Fulbright Campus Application Guide

First Steps | Grant Types | Campus Application Procedures | Application Components | Frequently Asked Questions

This page is for current undergraduates and recent graduates from the College who are interested in applying to the Fulbright US Student Program. Graduate students who are interested in applying for a Fulbright grant should contact the Fellowships team at UChicagoGRAD

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 -- FINAL NATIONAL APPLICATION Deadline for all UChicago students or recent alum applying through the University:

Your complete application, including final drafts of all essays and short answers, official transcripts, letter of affiliation (if required), letters of recommendation, and foreign language evaulation(s) must be submitted through Fulbright's SLATE national application system by October 1 in order to be read nationally as a UChicago candidate. 

If you do not meet this deadline, please apply as an "at-large" candidate. 

First Steps

Before beginning the application process for the Fulbright US Student program, interested students are expected to have thoroughly reviewed the Fulbright US Student program website: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/. Prospective applicants should also carefully read the Country Summaries for their host countries of interest.

The application for the Fulbright US Student Program opens April 1, 2019. The CCRF will host information sessions throughout the Spring quarter. These sessions will be widely publicized. For regular information on upcoming sessions, workshops, and scholarship deadlines, subscribe to the Scholarships & Fellowships Information Listserv.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with CCRF advisers Arthur Salvo (aksalvo@uchicago.edu) or Sandra Zupan (szupan@uchicago.edu) before commencing an application. Appointments may be scheduled via email of Appointment Manager (Arthur, Sandra). Applicants new to Fulbright are encouraged to review our Fulbright Resources page.

Grant Types

The Fulbright US Student Program funds several types of grants. The two main types of grants are "Study/Research" grants and English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grants. An applicant may only apply for one type of grant in one country per application cycle.

Students applying for Study/Research grants design their own projects and typically work with advisers at foreign universities. Specific program requirements will vary by country. Projects typically involve independent research, formal (i.e. classroom) study, directed study, or some combination of all three. Students may also apply for grants to support projects in the creative and performing arts.

Students who receive an ETA grant are placed in a classroom and assist teachers of English to non-native English speakers. ETA recipients also serve as cultural ambassadors. Specific requirements of ETA grants also vary by country.

Campus Application Procedures

1.  Monday, June 24, 2019: First draft deadline

  • Your drafts of Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement should be submitted here [draft deadline has now passed; proceed to step 2]. Following the submission, a CCRF advisor will provide feedback on your essays and the direction of your application.

2. Monday, July 29, 2019 - Slate Online Application and Second Draft Due Date

  • Step 1. Open and activate your Fulbright National Slate Online Application. ***At this time, do NOT upload your Statement of Grant Purpose or Personal Statement. You will submit your FINAL application in October.*** This is the web platform that the national Fulbright program uses to manage the national applications. The content you submit is comprised of biographical information, academic history, travel experience, professional endeavors, and extracurriculars. 
    • Letters of recommendation: Will be uploaded directly to the national application portal (Slate). Add in your letter writers' contact information and alert them that they will receive an automated email from Fulbright with instructions to upload their letters directly to the portal. NOTE: ETA letters of recommendations are submitted *as forms*, not actual letters. You may wish to tell you writers this if you are applying for the ETA program.
    • Language evaluation: Will be uploaded directly to national application portal (Slate). Add in the name of your langauge evaluator. Alert them that they will receive an automated email from Fulrbight with a link and instructions on how to complete the language evaluation form. 
    • Official transcripts: Will be uploaded directly to national application portal (Slate). Please request an official transcript from the University Registar. You can request a digital PDF copy be sent to you; save this and upload this to Slate. Please double check that the full transcript has saved appropriately and is legible. 
    • Letter(s) of Affiliation: (for Research/Study applicants only): You will upload your letter of affiliation directly to national application portal (Slate). Please ensure that your affiliation letter is on official letterhead and signed. You do not need to have your affiliation letter uploaded by July 29; you must have it uploaded by October 1.
  • Step 2Submit the second draft of your Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement. 
    • NOTE: Anyone who does not submit a draft of both the Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement by July 29 is invited to proceed to Step 3. However, CCRF Fulbright advisors are unable to meet with candidates after this date, review essays or provide evaluative comment/feedback. 

3. Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - CAMPUS APPLICATION NOW CLOSED! 

  • Step 1: Submit the final draft of your Fulbright application via our online system [NOW CLOSED]-- please remember to hit "submit" when you have uploaded your essays, which will include a complete and final, well-crafted Statement of Grant Purpose, Personal Statement, and answers to the (3) short answers as requested by Fulbright. DO NOT SUBMIT THESE via Fulbright's SLATE portal. These materials will be read by UChicago faculty and staff, and will serve as the basis for your campus interview, if you are interviewed. 
  • NOTE: Anyone who does not submit a final campus application by September 3 will not be interviewed. (Candidates who do not submit by September 3 are invited to apply through Fulbright's SLATE application up to October 1, 2019. However, they will not be interviewed nor can CCRF Fulbright advisors meet with new candidates after this date, review essays or provide evaluative comment/feedback).
  • Following the review of materials post-September 3rd, CCRF Fulbright advisors reserve the right not to interview candidates whose application materials do not evidence substantive time committment, summer draft writing/review/revision and/or do not meet the basic eligibility of the Fulbright program. Interviews are a privlege; they involve substantive faculty and staff time. Applications of sub-par quality submitted on September 3 may result in no campus interview.

4. The week of September 16 through September 20 -- Campus Committee Interview: Candidates invited to interview with faculty and staff Fulbright panels should anticipate a 30-minute interview during this week (in person or by Skype/phone). Following the interview, students are expected to continue revising their applications prior to the final submission deadline. Interviews are offered based on the quality of submitted materials and only for those candidates who submitted their materials on the September 3 campus applicatino deadline. 

5. Tuesday, October 1, 2019 -- FINAL NATIONAL APPLICATION Deadline for all UChicago students or recent alum applying through the University:

Your complete application, including final drafts of all essays and short answers, official transcripts, letter of affiliation (if required), letters of recommendation, and foreign language evaulation(s) must be submitted through Fulbright's SLATE national application system by October 1 in order to be read nationally as a UChicago candidate. 

**If you do not meet this deadline, please apply as an "at-large" candidate.** 

**Alumni applicants are strongly encouraged to apply through the campus endorsement process** 

Application Components

To participate in the campus application process, students must submit a complete application by the campus deadline. Fulbright applications are submitted entirely online through the Fulbright US Student Program website using the SLATE application portal. A complete application will consist of the following:

  • Biographical Data (basic contact, CV information, etc)
  • Short answer questions provided in the SLATE application
  • Statement of Grant purpose (one- or two-page grant proposal)
  • Personal Statement (one-page narrative essay)
  • Reference Letters for the Study/Research Grant (three); Reference Forms for the ETA (three).  NOTE: All letters and references should be uploaded DIRECTLY to the Slate Application system. Do not send them by email to CCRF staff.
  • Official transcripts

Depending on the type of grant and the requirements of the host country, applicants may also need to submit the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I apply for a Research/Study grant or an ETA grant?

Students who have a focused interest in the host country that could be pursued through study or directed research should apply for the Research/Study grants.  Students who have the appropriate background and academic/professional aspirations should apply for the ETA.  If you are stuck between two seemingly equal options, we encourage you to set up a meeting with CCRF to discuss your approach.

Should I apply for a Partner Award to the UK?

Probably not, if you plan on applying to: Imperial College London, London School of Economics, University College London, Oxford University, or the UK Open Award. While we at the CCRF will encourage your ambitions in almost all instances, the Fulbright Partner awards to the UK are hellaciously competitive -- to the point of it generally not being a very good idea to invest the necessary time and energy to apply for one. When we say "hellaciously competitive," we mean, "statistically, two or three times more selective than the Rhodes Scholarship." This is true for the following awards: Open Award, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, University College London, Oxford University. That said, there are 43 other Partner Awards available to top flight UK institutions (Manchester! Sussex! Kent!) that are an order of magnitude more reasonable. In this singular instance, we will be cagey and encourage you to play the numbers game. 

