Tuesday, August 17, 2004 Writing project proposal & CV   Volume 1 Issue 4  

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Tips on writing the Project Proposal & the C.V.
Writing for the outside world
Q & A : General Questions Answered.
Q & A: Country Specific Questions Answered.
Check Campus Deadlines & Info Session Dates!
Q & A : General Questions Answered.
27 questions answered.
by Publicity and Program Managers

Previous Experience Abroad
Project Proposals/Personal Statements/CV
Host Affiliation
Letter of Recommendation

Previous Experience Abroad

Q 1: As a native Korean, if I travel to Korea on a regular basis for personal matters, how will this affect my candidacy?

A: It completely depends on the nature and extent of the travel and the composition of the rest of the applicant pool to Korea. If you have spent a significant amount of time in Korea, then your application will be less competitive.

Q 2: I am currently in Australia on a 10 week graduate research fellowship through NSF/Australian Academy of Science. I am not enrolled in course work, and the research I am doing is what I want to continue working on if granted a Fulbright. Does this make me a disadvantaged applicant or does it fall more into the area of those who have studied abroad?

A: If you are currently in Australia, then your application will not be competitive for a Fulbright Award.

Q 3: If you spent less than a month in a country two years ago and wish to return for a Fulbright, will that be a significant factor in the decision-making?

A:  No, a month in the host country is not a negative issue.

Q 4:  I was born in Russia and moved to the United States at the age of eight.  Does this disqualify or put me at a disadvantage for applying to Russia?  Or countries where Russian is widely spoken?

 A: This fact does not disqualify you from applying, but may make you less competitive for Russia. It would greatly depend upon the applicant pool for Russia, which is impossible to predict.  It would not be a disadvantage for any other country.  However, if you feel that your project is stronger and better suited to Russia then I would recommend that you apply to Russia.

Project Proposals/Personal Statements/CV

Q 5: I am applying for a Fulbright to New Zealand to do look comparatively at cultural tourism in the US using both photography and writing. I am leaning towards applying in the photography field, and my portfolio contains work from an exhibition on cultural tourism in the US, but the images take on more meaning when presented with the artist statement. Is there a way to include my artist statement with my application?

A: You can include it in your "Statement of Proposed Study" or in your CV.

Q 6: I'm interested in applying for a Fulbright to teach in Taiwan, but my question relates to the teaching grants in general. I was wondering, how should I structure my application? For instance, should my recommendations come from people who might be able to comment on my teaching abilities? (And on that front, how much teaching experience should one have for the Taiwan program?) Also, how should I direct my personal statement? Should I focus on a project or on why I want to teach? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

A: ETA grantees to Taiwan are not required to have any previous teaching experience, but if you do have teaching experience then be sure to include this in your application as it will improve your competitiveness. Your personal statement should give the screening committee a good idea of who you are as a person and how your experiences have shaped and led you to want to pursue a Fulbright ETA opportunity in Taiwan. Your recommenders should be able to comment on your academic integrity as well as how they feel you will perform in the role of teaching English abroad.

Q 7:  My discipline, Art Conservation, is not listed in the Field of Study Sheet.  It does, however, fall under either History of Art or, perhaps more, Museum Studies.  Which would you recommend I select?

A: Either field would be fine. It is up to you.

Q 8: I'm applying for a Fulbright in philosophy. I am having trouble developing my study proposal since it is not as formulatic as a field study. Any tips on writing a study proposal for a field in the Liberal Arts?

A:  This question is far too general to offer advice. Please contact the Program Manager for your host country so that you can discuss your specific interests.

Q 9: Are there any examples of previously awarded Applicants' Statements of Proposed Study available for review?

A:  No, IIE cannot not provide any previously funded project proposals to applicants.  However, in lieu of this, you might want to consult the online directories of prior grantees, which can be found on the US Student Fulbright website. While these directories do not have the actual proposals, they do have list the project titles and fields of study for every grantee, so may therefore give you a good sense of the types of projects that have been funded for any given country over the past decade.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that if you are currently enrolled in a US college or university, you might wish to ask your campus Fulbright Program Adviser if they keep copies of prior (successful) applications on file. If so, you might be able to review these.

Q 10:  I am wondering if there are anymore specific details that can be provided about how the proposal section of the Teaching Assistantships awards should be written.  This is due to the lack of a specified proposal.

