Fulbright Frequently Asked Questions


Please note: The Fulbright application cycle for the 2023-2024 award year is now closed.  Please check back in late December 2022 or very early January 2023 for updated information and FAQs about the 2023 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process & Cohort.


First Steps and General Information

2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process and Cohort

Application Materials, Campus Interviews & Application Submission

First Steps and General Information

• If I am thinking about applying for a Fulbright grant, what are my first steps?

Before beginning the application process for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, interested students are expected to have thoroughly reviewed the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/. Visit the Fulbright Tutorials for a comprehensive introduction to the various aspects of the Fulbright program. Prospective applicants should also carefully read the Country Summaries for their host countries of interest.

 (2020, 2021 & 2022 Fulbright Cohort members, please read the FAQ below.)

• What types of awards does Fulbright offer?

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program funds several types of grants. There are two main categories of grants: Study and Research Awards (including in the Creative & Performing Arts) and the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Award. An applicant may only apply for one type of award in one country per application cycle.

Students applying for Research Award design their own research projects and typically work with advisers at foreign universities. Students applying for a Study Award are planning to enroll in a degree-granting graduate program.  Specific program requirements will vary by country.

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

• 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 attend the Introduction to Fulbright Workshops in the CCRF Resource Library for the grant types that you are considering.

• 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.

• How can I decide which country to apply to?

Applicants should offer compelling reasons for their host country choice. Research/Study grant projects should present a rationale that necessitates completing a degree program or conducting research in the host country; ETA applicants should offer a compelling why they wish to teach English in the host country. Applicants 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 consider a handful of countries for which you are qualified. Reviewing Fulbright’s region and country-specific pages can give you a bit more of a sense of what the in-country experience might be like.

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

The selection process occurs in two stages. In the first stage, the national selection committee designates 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 June.


2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process and Cohort

• What are the benefits of being a part of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Cohort?

CCRF staff are committed to supporting and advising members of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Cohort who are engaging seriously with the Campus Process. Staff will provide group workshops, individual advising and draft review, and application support throughout the application process (January - October 2022). 

Additionally, members of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Cohort after May 2, 2022 will be eligible for a campus interview, campus endorsement, and periodic individual advising and draft review appointments over the summer.

• Should I apply through the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process or apply at-large?

We strongly encourage all eligible College students and alumni to express their interest in becoming members of the 2022 Fulbright Cohort by submitting a Fulbright Pre-Application to Survey Monkey by the deadline on January 24, 2022 at 9:00 am CT.  [Please note: CCRF is no longer adding members to the 2022 Fulbright Cohort. Students in the College and College alumni who are interested in applying for the 2023-2024 Fulbright award, but who are not invited to be part of the 2022 Fulbright Cohort, may choose to apply on their own. Information about the "at-large" Fulbright application can be found on the Fulbright website. However, CCRF staff are not able to provide Fulbright draft review, application support, advising, campus interviews, or campus endorsement for Fulbright applicants who apply outside the campus process.]

Alumni of the College who had their degrees conferred before June 2020 and are not enrolled in graduate school are encouraged to apply “at-large.”

College alumni who are (or were) in graduate school should contact the fellowships office at their graduate institution.

(2020, 2021 & 2022 Fulbright Cohort members, please read the FAQ below.)

• Is the UChicago Fulbright Campus Process course for credit? Does it cost anything to participate?

No, the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process course is not for credit. The course is free and open to all members 2022 UChicago Fulbright Cohort.

We encourage all eligible College students and alumni to express their interest in becoming members of the 2022 Fulbright Cohort by submitting a Fulbright Pre-Application to Survey Monkey by the deadline on January 24, 2022 at 9:00 am CT. [Please note: CCRF is no longer adding members to the 2022 Fulbright Cohort. Students in the College and College alumni who are interested in applying for the 2023-2024 Fulbright award, but who are not invited to be part of the 2022 Fulbright Cohort, may choose to apply on their own. Information about the "at-large" Fulbright application can be found on the Fulbright website. However, CCRF staff are not able to provide Fulbright draft review, application support, advising, campus interviews, or campus endorsement for Fulbright applicants who apply outside the campus process.]

• I was a member of the 2020/2021/2022 Fulbright Cohort.  Can I join the 2023 Fulbright Cohort?

Yes, we welcome members of the 2020, 2021 or 2022 Fulbright Cohorts who are still eligible to participate in the 2023 Fulbright Cohort. Specific instructions will be updated in the coming weeks.

• If I am not meeting the requirements of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process, will I be removed from the Cohort?

Yes, CCRF staff reserve the right to remove members from the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process course and the 2022 Fulbright Cohort if they are not meeting the Campus Process requirements. The requirements are clearly stated in the Campus Process course syllabus. 

CCRF staff will contact members of the Fulbright Cohort whose written work, workshop participation, and/or appointment attendance do not evidence serious engagement with the Campus Process before removing them from the Cohort.

Members of the Fulbright Cohort who are committed to remaining in the Campus Process may be given an opportunity to detail how they plan to make up missed workshops/appointments or, in rare cases, to submit written work after a Campus Process deadline. There is no recourse at the national level for missed deadlines or incomplete applications.

• I have decided that I don’t want to apply to Fulbright. Can I leave the Cohort and Campus Process?

Regardless of where you are in the Campus Process, the decision to apply or not to apply for a Fulbright grant is always up to you. If you are thinking of leaving the Cohort, please reach out to a CCRF advisor, so that we can understand your decision-making process and advise on next steps.


Application Materials, Campus Interviews & Application Submission

• What material needs to be submitted for a complete Fulbright application?

Fulbright applications are submitted entirely online through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website using the SLATE application portal. A complete application includes:

  • Biographical Data (basic contact details, list of time spent outside the U.S., CV information, etc.)
  • Short Answer Questions
  • Statement of Grant Purpose (one- or two-page grant proposal)
  • Personal Statement (one-page motivation 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
  • Supplemental materials (Creative & Performing Arts)

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

• Who can help me with the application essays?

A good resource for gaining a preliminary understanding of the application materials is the Fulbright website, which provides ample guidance on how to approach the essays.  The IIE also holds several webcasts and tutorials throughout the application season. 

For the Statement of Grant Purpose, applicants are required to engage discipline and area experts, including their faculty and academic mentors.  

The 2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process has been designed to help students with the entire writing process, from brainstorming through to final drafts. Members of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Cohort will receive group writing instruction as they draft and revise their application essays. Additionally, CCRF staff will provide individual draft review periodically throughout the application process. Members of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Cohort should consult the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process course syllabus for more information about individual advising meetings and draft deadlines.

• How do I get an affiliation letter?

Most applicants applying for Research/Study grants will seek affiliations from 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, which invites the applicant to conduct their research under the supervision of a mentor, 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.

• How do my references submit their letters or forms?

All letters and recommendation 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 their recommendations to SLATE by July 29, 2022. 

• 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 complete the evaluation form. 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 Johanna Best (bestjl@uchicago.edu).

• What hard copy application 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 in early June 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 campus endorsement form that will accompany the final application; and 2) provide constructive feedback to the applicant.

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/.

Please note that only members of the 2022 Fulbright Cohort who have completed the requirements of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process through May 9, 2022 are eligible for a campus interview, campus endorsement, and continued periodic Fulbright advising from CCRF staff through application submission in October. 

• Can I keep working on my application after the third draft/campus application deadline on May 9, 2022 and after the campus interview in June 2022?

Yes, members of the 2022 UChicago Fulbright Cohort are expected to continue to revise their applications over the summer. In fact, an additional two drafts are due over the summer.