Should I apply through the campus process or apply at-large?

All currently enrolled students are expected to apply through the campus process. Alumni are strongly encouraged to apply through the campus process. 

How can I decide which country to apply to?

Applicants should offer compelling reasons for their choice of host country.  Research/Study grant projects should be tightly connected to the host country; ETA applicants should offer a compelling reason for their interest in the host country.  As well, the applicant should demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the host country's culture and possess the requisite language skills.  A "strong desire" to visit the country or a "passion" for the culture is insufficient. If you're at the very beginning of the process, the CCRF encourages you to brainstorm a handful of countries you might be interested in applying to -- looking through the region and then country pages can give you a bit more of a sense of what the in-country experience might be like. When you've whittled it down to a handful, set a meeting with the CCRF and we can talk through the decision making process!

Who can help me with the application essays?

The College Center for Research and Fellowships! A good resource for gaining a preliminary understanding of the materials is the Fulbright website, which provides ample guidance on how to approach the application essays.  The IIE also holds several webcasts throughout the application season. The team at the College Center for Research and Fellowships will provide draft review throughout the application process.  All candidates are encouraged to meet with staff early on in their writing process.  For the Statement of Grant Purpose, applicants are strongly encouraged (read: effectively required) to engage discipline and area experts, including their faculty and graduate students.  All applicants are encouraged to make use of UChicago's writing center for general support and editorial revisions.

How do I get an Affiliation Letter?

Most Fulbrighters undertaking Research/Study grants will affiliate with universities, although in some countries it is possible to affiliate with other types of organizations such as research institutes or government ministries. The Affiliation Letter should come from the institution/individual in the host country with whom the applicant is proposing to work. Affiliation requirements vary by country, so before starting the application applicants should note the specific requirements for the proposed host country. The Affiliation Letter should be printed on official letterhead and should be signed by the author.  There is no "secret" method for obtaining Affiliation Letters - applications should initiate direct contact with potential affiliates well ahead of the application deadline. For general guidance, please consult: Basic Information for Establishing an Affiliation (Word Doc).

How do my references submit their letters or forms?

All letters and reference forms must be uploaded directly into the Slate application system.  Once you enter in your recommenders details, an automated email will be generated for them with instructions.  Please advise your writers to submit by the internal campus deadlines, if possible.  You are required to submit at least two of the three for your internal process. 

How do I get a Foreign Language Evaluation?

The Foreign Language Evaluation Form is part of the online application and should be completed by a professional language teacher.  The University offers a wide range of languages, and applicants should be able to find a faculty member who can do the evaluation. If you have not taken coursework in the language while at the UChicago, you are encouraged to reach out the CCRF to discuss how to best approach making an inquiry to the relevant language department. If your language is not taught at the university, please contact us.

What hard copy materials do I need to submit to the College Center for Research and Fellowships office?

None.  The entire application is submitted online.

What are the campus interviews like?

The Campus Committee interviews are conducted by interview teams comprised of three to four faculty members and professional staff.  The two main purposes of the interviews are to 1) gather enough information to complete the required evaluation form that will accompany the final application; and 2) provide constructive feedback to the applicant.  No applicant can be rejected by the University - every completed application is submitted. If you're looking for additional information on the process, please check out this article by Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors: https://blog.fulbrightonline.org/fulbright-alumni-ambassador-on-campus-interview-blog-post/.

Can I keep working on my application after the September 3rd campus deadline?

Yes - the applications will be returned to "in progress" status shortly after the campus interview.  Students may continue to revise the applications until the final campus deadline established by the Fulbright Program Adviser, which is typically one week before the national deadline.

When will I know if I get the grant or not?

The selection process occurrs in two stages.  In the first stage, the national reading committee selects applicants that it will "recommend" to the host countries.  These announcements are made by the end of January each year. Finalists are then selected and notified by the Host Country Selection committee; this final notification can come anytime between mid-March and late-April.