Fulbright Grant Information Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fulbright Grant?

The Fulbright program was established by Senator William Fulbright after WWII to encourage more American students to travel outside of the United States and to facilitate world peace through cross-cultural understanding. Today, the Student Fulbright program is administered by the Institute of International Education's New York office and annually awards close to 1000 scholarships for students to spend one year of academic study and/or research, or to engage in creative projects, in 140 countries around the world.

There are three different types of grants:

  • research/study/creative project
  • travel
  • English language teaching assistantships 


Who is eligible?

Applicants must:

  • Be US citizens
  • Have their bachelors degree by the beginning of the program of study
  • Not have a PhD


What are the criteria?

There is no GPA requirement, but applicants must:

  • be very good students
  • have strong academic preparation for proposed study or project
  • be proficient in the language of countries where English is not the native language (in most cases)
  • be able to produce three strong academic references
  • have excellent and very specific reasons for wanting to pursue the project in the chosen country


What does the application involve?

The application is comprised of:

  • the statement of grant purpose, 1-2 pages long
  • personal statement, 1 page
  • foreign language evaluation report, if applicable
  • three academic references
  • official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to date
  • creative and performing arts students must submit supplementary materials, slides/videos of work


What makes an application competitive?

a good academic record

  • strong, supportive references that speak to the applicant's accomplishments generally, but also specifically to his/her ability to carry out proposed project
  • an excellent proposal/statement of purpose.


What exactly is the Statement of Grant Purpose?

 The Statement of Grant Purpose is the crux of the Fulbright application and spells out in detail what you want to do, and why, where, how and when you want to do it. It is normally not longer than two pages. This essay should also address:

  • how well you are prepared for the project
  • that whatever you intend to do follows naturally on what you've already been doing
  • how your proposed study/research will further your academic or professional development
  • the significance of the project
  • why you must go abroad and to that specific country to carry out the project
  • the contribution the project will make to the Fulbright objective of promoting cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding.

The proposal must be feasible, well-researched, and carefully thought out, and your proposed study/research must have intellectual merit. The essay itself must be well-written. Be prepared for many re-writes and seek out as many readers as possible for constructive criticism and help with proofreading.


What is the process?

  • Students enrolled as full-time Temple students must apply through Temple University and meet the Temple University deadline (typically late September for study abroad the next academic year).
  • Students not enrolled may apply as at-large candidates and apply directly to the Institute of International Education in NY for their mid-October deadline.
  • Start now! Through spring and summer:
    • Work on essays.
    • Establish contacts overseas who can support the project and increase feasibility.
    • Line up references.
    • Request official transcripts - these can take several weeks so request well in advance of deadline.
  • Applicants are interviewed by the Campus Fulbright Committee in early October.


How do I get started?

  • Go to Fulbright website, www.fulbrightonline.org, and review:
    • individual country summaries, which outline the requirements/preferences for each country
    • Application statistics - these indicate how competitive each country is
    • Annual Directory of Awardees to see the kinds of projects that have been funded in the country that you're interested in.
  • Talk to your faculty
  • Make an appointment with Denise Connerty, Education Abroad, 215-204-0720
  • Attend a Fulbright information session at IIE's New York office or participate in an online IIE webinar.