Fulbright Grants for Study/Research*

Initial Bowdoin Deadline: September 4, 2018 at noon (Includes References and Evaluations)
Campus Interview: September 7 - 28, 2018
Final Bowdoin Deadline: October 2, 2018 (noon)
Fulbright Submission Deadline: October 9, 2018 (noon)
Web site: http://us.fulbrightonline.org
Campus Contact: Cindy Stocks, Director of Student Fellowships and Research

*Information derived from http://us.fulbrightonline.org 

Description. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. U.S. Student Fulbright Study/Research Grants (also referred to as Full Grants) are the traditional Fulbright awards and offer the greatest flexibility. The majority of grant awards are designed to conduct study and/or research in one country for an academic year. Applicants for these grants design their own projects, secure an affiliation in the host country at the time of application, and typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. Projects may include university coursework, independent library, lab or field research, classes in a music conservatory or art school, special projects in the social or life sciences, or a combination. Program requirements vary by country, so the applicant’s first step is to familiarize themselves with the program summary for the host country. Proposals are evaluated based upon the extent to which the candidate and the project might help advance the program’s aim of mutual understanding between nations. In the last application cycle, Fulbright received approximately 5,250 applications for Study/Research grants and made just over 700 awards (approximately a 14% funding rate) to over 140 nations.

Benefits. Fulbright Study/Research grants generally provide round-trip transportation; book and research allowances; maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country; supplemental health and accident coverage; tuition, in some cases; and language or orientation courses, where appropriate.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application.
  • Applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant.
  • Applicants may not hold a doctoral degree at the time of application, but may hold a J.D. degree.
  • Applicants must be in good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Certificate of Health from a physician.
  • Applicants should have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study/research. Such proficiency is especially important for students wishing to undertake projects in the social sciences and the humanities.
  • Preference will be given to those applicants whose higher education was undertaken primarily at educational institutions in the United States. Foreign study during the junior year or other periods of undergraduate study that are integral parts of the curricula of American institutions will not be considered a disadvantage.
  • Preference will be given to those applicants who have not resided or studied for more than six months in the country to which they are applying for.
  • Applicants should be aware that the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs is involved with the campus review process.  Students with serious social or academic violations, such as those that are included as part of their permanent record at Bowdoin, are advised to consult with the Director of Student Fellowships and Research early in the process.  Students may also consult with their dean for guidance.

For complete details please visit the "Eligibility" portion of the Fulbright website.

Bowdoin’s Initial Application Process.


By the initial Bowdoin deadline:

1) Complete the Fulbright S/R application through the Embark online system. The application includes the following:

  • Biographical data
  • Statement of Grant Purpose (2 pages)
  • Personal Statement (1 page)
  • Affiliation letter(s) in English or translated into English, on letterhead, and signed.  (Note:  some projects may require multiple letters of affiliations.  Please contact Cindy Stocks with questions.)
  • Foreign language evaluation (if applicable)
  • Foreign language self-evaluation (if applicable)
  • Three references (letters, in English, on letterhead, signed and electronically submitted)
  • Unofficial academic history from Polaris

2) Submit (in person or by email) a signed and witnessed "Permission Form and Waiver" to Gina Pappas (gpappas@bowdoin.edu).

3) Sign up for a campus interview. (The SFR Office will contact you to schedule this interview around the time of the initial Bowdoin deadline.)

Note:  When you submit your online application through Embark for the initial Bowdoin deadline, your application WILL NOT go to Fulbright; it will ONLY be seen by SFR.  The SFR office will make a PDF of your online application, share it with the campus Fulbright committee, and then electronically return your application to you, usually several days after the initial Bowdoin deadline.  You may continue to polish your application up until the final Bowdoin deadline, when you will resubmit it electronically.

For guidance about Fulbright’s online application, formatting requirements, recommendation process, and more, see Fulbright’s Tips for S/R applications.


Fulbright requires Bowdoin to interview every applicant. Around the same time as the initial Bowdoin deadline, students will sign up for individual interview slots.  These 15-minute interviews are conducted by members of Bowdoin's internal campus committee who have read the initial applications and are knowledgeable about the Fulbright program. Following each interview, members of the committee will complete a Fulbright Campus Committee Evaluation (CCE) form for each applicant, addressing the candidate’s qualifications and suitability to his or her chosen country.  This CCE form will be attached to your final application but like a recommendation you will not have access to it.

Immediately following the 15-minute interview, students will receive 5 minutes of feedback from the committee.  Students will then have the opportunity to revise their applications using this feedback.  Please know that Bowdoin does not narrow down the applicant pool through the interview process.

Revision process

Applicants can revise their applications up until the final Bowdoin deadline, incorporating interview feedback, any new experiences, and ensuring any typos or errors are corrected on the application itself.  

