Fulbright U.S. Student Program Competition

URI Campus Procedures

This is the ideal timeline. It may be adapted for a later start, but the tasks will need to be completed at double-speed.

2024 Competition Checklist

April – May

  • Spend time exploring the Fulbright website and take advantage of their webinars, videos and tutorials.
  • Meet individually with URI Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) Kathleen Maher to strategize. She will be available throughout the summer with the exception of a few weeks of vacation. Do not hesitate to contact her with any questions or to bounce around ideas! Just email in advance to set up an appointment time.
  • Prior to requesting letters, discuss or email Kathleen Maher a list of your intended recommenders. She will help you decide on the best combination of writers for this application.
  • Get your recommenders on board. When possible, meet with them to request their evaluation. It is courteous to allow at least a month before deadline. Share a copy of your resume, an unofficial transcript, a bulleted list regarding your planned program, and a brief rationale for your application. Also provide them with the letter (read it yourself first) from the FPA, which explains what kind of information Fulbright wants to know and provides instructions on how to submit for the campus deadline. Once available, also share a draft of application essays (which can double as a “gentle reminder” a few weeks before the deadline).
  • Create an online account. ONLY use the portal accessed via us.fulbrightonline.org
    -Under “Award Information” be sure to choose URI as “Selected School”.
    Note: Those who already hold a degree (and are not currently matriculated) have the option of forgoing the campus process and submitting the Fulbright as an “at-large” by the national deadline; however, there many benefits to working with the FPA, so first discuss with Kathleen Maher.
    Study/Research Applicants: Do not enter your recommenders’ email addresses into the online application system yet. These letters will be reviewed internally prior to posting.
    ETA Applicants: Your referees should submit directly online by the campus deadline, but only add their email addresses to the application system after they have accepted your personalized request to serve as a reference. Be sure they understand it is a form with very specific questions, NOT a letter.

June – August

  • Send an email “declaration of intent” to kmaher@uri.edu once you are sure that you will apply. Include the country you will apply to and the program type. If you do not plan to apply this year, notify Kathleen so that she will stop sending you emails.
  • Prioritize acquiring a letter of affiliation from a host institution, if applicable. (Consult with FPA.)
  • Work with FPA and faculty mentors on refining your proposal throughout the course of the summer. To assure that you are on the right track prior to the campus deadline, share a solid draft with FPA on or before August 1. From there, plan to revise and refine your application multiple times before the campus deadline. You should share drafts with your faculty mentors and recommenders early in the process as well.
  • When you have writer’s block, spend some time entering information in the online application. The short essays (abstract, host country engagement, etc.) require some forethought and the platform is tedious.

For the URI campus deadline

The following items must be submitted online for the campus deadline (always the Tuesday after Labor Day and the day before URI fall semester starts):                   

  1. Field of Study: Select carefully, as your selected field could influence your outcome.
  2. Project Title (90 characters) and Abstract (1750 characters): Try writing these prior to drafting essays.
  3. Host Country Engagement (1750 characters): This is very important. Refer to website for details.
  4. Plans Upon Return to the U.S. (850 characters): This should support/align with your proposal.
  5. Optional: National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship supplemental materials. Consult with FPA.
  6. Essays: You will have the opportunity for final edits prior to the national deadline, but these should be as close to complete as possible as they will be used for your campus interview and evaluation. Follow formatting indicated in application instructions! (e.g. 12pt Times New Roman, single spaced, 1-inch margins, include title lines)
    • Statement of grant proposal (2-pg PDF for S/R grants, 1-pg PDF for ETA)
    • Autobiographical statement (1-pg PDF)
  7. Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (including study abroad) should be uploaded to Embark System as PDFs. Unofficial is okay and is often more legible. If you have study abroad transcripts, include those as well. List institutions from highest (most recent) to lowest.
  8. Occupational Experience: include up to 8 relevant experiences. When in doubt, include it now.
  9. Awards & Achievements: 90 characters per line. Maximum of 8 per subcategory. Plan this out carefully.
  10. Experience Abroad: You have 500 characters to give details about your experiences abroad.
  11. Foreign language evaluation(s): Only necessary if you have some knowledge of the host country language, or for countries that require some knowledge of the language. Varies country by country, so check the specific requirements of your proposed host country. (If you fear that you cannot get this by the September 8th deadline due to faculty schedules, please consult with FPA.)
  12. THREE recommendations/evaluations are also due in September. Study/Research applicants should have their referees email letters to kmaher@uri.edu, rather than uploading, whereas ETA applicants should have referees submit via the online system by the campus deadline.
  13. Letter(s) of Affiliation (required of most research/study applicants, not required for ETAs): You may upload these directly to as PDFs. An email is not sufficient, see website. It is preferable for you to acquire an affiliation by the campus deadline, but we will accept it up until the national deadline. If you will not have a letter for the campus deadline, tell us about your progress in this regard.

September – October

Between the campus and national deadline you will be interviewed and evaluated by a committee, as is required by Fulbright. When available, the committee will include a campus expert in your field and/or host country. You will be given the opportunity to make final revisions on your application based upon feedback at the interview. Do not procrastinate turning around drafts! While the Fulbright NATIONAL Deadline is at 5 PM on the second Tuesday in October, the application system is often unstable in the days leading to this date. For this reason, to receive a campus endorsement, we require you to submit by noon on the first Friday in October.

After National Deadline: Notification of your preliminary status in the competition will be announced by February 1. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, your application will then be forwarded to the host country commission. Final word comes between March 1 and May 31 (varies by country). While you are highly encouraged to pursue “Plan B” applications (aka backup plans), we expect you will accept this very high honor if selected. We have yet to encounter a graduate program that would not defer admission for a Fulbright year!

For more information: Kathleen Maher, Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA), Director, Office of National Fellowships