 A: Students applying for teaching Assistantships are not expected to present extensive study or research plans.  Rather they should describe why they would like to undertake a teaching assistant assignment; what their qualifications are and what experiences they have had which relate to the assignment; how they expect to benefit from the assignment and what use they will make of the experience upon reutrn to the U.S.  Finally applicants should discuss the use they will make of their time outside of the classroom.  This can be taking courses at a university or an independent research project.  

Q 11:  In the description for how to write the proposal plan, it states that no bibiographies, publications will be presented to the screening committees. Does include references that I may use to present background research completed in my field of interest? If so, should I use references without actually referring to them?

 A: Since project statements cannot exceed two pages, a formal bibliography is not necessary; however, if background data is provided it is appropriate to briefly cite sources.

Host Affiliation

Q 12: I am considering applying to the Teaching English Assistantship program. Would I be a TA at a university level? Can I choose which level to be placed at?

A:  The level depends on which country you apply to.  Please contact the Program Manager responsible for the country of your choice.

Q 13: I am applying for a research grant for graduate research, and I will have a letter of affiliation from the professor with whom I will be working. He is at a research institution near a university. I have indicated in my research/study proposal that I will sit in on and perhaps enrol in some classes at the university as well, but I have not applied to the university as this is not the focus of my proposed research. Is the letter of affiliation from the professor and his research institution sufficient for my affiliation requirement, or do I need to be officially enrolled at a university as well?

A: The answer to this question depends upon the country to which you are applying.  Please resubmit your question noting the country, or contact the Program Manager for your country’s region direct.
Q 14:  If you are applying within the Performing Arts can your Host Affiliate be the Director from a Performing Arts Company?

A:  The answer to this question depends upon the country to which you are applying.  Please resubmit your question noting the country, or contact the Program Manager for your country’s region direct.

Q 15:  I have already secured one letter of support from my institution of affiliation.  Does it strengthen my application or is it necessary to secure more than one if I intend to do independent research at various archives? I will not be affiliated with a university, but various small museums and archives. Thank you.

A: While one letter is normally sufficient for most applicants, you should try to secure letters of support from each institution with which you plan to be affiliated.

Letter of Recommendation

Q 16:  I am a masters student who graduating in Spring 2005. It is recommended that all 3 references be from professors. I feel I would like to have 1 or 2 professional reference, ones who could vouch for both my intellectual and work quality. Would it be do my disadvantage to have 1 or 2 professional references?

 A: While I would recommend that at least one of your references be written by a professor, I don’t think that having one or both of the remaining letters be written by employers would put you at a disadvantage. As long as each of your referees can fully comment on you, your project, and your ability to carry it out successfully, you should be fine. 

Q 17:  I'm applying for an ETA Fulbright, how important is it that my recommendation letters be from professors in my major? I'd like to get one recommendation from the director of my abroad program, one recommendation from a professor at my university, and one from a former employer (the place of employment is relevant to my project proposal). Is this acceptable? Thank you for your answer.

 A: All the references do not necessarily need to be from professors in your major field.   The types of references you have described are perfectly acceptable.


Q 18: I have recently completed a master's degree in journalism and I am interested in studying in an Arab country in the Middle East. I don't speak Arabic, although I plan to study it this year. What countries can I apply to?

 A: Egypt is one of the few countries in the region where prior knowledge of Arabic may not be necessary. Proficiency/fluency in French may serve as an adequate substitute for Arabic in Morocco and Tunisia, as well. Keep in mind, though, that the nature of your project will ultimately determine whether or not you will need any Arabic. Israel may be a final option for you to consider, although knowledge of Hebrew—while not required—is often preferred.

Q 19: I speak a Slavic Language fluently and can thus learn another Slavic language very quickly.  I am planning on applying to the Slovak Republic, but have only been learning the language for one week.  I am confident in my ability to become fluent within one year.  How is this issue treated with regard to the language requirement?

 A: I would recommend that you submit a language evaluation for both the Slavic language with which you are fluent and one for Slovak.  That way the committee will have a clear understanding of your ability to transition from one to the other. However, it is up to you how you deal with this issue.


Q 20: In looking at the past Fulbright grantees for the country that I`m interested in, I found someone who studied something in the same field as I would like to study. I would love to contact this person and ask her about her who she was affiliated with in country and how things went for her. Is there any way that I could get contact information for a past Fulbright grantee? It would be a great resource for me to be able to talk with past grantees who had worked in the same country.

A:   The contact information of current grantees is confidential, and cannot be shared with applicants. As an alternative, you might wish to check the “Notes from the Field” section of the US Student Fulbright website to see whether there are any essays written by grantees in the country to which you are interested in applying. These essays provide excellent first-hand accounts of how grantees have fared in their host countries.