Note that the final Bowdoin deadline is several days in advance of the official Fulbright deadline found on the Fulbright website. This gives SFR time to upload the CCE forms and double-check all components of the application.  Bowdoin students must meet the final Bowdoin deadline.

Please be reminded that Bowdoin’s Honor Code applies to the fellowship application process.


Materials for Final Application.

By the final Bowdoin deadline (which is several days earlier that the official Fulbright deadline posted on the Fulbright website), submit your final Fulbright S/R application through the Embark application system.  Your final application includes the following: 

  • Biographical data
  • Statement of Grant Purpose (2 pages)
  • Personal Statement (1 page)
  • Affiliation letter(s) (in English, on letterhead, signed; multiple letters may be submitted if proposal requires multiple affiliations)
  • Foreign language evaluation (if applicable)
  • Foreign language self-evaluation (if applicable)
  • Three references (letters, in English, on letterhead, signed)
  • Official transcript(s)
***Please note: Our office will request official Bowdoin transcripts on your behalf. When we receive them, we will email them to you as PDFs before the final Bowdoin deadline. You will be responsible for uploading it to your application, in place of your unofficial academic history.  Please also include transcripts from any other institutions of higher education from which you have earned credit.

Pay close attention to Fulbright’s guidance about the ETA application, following all guidance around preferred content, formatting (e.g. essay headers), and more, as listed in the Tips for ETA Programs page.

Final Deadline Schedule.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 11:59 PMfinal Bowdoin deadline. In order for Cindy & Kate to review students' applications and allow them to make changes based on their feedback, students must submit their applications by this deadline.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3 – Our office will pull applications and release back to students before 5 PM.

OCTOBER 3–8 – We will review each application and contact students individually with:

  • Minor changes/suggestions, or
  • The all-clear to submit

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9 at noon – FINAL SUBMISSION TO FULBRIGHT. Students must hit the submit button in Embark by noon.* This is the ABSOLUTE FINAL DEADLINE.

*Fulbright’s official submission deadline is 5 PM on October 9. However, past students who have waited until the last minute have experienced trouble with the online system and were not able to make the deadline. DO NOT WAIT – submit by noon.

Please be reminded that Bowdoin’s Honor Code applies to the fellowship application process.

Fulbright’s national review and selection process.

Fulbright will convene a National Screening Committee from November through December. There are sub-committees divided by countries/regions who consider all the S/R applications to each country. These reviewers are often academics and will have expertise in the given country/region, and determine which applications are recommended for final consideration in the host countries. They typically put forward to the host country reviewers twice as many final applications as there are grants available.

In January, Fulbright will send all Bowdoin applicants Initial Notifications stating whether or not they have been “recommended” (meaning they are a finalist being considered directly now by the country), or “not recommended” (meaning they are no longer in the competition).

Occasionally a host country may request a brief follow up interview, conducted by phone or Skype, which students arrange with the host country directly. Please inform SFR if your host country has asked for such an interview.

Fulbright sends out Final Selection Notifications country by country, typically between mid-March and the end of May, depending on the in-country process and timing. Applicants will be notified by email if they have been selected, designated as an alternate, or not selected. Please inform SFR when you have been notified by Fulbright of your status.


Genevieve de Kervor '18


At Bowdoin, Genevieve studied zebrafish tooth development and gained fluency in Spanish as she pursued a major in biology and a minor in Hispanic studies. After her semester abroad in Chile, she received the Latin American Studies Research Award to investigate the role of Chilean opposition in the country's transition to democracy. A recipient of a Fulbright study/research grant to Chile, she is returning to Chile to study zebrafish olfactory development with Dr. Kathleen Whitlock at the University of Valparaiso. In addition to her time in Dr. Whitlock's lab, Genevieve looks forward to leading science workshops in public schools with the outreach program called Ciencia al Tiro (Science Immediately).


Ben Torda '18


A chemistry major with a German minor, Ben is thrilled to combine these two areas next year through research on photovoltaic cells at Europe's largest solar research institute. He will spend ten months at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany, working in the Plasma Technology Group. This work builds on the experience Ben gained in plasma processing working at the Colorado School of Mines the summer before his senior year. After studying abroad in Germany and Austria his junior year, Ben knew that he wanted to return to Germany. As a an avid runner and lover of the outdoors, he hopes to enjoy the Black Forest and to connect with running clubs in Freiburg.

For a comprehensive list of Bowdoin fellowship winners, click here.

Resources for Fulbright Applicants: 

1) Three online tutorials.  These up-to-date, accessible slideshow videos allow applicants to learn about the basics of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

2) Visit and subscribe to the Fulbright U.S. Student Blog. The blog features tips and advice on applying, student testimonials, and a calendar with upcoming webinars and campus visits. 

3) The Fulbright Program attempts to be always accessible on social media streams - including Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn - so you can stay abreast of updates through your preferred medium.