Research Staff Development

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20 Jun 2017

Summary of Presentation on Fulbright Awards

Notes from Presentation given by Amy Moore, Director of the Fulbright Awards Programme, US-UK Fulbright Commission on 6 April 2017, Loughborough University

Amy spoke about the UK Scholar Awards and the Fulbright-Loughborough Partnership (US Awards).

UK Scholar Awards send UK academics out to the US for a period of 3-12 months. Theyare for academics of all career stages (post-PhD), and all disciplines making them very competitive. There are 20-22 successful applicants per year for the general stream. There are also a series of partnered programmes with organisations including British Heart Foundation, and specific areas such as Cyber Security – Amy encouraged anyone looking at these awards to ascertain whether their research corresponded with any of the programmes as they are less competitive. This scheme opens 1st August, closes early November

Fulbright-Loughborough Partnership – under this partnership one US academic can apply to be based at Loughborough for 3-12 months. Deadline 1st August 2017. This is open to academics of all career stages post-PhD and all disciplines.

For both schemes the applications are assessed by a panel of academics and ranked according to quality in the applicant’s home country. They are then sent to the host organisation who specifies which applicants they would like to shortlist, and which they prefer. Shortlisted applicants are then interviewed by the Fulbright Commission who make the final decision.

Amy noted that while those applying for the UK Scholar awards should be UK citizens, if any academics were not supported by the Fulbright Commission in their own country then the UK Commission would support them.

Amy also briefly spoke about the UK Postgraduate Awards which offer a contribution towards the first year of study of Masters, Doctorate, Postgraduate Certificates in the US. Some sponsored awards will offer fee waivers and discounts for any additional years. We are looking at inviting Fulbright back to Loughborough to talk about these opportunities to UG and PG students.

Key Assessment Criteria

For both streams Amy identified the following key assessment criteria:

-       A strong research project – this is assessed for quality by a panel of leading academics

-       Leadership skills – in particular empathy

-       Ambassadorial Skills: Fulbright want high quality applicants to represent them who will fully immerse themselves in the programme

-       Desire to further the Fulbright Programme and give back to the scheme – a real interest in Fulbright and what they do

-       Experience of and interest in extra-curricular activities – the aim of the scheme is to promote and increase cultural interaction, they want people who show they are interested in their host country and who won’t spend their whole visit in a lab/library but get out and explore.

-       Clear reasons for selection of host – they want to see that you have chosen somewhere that complements your expertise where you will have a fruitful visit. This needs to move beyond a desire to go to an institution with a particular reputation and be more genuine.

References – Amy pointed out that when choosing referees it is better to choose someone who knows you well and will be able to give you a relevant substantial reference from a personal perspective, rather than the leading academic in your field you might have met once.

There were two further schemes mentioned:

1) Fulbright Specialist Programme - brings across leading US academics as specialists for 2-6 weeks. This will likely open August 2017.

2) Global Flex Scholars - allows U.S. academics and professionals to engage in regional or trans-regional research and teaching through visits to multiple countries. Applicants will propose grant activities in two or three countries for short periods – a minimum of 1 month per segment and up to 6 months total for all segments.  Open to all disciplines and research or teaching/research activities.

Click here to download a copy of Amy's Fulbright slides.