience appears in your application, so we want to get to know you a bit better. Second, our committee needs to provide Fulbright with an evaluation of your application and potential for success. After the interview, you will receive written feedback from the committee, and will have until October 7 to make any changes to your application.  Then by 11:59pm on October 7 you’ll need to resubmit your entire, completed application for the final time.


I have lots of tips on how to choose a country, what types of supplemental projects might work, what pitfalls to avoid, etc. and am always happy to work with you as you wade through the application process. If you'd like to schedule a meeting with me please email