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Fulbright Program

The U.S. Fulbright Program was proposed by Senator J. William Fulbright in 1945 and signed into law by President Truman in 1946, following the end of WWII.  The idea was to promote mutual understanding between peoples of the United States and other countries to avert another world war.

The Fulbright program has six programs designed for U.S. Scholars, four for Non-U.S. Scholars, and five programs for U.S. Institutions. Each program has a separate mission and deadline date; the most popular program for the U.S. faculty is the Core Fulbright Scholar Program which opens on February 1 and closes on August 1 of each year.

If you’re a student and interested in teaching or doing research abroad, please contact ISU’s Fulbright advisor, Alan Johnson at! Graduating seniors and graduate students in any subject are welcome to apply. Students need to develop a proposal and their application with Dr. Johnson by September 14, 2018, in order to fulfill the Fulbright application requirement. The final application is due at Fulbright by October 9, 2018.

If you are a senior beginning in August 2018, expect to graduate no later than August 2019, and are interested in applying, contact Dr. Johnson no later than August 31. (Faculty members are not obliged to do so, but are encouraged to consult with the Fulbright advisor.)

The Fulbright grant period is generally August to May for the next academic year—so for this year, August 2019 to May 2020. Students go for the whole nine months. Faculty can stipulate the number of months they require, which usually ranges from two to nine.
At ISU, contact Dr. Alan Johnson, Fulbright Program Advisor, at:

Here are key Fulbright websites for you to consult:

Additional Information

The College Executive Committee (CEC) serves an important advisory function to the Dean and Associate Deans on issues critical to the operation of the College, particularly the strategic development of the College. It is one of two standing faculty committees.

The Fulbright entirely pays for one academic year abroad (airfare, living expenses, insurance coverage, language lessons) in one of more than 140 countries. You may work on a research project; teach English; or work on a creative project. A few countries offer slightly different options. Because an important component of Fulbright is being a cultural ambassador, students also choose a community service activity in which to participate.

  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent by the start of the grant

  • Graduating seniors, graduate students, and recent alumni can apply, but not if you’ve finished a PhD

  • Meet required level of proficiency in language of host country if required (some do not)

  • Academic excellence, community engagement, leadership

  • For teaching assistant applicants, teaching or related experiences

  • Excellent academic or professional qualifications. Request recommendation letters from your faculty mentors or professional supervisors.

  • Feasibility of proposed research or creative or study project; or communication skills and potential for teaching English to non-native speakers

  • Language qualifications with reference to proposed project and country requirements

  • Evidence of leadership, maturity, motivation, and adaptability to a different cultural environment

  • Knowledge of host country. Some grants require a letter of invitation from the institution(s) you plan to affiliate with. This can take time, so start early.

  • Evaluation of candidate as a prospective cultural ambassador of the U.S. This and other qualifications are evaluated by the campus Fulbright advisor as well as the volunteer interview committee. Fulbright personnel then review applications that move on to the next round.

  • Research the countries [] you’re interested in, and see if they offer grants that match either your project idea or, if interested in teaching, grants that seek English teaching assistants.

Be in close touch to work with the FPA and your academic mentors to refine your proposal and application before the final due date.

Calendar for Student Applicants

August 1-20: Register for (free) account at Fulbright website. Finish reviewing all their websites and select country and grant number. Contact Dr. Johnson to share your application plan, including the draft of your proposal.

August 21-31: Contact prospective foreign institutions for letter inviting you to affiliate, if required. Undertake language proficiency test on campus (if required of grant).

September 14: Complete application due to ISU’s FPA, Dr. Johnson, for further review. This is a Fulbright requirement. Once application is deemed to be complete, Dr. Johnson shares it with the volunteer campus committee, which is composed of two or three professors and community members, in addition to Dr. Johnson.

Mid-September to late-September: Applicants interviewed by campus committee. Interview schedules are set up through email, and usually take place on a single day (possibly Saturday). Be sure that those writing your recommendation letters have prepared them, or are certain to do so by October 7. Please ask your letter-writers to share the letters with Dr. Johnson ( before uploading them to the system.

October 1-7: Applications are polished and finalized online. Share your affiliation letter with Dr. Johnson.

October 9: Final day to submit applications by applicant and FPA (who submits campus evaluation). Avoid last-minute submission! The online system may go down, or something else may get in the way. Plan to submit everything by October 7.


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