Fulbright Research/Study Grant

Amherst applicant initial deadline: AUG 31, 2019 - NOON

Studry grant recipient Phuong Nghi Pham at a SMARTLab event Before you start, read the Fulbright overview to learn about the grant's and purpose and the application process
See Application Advice for examples of essays by winning candidates and useful tips on fellowship applications.

Fulbright Research/Study Application Components

The Fulbright online application includes information you enter, documents you upload, and documents you ask others to upload. All components are due by the deadline above. The application opens in April. You can enter information and return to it, saving as you go. Start early and proofread regularly! Be sure to indicate that you are applying through Amherst College, whether you are a senior or an alum. Start your application by selecting Fulbright Online Application on the left side of the Fulbright Applicants page.

Information you enTer:
  • Personal information: biographical details, lists of extracurricular activities, travel history, work experience, awards, and other data; you will not be able to upload a resume
  • Three (important!) summary statements: (1) an abstract/summary of your proposal (200 words); (2) host country engagement plan (200 words); (3) description of plans upon return to U.S. (100 words)
Documents you upload:

Essays: two essays are the centerpiece of your Fulbright application

  • In the 2-page Statement of Grant Purpose (SOGP), you will explain the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of what you are proposing for your Fulbright year. Developing a strong, feasible, and compelling project or plan of study is critical to your success.
  • The 1-page Personal Statement may address your personal history, family background, influences on your intellectual development, the educational, professional, and cultural opportunities (or lack of them) to which you have been exposed, and the ways in which these experiences have affected you․ It should include your specific interests and abilities, career plans, and life goals, etc․ It should not be a recording of facts already listed on the application or an elaboration of your Statement of Grant Purpose․ It is a biography specifically related to you and your aspirations relative to the Fulbright Program to which you have applied
    Read these Guidelines for Independent Research Essays.
    Read these Guidelines for Graduate Study Grant Essays.
    If you are applying for a combination of independent research and graduate study, read both guidelines!



Choose a country and read all the information on the Fulbright page for this grant

Read an array of Past Winning Research/Study Applications on our website

Read the Guidelines linked above for Independent Research or Graduate Study Essays

Complete the SOGP Pre-Draft Questionnaire for your grant type:

Graduate Study Pre-Draft Questionnaire

Independent Research Pre-Draft Questionnaire

We will respond via email to either encourage you to proceed to the next step (drafting your SOGP) or to suggest a conversation


Send your first Statement of Grant Purpose (SOGP) draft to the Director of Fellowships as a Word doc for feedback & revision


Continue to revise SOGP, and send Personal Statement as a Word doc for feedback


Continue revising both drafts and sending them for feedback until we both agree that the content represents you well

By AUG 31st

Proofread your final essays; correct errors; proofread again; turn the Word docs into pdfs, print them and check for formatting errors. Correct errors, then upload to application portal.

Affiliation letter(s): For research/study grants only, a “letter of affiliation” from the institution/individual in the host country with whom you are proposing to work is required (unless your country page specifically says otherwise). The lettert should be written in or translated to English, printed on official letterhead and signed by the author. Email correspondence is not acceptable. Fulbright offers detailed guidelines on how to find potential affiliates (click on Affiliation Letters). Uncertain how to reach out to potential affiliates? Use these templates to write an

Once you have had a phone/Skype/email conversation with the affiliate and have determined together you are a good mathc, request an affiliation letter. It is possible, and sometimes desirable to secure more than one affiliation letter, depending on your grant type and the country. Affiliation letters should be sent directly to you, and you upload them as pdfs to the online application portal. Strive to procure these letters by the internal AC deadline, but they may be uploaded any time up until the final deadline. You may wish to offer to send a template to your affiliate so that they know what Fulbright has in mind for this genre of letter.

Transcripts:  Fulbright requires both your AC transcript and any study abroad/transfer college transcripts. Always scan front AND back. While Fulbright says they allow unofficial transcripts, the AC unofficial versions do not contain all required information so ORDER AN OFFICIAL version - one that does not require a password for someone to access. Make sure that the major(s) that appears on your transcript matches what you enter in the application. Upload transcripts as pdfs, and follow Fulbright's instructions on requirements and how to upload. Note that the numerical GPA you enter in the application should be calculated with your AC grades only (no previous institutions) using the AC Registrar's Grade Conversion Worksheet.

Language Self-evaluation. If you have any language skills at all for the destination country, you should complete a language self-evalulation even if it is not required by the country. The self-evaluation form is brief and is part of the online application. (see below onlanguage evaluations from instructors)

Supplementary Materials: Candidates applying for the performing or creative arts must upload supplementary materials along with their application. Read Fulbright's descriptions of arts supplementary mateials.

Documents you ask others to submit

In the online application, you will have opportunity to enter the names and contact information for three recommenders and a language evaluator. Only enter their names after you have personally asked them over the phone or through email. It is courteous to ask at least three weeks to a month in advance of a deadline. It is best to ask faculty during the spring semester or ealry summer before the fall deadline if they will be able to write letters for you, then remind them, and trigger the email request in the portal in early August.

Recommendations: Fulbright requires three recommendation letters. For research/study grants, two should be from faculty and a third may be either from a faculty member or a coach, internship/work supervisor, or supervisor/advisor from an extracurricular or community activity. For details on what is required in these letters, please direct your recommenders to our Fulbright Overview page (to the section titled For Recommenders).

Language evaluations: Language evaluations from instructors are required for some countries. Even if not required, getting an evaluation is wise if you have any language skills at all for the country. Fulbright offers language evaluator instructions and a sample form here but instructors will actually complete an online form accessed through an email you trigger within the online application. If your language evaluator is also a recommender, you must enter two distinct email addresses for the two requests. The language evaluation is desired by the AC internal deadline. See sample instructor evaluation form.

Questions? Contact:
Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall, 413-542-2536, coverstreet@amherst.edu                                  
Mail: Office of Fellowships, 212 Converse Hall, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002