Northeastern Deadline: 09/02/2015
Fellowship Deadline: 10/05/2015
Founded by an act of Congress in 1946, immediately after the violence of World War II, the Fulbright was envisioned as a way “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills." Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building international cooperation. The premiere cultural exchange fellowship, the Fulbright has provided more than 255,000 participants with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. Past winners include the poet Sylvia Plath, the composer Aaron Copland, Presidential adviser Austan Goolsbee, and director Julie Taymor.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers two types of grants for U.S. graduating seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists, the research/study grant and the English Teaching Assistantship (ETA).
Academic research/study grants are available in approximately 140 countries. Applicants will either study at a foreign university or design their own research projects, typically working with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. Program requirements vary by country, so it is critical to check a prospective host country’s program summary. These grants can also be centered around the creative arts. Those submitting a Creative and Performing Arts application should submit the supplementary materials listed on the Fulbright web site.
ETA award winners teach or serve as assistants to those teaching English to non-native English-speakers. The age and academic level of students varies widely, from kindergartners to university students.
Current undergraduates must have their applications reviewed by Northeastern's internal review committee and therefore must meet our internal deadline. Recent alumni and graduate students can apply through Northeastern if they meet our internal deadline; otherwise, these students can apply as at-large candidates.
You are eligible to apply for a Fulbright if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen or in the process of becoming one at the time of application.
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent by the beginning date of the grant.
- Have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country to carry out the proposed project/study. Each country indicates its specific linguistic requirements.
- Preferably have received most of your undergraduate education in the United States.
The Fulbright Awards Program seeks candidates whose applications demonstrate their:
- Intellectual ability. There is no required GPA, but typically winning applicants will have a 3.7 or higher and a strong record of academic achievement.
- Ambassadorial skills and cultural sensitivity.
- Knowledge of or desire to learn about the host country and to share what is best about American culture.
- Language skills and preparation.
- Personal suitability and adaptability to host country.
- Promise of advancing mutual understanding among nations.
At all stages of the review process, particular attention is given to the quality and feasibility of the proposed plan of study or research.
For an ETA, this means establishing your interest in the host country and your ability to share in cultural exchange, as well as to demonstrate what skills and experiences you have had as a teacher.
For a research/study grant, this means narrating your interest in your particular project, as well as in the host country. It also means being quite clear about your research problem and why it is interesting to you, those in the field where you are working, and potentially the host country. Your application should clearly set out who you are as a researcher, what skills you possess, and how, when, where, and with whom you will be undertaking your work. It is critical that you make a case for why your research can most successfully be conducted in your host country.
Interested students should request an Applying for the Fulbright booklet from the Fellowship Office.
In order to apply to the Fulbright through Northeastern, you will need to submit the entire application by our internal deadline through Northeastern’s application portal. This internal deadline is earlier than the national deadline in order that the process be both evaluative and supportive. After you submit your initial application, it will be reviewed by a Northeastern University committee. A representative of the committee will interview you and at that time offer you advice about how your application might be improved. Typically these interviews occur in late September/early October.
Please complete the applications forms through the Fulbright online application but do not submit them there. Instead, please print the file to PDF and submit a single PDF file of your application through Northeastern’s Fulbright portal for the internal deadline. You will have the opportunity to revise your application based on feedback provided by the Office of Fellowships between our internal deadline and the national one.
A complete Fulbright application will consist of:
- A complete application form. There is a single application form for all Grants, both Research Grants and Teaching Assistantships, on the Fulbright site. The application becomes available when you register on the Fulbright site. The application will include a) a Statement of Grant Purpose, b) a Personal Statement, c) a Foreign Language Form (with the exception of programs in countries where English is one of the national languages — see country program summaries), d) an Official Northeastern University Transcript and any transcripts from other institutions you have attended, e) Letter of affiliation (with English translations where necessary).
- Any supplementary materials for candidates in the arts or creative writing.
- Three recommendations. Do not request letters online through the Fulbright system. Once you register your referees on the online application, you will not be able to change your recommenders nor will your referees be able to make any changes to their letters for the national deadlines. For the grants, this means a cover form plus a traditional letter. For the ETA, your references will take the shape of a particular form to be filled out. In order to ensure that you receive letters of a uniformly high quality, please provide your referees with the Request for a Reference form available through the Office of Fellowships. Letters should be e-mailed to the Office of Fellowships at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After submission of their material for the national deadline, candidates are notified of their status after a preliminary national screening in late January. The notice of final selection occurs in April or May.
- Round-trip transportation to the host country
- Maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country
- Limited Health Benefits
- Book and research allowances*
- Mid-term enrichment activities in many countries or world regions
- Full or partial tuition
- Language study programs
- Pre-departure and in-country orientations
- Are based on the cost of living in the host country
- Will be paid in host country currency to grantees in countries with a Commission/Foundation
- Will be paid in U.S. dollars to grantees in countries without a Fulbright Commission/Foundation
On Campus Contact Information
Director, Office of Fellowships
411 Richards Hall
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Fellowship Contact Information
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017-3580