Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – US Applicants
1. Eligibility & Citizenship:
Is there an age limit to people applying for Fulbright Scholarships? No. Fulbright does not discriminate on the basis of age.
I have already started my program of study. Can I apply for a Fulbright scholarship? No. Applicants who have already commenced studies/research in Australia are ineligible for a scholarship.
Must I have an undergraduate degree to be eligible for a Fulbright scholarship? Yes. Or a tertiary equivalent qualification.
Is preference given to applicants from specific academic fields? No. Fulbright Scholarships are open to applicants from any academic field.
Are medical graduates eligible for a Fulbright Scholarship? Medical graduates are eligible for a Fulbright scholarship if, and only if, they can assure authorities in Australia that there will be no clinical contact or undertaking of clinical practice, or invasive procedures with patients.
Are those with dual Australian/US citizenship eligible for a scholarship? No. Fulbright Scholarships are intended to provide U.S. citizens an opportunity for an educational and cultural exchange that would otherwise not be possible. Dual citizens are therefore ineligible.
If I’m not a U.S. citizen, am I eligible for a scholarship to Australia? No. Applicants for Australian Fulbright Scholarships must be U.S. citizens by birth or naturalisation. The Fulbright Scholarship program is characterised by its bilateral exchange nature, in line with Senator Fulbright’s vision of knowledge transfer between the U.S. and other countries. Citizens of other countries should visit the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website to find out whether their country currently has a Fulbright agreement with the U.S. Government.
If I am a U.S. citizen but I’m living abroad, am I eligible for an Australian Fulbright scholarship? No. It is a requirement of Australian Fulbright scholarships that applicants be resident in the U.S. at the time of application and that they be available for an interview. The only exceptions to this rule are for men and women serving overseas in the Armed Forces, or for U.S. diplomats posted overseas.
I have never lived or studied abroad. Will that disadvantage me? No.
2. Guidelines for Applying:
How do I apply for a Fulbright Scholarship? Please click the “APPLY NOW” at the bottom of the scholarship page that you are applying for. This will take you to the Institute of International Education (IIE) page which includes financial details of the scholarship and access to the application.
Can I apply again, if I’ve already had a Fulbright? Preference will be given to candidates who have no had previous Fulbright scholarships. However, recipients of a Fulbright scholarship are eligible to receive another basic Fulbright grant five years after the date of completion of the previous scholarship. (For serial scholarships, the five-year period begins at the end of the final scholarships in the series). The five-year requirement between two basic grants does not apply to short-term scholarships, which are defined as scholarships of under two months duration. (FSB Guidelines 725.2)
When can I commence my Fulbright program in Australia? Scholars must take up their scholarship starting January/February of the year following announcement of their selection, i.e. scholars generally find out they have been selected in March / April of a given year, however commence their program in February of the following year. Exceptions may be made for graduate/doctorate students on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission.
All scholars must be available to attend Fulbright functions in Australia, including the Fulbright Presentation Dinner and Orientation Program held annually in February/March.
Can I defer my scholarship? No. You must take up your scholarship within the specified time frame.
Do I have to attend an interview? Yes. All candidates who are applying for Fulbright Scholarships must be available to undertake an interview with the Australian-American Fulbright Commission via Skype. Interview dates vary and applicants will be contacted directly if short-listed for interview.
I have extensive experience in Australia already – will that make a difference in selection of applicants? If two candidates are of equal standing then preference may be given to applicants who have not had recent extensive Australian experience.
Can I arrange for the Fulbright Scholarship to fund a second year in Australia? No. Funding is only provided for the stipulated length of time.
Can I continue to receive my salary whilst on a Fulbright Scholarship? Yes, you may continue to receive a salary from your home institution whilst on a Fulbright.
Can I undertake any Australian paid work whilst on a Fulbright Scholarship, such as teaching? No. It is a condition of the Fulbright Scholarship as well as visa regulations that you must not undertake paid employment.
I have been awarded another grant(s) to undertake study/research in Australia, am I eligible for a Fulbright scholarship? Applicants are able to hold more than one grant, so long as the funding is not for the same thing. For example, a Scholar could not hold two grants that both fund living expenses. But a student could hold a grant for tuition alongside their Fulbright scholarship, as Fulbright awards do not cover tuition fees.
Does the Fulbright Scholarship cover tuition fees? No. with the exception of the Fulbright-Anne Wexler Scholarship in Public Policy. The Fulbright Scholarship is a stipend based scholarship providing a travel allowance and a stipend. It is designed to cover living costs while in-country, but not tuition. Please note that students can negotiate fee waivers with Australian institutions.
Does affiliation with an Australian institution have to be confirmed at the time of application? Yes. Affiliation with an Australian institution must be confirmed at the time of application. A host letter of support should be attached to your application.
Student applicants are not required to have secured affiliation at the time of application but should include some discussion on their ideal top 1-3 institution(s)/degree program(s) in the statement of grant purpose. Securing admission at an institution in the responsibility of the applicant after the results of their Fulbright application has been announced.
Can you have more than one host institution? It is preferable to have one main centre for your project, however, you can visit other institutions while in Australia.
3. Submitting Applications:
Please view the ‘how to’ webinar for key information & instructions on the application process. WATCH HERE
What are the opening and closing dates for applications? In 2020 applications for Postdoctoral Scholarships, Scholar Awards, and Distinguished Chair scholarship categories should be submitted by 15 September. Applications for Graduate Student Scholarships should be submitted by 13 October. Under no circumstances can late applications be accepted. Please note that even though you may still be able to access the Embark system to upload documents, these will not be accepted after the closing date.
Who should I ask to provide a Referee Report? Two referee reports are required. You should ask people who will best support your application and who can objectively assess your ability to successfully undertake a program of research or study in Australia and your potential to make a contribution to the binational relationship. Where possible your referees should include your academic supervisor/s, colleagues and key contacts who can provide relevant information on your personal and professional attributes. You are encouraged to use a mix of referees and not all from the same school or faculty.
How can I ensure my application is successful? There is no “formula” for a successful application. Each individual’s application should be about the candidate, how the program time will be spent, and what outcomes can be reasonably expected. What is successful for one applicant may not be effective for another applicant and the pool changes every year. That said, applicants should consider the aims of the Fulbright program and how their project may contribute.
Will the Fulbright Commission staff review my application before submitting? No. Please note that Fulbright staff are unable to access your application prior to submission.
Can you tell me why I was not selected? No. As with all Fulbright awards, applications under this initiative are evaluated by panels in accordance with normal Fulbright standards that are competitive, merit-based, open and transparent, including by the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as sponsoring agency of the worldwide Fulbright Program, and by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) for final approval and selection of candidates. This program is administered in accordance with all relevant FSB Policies.
Are applicants who are unsuccessful in their application for a Fulbright Scholarship precluded from making applications in the future? No. Previously unsuccessful applicants are not precluded from applying, indeed they are strongly encouraged to reapply.
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