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The preliminary application is a slightly modified version of the official one. All the work you do at this stage will ultimately lead you into a well thought out and polished final product.
This process is more or less similar for most competitions. You need to figure out what you want to do, submit your application materials (a personal statement, a project proposal, a resume, transcript(s), letters of recommendation) and often, you will be asked for an on-campus interview.
We strongly recommend that students begin the process at least 6 months before the national deadlines. Preliminary applications are due significantly earlier. You will be asked to submit most, if not all, of the following materials:
Preliminary Application Information Form – one page, general information form requested only with the preliminary application
Essays – work on them over the summer (for fall deadlines); come prepared in the fall to refine them; please read Writing Fellowship Essays.
Transcripts -- request transfer and study abroad transcripts from the granting institution at least a month before the preliminary deadline; these grades are not printed on your Amherst transcript and must be submitted separately.
Letters of Recommendation – request these at least a month before they are due, if not earlier, in order to allow your recommenders time to compose and submit them without time pressure; please read How to Ask For and Get Strong Letters of Recommendation.
Affiliations – as part of the Fulbright Research Grant application, you will need to find work/research contacts in the country to which you apply. These contacts will need to write letters confirming that they will work with you if you are awarded a Fulbright. (These are not letters of acceptance). See also Establishing Affiliations Abroad.
After submitting all your written materials, you may be invited for an on-campus interview. These usually last between 10 and 20 minutes. Come appropriately dressed and prepared to discuss your project and interests with some or all members of the Faculty Committee. You will be notified shortly after you interview if you are being endorsed by Amherst. At this point, we will review with you what steps you need to take to complete your final application and what you can expect after that.
Most fellowships follow a similar timeline. The earlier you start, the more prepared you will be. Please see the Planning Calendar for all deadlines.