Event Capsules | May 18, 2022

Applying for a Fulbright Scholarship: Tips and Takeaways from the Hunter ACERT Faculty Panel

Have you ever considered applying for a Fulbright Scholarship but weren’t sure where to start? This May ACERT hosted a Fulbright Panel with six past Hunter awardees who shared their insights on the application process, and had plenty of advice for future applicants.

We were joined by Spiro Alexandratos (Chemistry), Marnia Lazreg (Sociology), Terrie Epstein (Curriculum and Teaching), Anita Cheng (Film & Media), Jill Gross (Urban Policy and Planning), and Jody Polleck (Curriculum and Teaching). The panel was moderated by Laura Baecher (Curriculum and Teaching).

Check out their tips and our takeaways from the event below, or watch the full session recording from our Youtube channel:

If you’re planning to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship, you can find more information on the Fulbright Scholar Program website. The 2023-24 competition deadline is September 15th, 2022.


You may have to apply more than once, but don’t give up! This is an experience of a lifetime!

On getting started 
  • Attend a Fulbright info session and stick around for the Q&A
  • Decide which fellowship works best for you: research, teaching, or a combination of both
  • Graduate students, there are post-doc fellowships as well!
  • You can be strategic: some countries have larger numbers of opportunities
  • An encounter at a conference or a conversation with a colleague may be the start of your application!
On finding a host
  • Think of previous collaborators and international colleagues with shared interests 
  • Connect with international colleagues at conferences
  • Organize a (small) international conference (everybody loves to visit New York!)
  • Reach out to people you know and people you don’t! 
On putting together your application
  • Set the collaboration in motion before you apply
  • Take the application process seriously and start early – it takes time!
  • Get advice from your host about the needs of their institution/country
  • Share your documents with trusted colleagues and former grantees for feedback
On your project proposal
  • This is the most important piece of your application: start it first and early!
  • Spotlight your research and existing collaborations
  • If a letter of invitation is required, work with your host and share your application materials, so that they match nicely
  • Highlight the reciprocal benefits for both institutions
  • Suggest collaborations between your host’s students and your own 
  • Reflect on the next steps: how will you keep the project going afterwards?
During your fellowship
  • Be prepared to be flexible and patient: there may be unexpected changes 
  • Travel as much as you can: you will receive many invitations in your host country and beyond. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet people abroad! 
  • Enjoy your time!!

If you’d still like to learn more, check out panelist Jill Gross’s interview with the Fulbright US-EU Program.

Panelist Jody Polleck shared her application materials to serve as examples for anyone who might be working on their own. See her resources (with even more tips & pointers!) here.

You might also be interested in Fulbright Connects, a short film about Fulbright grantees featuring Hunter students and faculty (and by Steven Channing, the father of ACERT Faculty Fellow Laura Baecher)!

For more about other grant opportunities, please see the Office of Research Administration’s website.

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