Core Fulbright Scholarship Program offers students new experiences

The competition for the 2011-2012 Core Fulbright Scholar Program and the Fulbright Student Program officially opened May 1 and ends August 2 for the scholar program and September 15 for the student program.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress and was named after Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, under whose legislation the program was established.

Its primary purpose was to enable the government’s increased mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and it is the largest international exchange program in the U.S. In fact, Fulbright awards over 8000 grants each year to U.S. and foreign students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals.

The application process is lengthy and very rigorous, therefore applicants are usually encouraged to carefully consider their goals and intentions before they apply. Participants who are academically strong and show a penchant for leadership usually get selected.

The program offers opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools in more than 155 countries across the world.

Dr. Richard Douglass, professor of health administration at Eastern Michigan University, has been granted the Fulbright Scholar award twice.

“The Fulbright program has sent me to Ghana twice, each trip producing new research in public health and health services management, and has established the conclusion of my career with emphasis on expanding the access and adequacy of health care services to some of the poorest people on earth,” he said.

Applicants interested in applying to either of these Fulbright programs must be U.S. citizens. Those interested in applying to the Fulbright Student Program must hold a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant. The ideal time to apply would be in the fall of senior year. The Student Fulbright Grant gives grantees the freedom to propose their own project and/or study plan for the duration of the grant, which is typically between nine and 12 months.

“The Fulbright experience gave me a chance to enhance my career and life, to pursue new lines of scholarship and research, to expand my personal circle of colleagues and friends, and to become an active part of the globalization of our lives,” Douglass said.
The Core Fulbright Scholar Program, which is for faculty, requires that applicants hold a doctorate’s or equivalent professional or terminal degree. College or university teaching experience in the proposed field and proficiency in the language spoken of the host country are some of the other requirements.

Participants will also have the opportunity to meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the country of choice for the duration of the grant, which is usually 10 months.

“A single memory is not possible,” Douglass said. “My life was changed back in 1966 when I first went to Ethiopia as an undergraduate exchange student. A student award had such an impact on me, a faculty award just put the cherry on top of the banana split.”

For more information contact the Fulbright Adviser, Carla Damiano, at

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