There are several stakeholders involved in the Fulbright Scholarship process. Your US Embassy, your research institution in the USA, the IIE and more. This post describes how/when you will be involved with each one.
As the application process is usually orchestrated through your (or nearest) US Embassy, you should first contact the person responsible for Fulbright Program there. This is the person you will be mostly in contact with and probably the person most knowledgeable about the Fulbright application process. This local representative is in constant contact with IIE and also very responsible for the fate of your application.
The whole process, from thinking about applying to the end of visit, requires a lot of determination, effort and time. Even though it depends on the country you are from, the whole procedure is usually a “competition”, since there are many more applicants than there are grants. If you are thinking of applying or already in the process, I hope this site will be at least a bit helpful. Other good resources are blogs of Fulbright scholars, groups and BB’s.
What the IIE are Looking For?
The IIE are looking for the following (and many more) traits in applicants for the Fulbright Scholarship:
- leadership potential,
- intellectual curiosity,
- academic or some other performance excellence,
- a sound project plan which you should be able to fulfill,
- your personality should be friendly, open to new acquaintances, and eager to experience cultural diversity.
From my experiences, the committees do a fabulous selection and the Fulbright Fellows are almost with no exception amazing people you’ll enjoy interacting with.
The Fulbright Scholarship is the main activity within the Fulbright program, which is part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Department of State, USA. Inside the USA, the Fulbright Program is executed and taken care of by the IIE in cooperation with various organizations in other countries involved in the Program. There are many different Fulbright Scholarships ranging from those for PhD students to Professors, from travel grants to several semesters and even years. Some cover minor expenses and others cover almost everything you imagine. Due to the diversity of the Fulbright Program, you should first get in contact with your local Fulbright Scholarship representative. Usually, they are employees of the local US embassy. Countries with the largest number of Fulbrighters currently in the USA are: Pakistan, Germany, Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, Spain.