Series Note: We have previously published a number of posts on the Fulbright competition on the GradFund blog, all of which offer useful tips and suggestions to help you craft a strong application. In light of the upcoming application period (our on-campus deadline this year is September 1), we have compiled this roundup post series, which will provide you with our best advice on how to put together the most competitive Fulbright application possible. The following post is the third installment in the Tips for Success in the Fulbright Competition series. Click here to read Part One and click here to read Part Two.
Advice from Rutgers Graduate Students on the Fulbright IIE
The posts below offer tips and suggestions from Rutgers graduate students who have worked on crafting a Fulbright IIE application. Each post addresses a different aspect of application preparation, and each is particularly valuable in being the real life experience of students who have navigated the application process.
In this post, Aaron draws attention to the long and complex process that goes into submitting a Fulbright application. As part of the Fulbright competition, applicants not only need to put together a comprehensive application packet (that includes biographical data, two narrative statements, language evaluations, letter of affiliation, letters of recommendations, and transcripts), but also have to go through an on-campus interview. Aaron strongly suggests not getting fooled by the shortness of the narratives (three single-spaced pages, in total), and encourages applicants to give themselves enough time to improve their applications through feedback and revision.
In this post, Tom offers four pieces of advice to students working on the Fulbright as well as other award applications. Tom encourages graduate students to be confident in their ability to carry out their research, seek feedback from multiple readers, apply for smaller grants in addition to big ones, and seek out role models and consult their career trajectory to find awards. Tom also touches upon a crucial piece of advice direly needed by applicants: Submit your application! The best that can happen is the applicant will win; the worst that can happen is they will get useful feedback for future submissions.
In this post, Helen provides an overview of her own experiences of getting to know the Fulbright and the comprehensive requirements of the award competition. In her analysis, Helen draws attention to a crucial Fulbright review criteria, which is that applicants should not only be able to conduct independent research, but also demonstrate knowledge of the history and culture of the host country in which they are interested. Helen’s post also draws attention to an important component of research plans that may at times be overlooked by applicants: research permits and the arduous process it takes to secure them. Finally, Helen advises applicants to not be discouraged by the competitiveness of the award and to remain positive while preparing their application.
This was the third, and final, installment of the Tips for Success in the Fulbright Competition series. We hope that you found our series helpful! If you would like to read more, the Fulbright IIE website offers a wealth of advice on the application process, including application tips, checklists, tutorials, and webinars. In the meantime, if you are planning to apply for the Fulbright IIE this fall, please fill out our form so that we can add you to our email list to contact you with important updates. We look forward to working with you on your Fulbright IIE application!