The Department of Education (DOE) Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award (Fulbright-Hays) supports research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. It is an entirely separate grant from the Fulbright Grants administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York.
To train and maintain specialists whose academic interests and career goals include teaching and research in modern foreign languages and area studies for all major world areas with the exception of Western Europe.
- Must be a US citizen or a permanent resident.
- Must be advanced to Ph.D. candidacy prior to departure.
- Must be in "Non-Western Area Studies." While applicants may apply to a western European country, they must research non-western studies at an institute which specializes in such studies.
- Applications should clearly demonstrate language and area studies background.
Clarification of the term "AREA STUDIES"
AREA STUDIES as defined by the DOE: "... In recent competitions we have received quite a few applications which were deemed ineligible because they did not satisfy the language and the area studies requirement that the scholar be a part of a 'program of comprehensive study of the aspect of society or societies, including the study of their geography, history, culture, economy, politics, international relations, and languages.' In other words, do the scholar's training and professional activities indicate a multi-disciplinary approach focused on a specific world area or country? ..."
If the graduate program is not clearly in area studies, applicants may want to document area studies training as an undergraduate or time in the host country in a formal training environment. The curriculum vitae section may be expanded to include such items as explanations of transcripts, or additional materials (e.g., undergraduate transcripts) may be submitted.
For 2014, Overseas Programs (OSP) had primary responsibility for the administration of the Fulbright-Hays on Washington University’s campus; we process all applications and awards on behalf of WU students. We can provide limited advising and feedback on applications.
The following is a list of steps to take if you are interested in applying for the Fulbright-Hays:
- Review the official on-line Fulbright-Hays application which includes: (1) application forms; (2) e-language reference form; (3) e-reference forms; and (4) detailed information and instructions for the program.
- Consult your academic advisor, and other faculty members with whom you work closely. Remind yourself to highlight your area studies credentials and explore other sources of funding such as the IIE Fulbright.
Application Particulars and Tips
- The grant period is July 1 through the following December 31 (18 months). The research period is six to twelve consecutive months within that grant period.
- Read carefully the annual DOE funding priorities which should be available once you create an online account. Information on the total amount of funds available or distribution of grants by world area will also be included.
- Be aware of "host country sensitivities and interests."
- Inquire early into obtaining a research/study visa for the appropriate country. Such visas can take time to issue, so it is advised that you check now concerning requirements.
- Project Description: this should be 5 to 10 pages long, double spaced. If it exceeds 10 pages your application will be denied. Phrase your project description in such a way that it can be understood by well-educated people outside your field.
- Letters of Recommendation/Language Report: these must be submitted online by the campus deadline. It is your responsibility to confirm that they have been submitted.
- Health Statement: even though the application asks for a physician’s signature, none is needed. Please make sure you have had a recent check up, as a signature will be required should you receive the grant.
- Curriculum Vitae: be sure to list relevant course work, as it isn't always clearly described on a transcript. Also, be sure to emphasize any previous international experience, particularly in the prospective host country. Remember that people evaluating your application will be looking for evidence of your foreign language and area studies training and your ability to adapt well to the host country. The more prior training and experience you have, the better. The curriculum vitae is the place to emphasize this.
- Transcripts: Submitted electronically through the e-Application system.
- Interview: there is no interview for the Fulbright-Hays. If you apply for the IIE Fulbright, you will be interviewed here on campus, but the result of the interview will only affect your IIE Fulbright application.
Budget Particulars and Tips
At the time of application, you will be required to submit a budget estimate of the expenses you will incur while conducting your research overseas. You will make this estimate according to the guidelines established by the DOE, which will be found in the application package. These budgets must be very carefully designed as it is impossible to alter the amount of the award once it has been granted. It is also extremely important for you to read and understand the details and obligations of the scholarship (such as providing final reports, traveling within the period of the grant, etc.) should you be awarded one.
- International Travel: to estimate the cost of your international travel, call your travel agent or a US airline which serves the route you need. Be sure to request the round trip commercial high season rate, not the "cheapest possible rate." Keep in mind that you must use a US airline, wherever available, regardless of cost.
- Baggage: you also need to make an estimate of expenses for excess baggage, in consultation with a travel agent or airline company. Make your best estimate of your needs and justify them, keeping in mind that in past years 50 lbs. of excess baggage has been considered standard by the DOE.
- Maintenance and Dependent's Allowance: refer to the charts in the on-line application package for maintenance for yourself and your dependent(s).
- Project Allowance: be sure to make a generous but reasonable estimate of your expenses in the categories indicated. You may not request additional funds once the application has been submitted. Also be aware that the award amount may be less than what you request.
- Health and Accident Insurance: to estimate this, please consult with a representative of your student insurance plan. Estimate health and accident insurance for the time you propose to be abroad PLUS one month.
- Administrative Fee: the administrative fee goes directly to WU if you are granted an award. It is not relayed to you.
Submitting a Complete Application for the Campus Deadline
- Submit your e-Application on-line. This will release your application to WU. We will then be able to view all applications and complete our part of the collective application.
- Upload your official Graduate School transcripts through the e-Application system.
- Print out one copy of the e-Application and submit it to Dr. Amy Suelzer in Overseas Programs (McMillan, room 138). We do not need a hard copy of your curriculum vitae, or project description, just your personal information and budget.
- Make sure your recommenders have submitted their part of your application by the campus deadline.
The responsible WUSTL office will forward your application along with the other completed WU applications to the DOE in Washington, DC, where the selection takes place. You will be notified some time in the spring (usually late April) of the result of the competition.
WU has had a number of successful candidates for the Fulbright-Hays in the past few years and we encourage you to apply. Please stop by the International and Area Studies library during working hours (M – F, 9am – 5pm), in McMillan Hall, room 256, to view examples of successful applications. While this is a more complicated application process than the IIE Fulbright, the budget covers more categories of expenses and allows you to extend your research overseas.
Contact for further information
Fulbright-Hays website: http://www.ed.gov/programs/iegpsddrap/index.html
Click here to read an article in The Record about recent successful WUSTL applicants.
This information is based largely on the excellent guidance offered by the Overseas Resource Center at Stanford University’s Bechtel International Center.