Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the role of the Fulbright Program Adviser?
The Fulbright Program Adviser is available to meet with you to advise you on the Fulbright application process. The Advisrr is also able to answer questions regarding the administrative details of the Fulbright Award and the application process. The FPA is also the person to whom you will submit your internal and final applications. The Adviser organizes and chairs the Campus Review Committees.

Q: What steps should I take in preparing my proposal?
It is very important that you familiarize yourself with the literature available on your topic. The importance of reading the relevant academic materials should not be underestimated. At least six months in advance of the application deadline, you should begin to talk with appropriate Georgetown faculty who might be able to help you hone a proposed project, refine your ideas, or suggest colleagues and institutions abroad. All applicants should identify a primary faculty member who will serve as a mentor throughout the application process. Finally, you should plan to rewrite your essays several times before coming up with the finished product.

Q: What is the next step after I’ve submitted the rough drafts of my essays to the office for feedback?
Make an appointment to meet with the Fulbright Program Adviser to discuss your essays, or provide an e-mail address where the FPA can reach you with comments.

Q: What will I be required to submit with my final application?
You must complete the application online via Fulbright/IIE and submit electronically. You must submit all supporting materials (letters of recommendation, letters of support/affiliation, transcripts, and language evaluations) electronically. 

Q: Is my proposal feasible?
There are several things to keep in mind when determining an appropriate Fulbright proposal:

  • is your proposal sufficiently defined to allow you to carry out your project within the given time frame?
  • do you possess the necessary skills and experience?
  • will you have access to the relevant resources overseas?
  • do you possess the language skills necessary to carry out the project?
  • is your proposal relevant to the discipline?
  • have you clearly expressed the outcome of your proposal (what do you expect to gain, contribute to the field, host country, and U.S.)?
  • is it necessary to carry out your proposal in the host country, or are sufficient resources available in the U.S.?
  • is your proposal somewhat unique, or is it something which has already been investigated many times?
  • have you avoided 1) politically volatile subject matter? 2.) negative references to the host country, U.S., or the work of others in the field? 3.) indications that your interest in a Fulbright award is strictly for personal reasons, for example as an opportunity to rediscover your ancestral roots?

Q: How do I set up my overseas affiliation and mentor?
It is up to you to find a mentor and/or a university or institution with which you would like to be affiliated. Even in those countries where affiliation is arranged for you, your application will only be strengthened by any steps that you take to affiliate yourself. Setting up an affiliation generally means finding a university where you will be able to take classes (usually as a special status non-degree seeking student) and use the library and other facilities. Note that in some countries you are required to gain formal university acceptance. In these cases it is up to the applicant to obtain application materials and follow the procedures of the host university.

Finding a mentor entails identifying a professor(s) in the host country who will be willing to support your research and will write a letter to that effect. This letter should be addressed to you and must uploaded to the online Fulbright application. The mentor letter is in addition to the three letters of recommendation which are required as part of the application. Your Georgetown professors may be able to help you establish overseas contacts.

When contacting potential mentors, you should explain that you are a Fulbright applicant and should provided a detailed description of your study/research proposal. You must also outline that type of support that you are requesting (ie access to libraries, professors, etc.). It is very important to begin identifying both your affiliation and mentor at least six months in advance of the application deadline. Remember that in some countries it may be very difficult to reach faculty members and university administrators during the summer months.

You should have as many affiliations as necessary to carry out your project.

If your affiliation/support letters are in a language other than English, you must attach an English language translation to the original.

Q: Do I need a formal affiliation even if I’m not planning to enroll in university classes?
Yes. All students need to be affiliated with an educational or research institute, ministry, or other organization in the host country.

Q: Does my proposal need to include study and research?
In general, recent graduates are generally expected to take classes relevant to their research projects. In some countries, however, university study is not an option. It is important to check the individual country summaries to determine the type of proposal most appropriate to the country in which you are interested.

Q: I’m applying for a Teaching Assistantship. Do I need to submit a research proposal?
Keep in mind that your teaching responsibilities will take up roughly 20 hours per week, and you must therefore indicate what you plan to do for your side project — i.e. the other 20 hours per week in which you will actively participate in host country engagement.  Depending on country, a side project can be a small research project, development of an after school activity, or volunteering with a local organization.  

Q: Can I apply for a grant in more than one country?
Multi-country proposals are possible in only a few regions of the world. For those your proposal is limited to three countries within the same geographic region and must be approved by each country involved. You must designate one country as the primary country of your research/study.

Q: Can I submit more than three letters of recommendation?
No, a maximum of three recommendation letters should be submitted. Letters of support from the host country may be submitted in addition to this, but should be limited to those individuals or institutions with which you will actually be working.

Q: I am a native speaker of the language of the country to which I am applying. Do I need to submit the foreign language report form?
Yes. This form must be completed for native speakers as well as for anyone who is proposing to study or do research in a language other than English.

Q: If I am awarded a grant may I defer it?
No, grants are not deferrable.