Q 21:  My major is not in the field I wish to pursue in my proposal, though I have extensive background in this field through elective classes taken at university, work, and experience garnered from independent research, hobby and interest. Will not having the major put my application at a disadvantage? Also, because I do not have a major in this field, those who are best equipped to comment/elaborate on my abilities in this field aren't necessarily all professors from the university I went to (or professors from my major.) Is it crucial that all my references be academically familiar with/specialized in the subject or field I choose to study in my proposal? Thank you.

A:  As long as you have the relevant experience to carry out the project that you propose your application will not be at a disadvantage.  All applicants should ensure that the proposals that they put forward are feasible given the academic/artistic/professional background/experience that they already have.  They do not have to already hold a degree in their proposed field of study.  Your references should be from people who can speak to your ability to carry out the proposal. Therefore, they should be from people who have some understanding of the subject matter.

Q 22:  The Teaching Assistantship option is not on the drop-down menu. What should I select?

A: Teaching Assistantships – code 5120

Q 23: Does the Fulbright grant also cover travel expenses to and from the country? Have there been problems in the past booking airline tickets for awardees since the final decision is in June and research may begin in August? This short time-frame to purchase tickets may prove costly.

A:  Yes, the grant does provide return air travel between the US and the Host country.  Many countries will announce their results before June, but each country varies someone in the time frame when results are returned.  Even for countries that traditionally come in later than others the timeframe has not proven to be a major problem in the past.

Q 24:  Do journalism applicants fall under the category "creative and performing arts"?  Should I submit writing samples if I am proposing to study journalism theory?

 A:  Journalism is considered an academic field by the US Student Fulbright program, not a creative or performing art.  Therefore, it is not necessary for applicants in journalism to submit writing samples. If writing samples are sent they will not be presented to and reviewed by the screening committee.

Q 25:  I am working on the application, in writing about my honors/extracurricular activit/etc. How specific should I be? Should I describe each activity? include years of participation? Include location? Just wondering what would be the best. THANKS!!!

 A: While there is no one standard means of presenting this information, I think you should give as much detail as you feel is necessary to explain the honor/activity/publication. Certain entries (for example, induction to Phi Beta Keppa or other honor societies, well-known fellowships and grants, being on the Dean’s List, etc,) may not need much in the way of explanation. You could simply list the honor and year in which it was conferred.

You might want to give more detail for activities, such as the name of the group, the year(s) of participation, and the position(s) held. If the purpose/function of the group isn’t readily obvious, you might want to give a brief description of it, as well. Finally, I would recommend giving the full bibliographic information for any publications you may have.

Q 26:  I have a Bachelor of Architecture degree and wish to pursue a Fulbright in photography - in which I have neither a degree nor four years professional experience. I understand that the candidate must hold a bachelor degree before beginning date of grant -- but does this degree necessarily have to be in field of focus for the Fulbright?

A: You do not need to have a degree in the field of study of your proposed Fulbright project. While this could certainly be a strong indicator of an applicant’s academic preparation for carrying out their project/ plan of study, it is not absolutely necessary. However, in lieu of this I’d recommend that you make sure that your overall application puts forth a compelling case for you having the background/training needed to undertake your project successfully.

Q 27:  I have noticed that the Project Title can be no longer than 7 words, however, I have seen past submissions with longer titles. Is this 7-word boundary strictly enforced?

 A: The word limit is not strictly enforced, but the title should describe the project succinctly.

Fulbright On the Road!

Los Angeles

Aug 30

hosted by UCLA

Ackerman Union; View Point Conference Room. 

Time: 1:30 to 3:30


Sept 1

hosted by Georgia State University

Student Center, Lanier Suite

Time: 1:30 to 3:30

St. Louis

Sept 3

hosted by Washington University, St. Louis

Mallinckrodt Student Center, Lambert Lounge

Time: 1:30 to 3:30

Top Tips for Being Successful Applicants
Quick Facts
U.S. Student Fulbright Grantees
New Grant Opportunities
Slovak Republic - new English Teaching Assistantships
Canada-US Fulbright Program and the University of Montreal Award
Russia -- new English Teaching Assistantships
Have a Question about Fulbright Application?
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About This Newsletter

This Newsletter aims to help you throughout the Fulbright application process. Each issue will be sent to your email account every two weeks until the application deadline—Oct. 21st.

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