Producing a Strong Fulbright Application

A strong Fulbright application begins with a thorough consideration of why you want to go abroad and then an appropriate choice of the potential host country. From there, it requires close attention to detail as well as the commitment to draft, revise, and revise again. For the application materials to reflect who you are and why Fulbright is the next logical step in your academic, artistic, or professional trajectory, you must be willing to spend the time to improve it over numerous iterations with the help of multiple perspectives of feedback. Please utilize Initiative staff as well as consultants at the Center for Writing & Rhetoric for this review process! All CWR consultants have been trained on supporting Fulbright applications.

Below you will find a timeline, some helpful questionnaires to guide your thinking through the application, the Student Grant & Award Initiative’s scheduled events and staff, and some tips on the affiliation letter. If you have any questions about any of this, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at, or by making an appointment!

Fulbright One-on-Ones



May & June

  • Choose a country & study its Fulbright requirements
  • Review previous application samples & other resource material (email for access)
  • Complete the award questionnaire to think through your application (see below)
  • Meet with the Student Grant & Award Initiative Program Assistant
  • Meet with your faculty mentor (if doing research/study grant)
  • Draft and send your affiliation letter (if doing research/study grant)
  • Receive application draft feedback from initiative staff or the Center for Writing & Rhetoric
  • Attend Fulbright webinars

July & August

  • Continue revising and polishing application via feedback
  • If you haven’t yet, draft and send your affiliation letter (if doing research/study grant–early July at the latest!)
  • Attend Fulbright webinars
  • Receive feedback from initiative staff and your faculty advisor


  • Polish application final draft & submit on Fulbright portal by September 7, 2021



If you are applying for a research grant, fill out this form and be sure to send a copy to yourself! If you are applying to a study or ETA grant, reach out to the Initiative’s Program Assistant, Rebecca Donaldson to begin brainstorming your application at

After you submit your questionnaire, we will be in touch to set up a meeting with you to discuss your application!


Fulbright Events

*To receive a recording for any of our previous webinars, please email us at

Upcoming Webinars

June 28, 2021, 2:30 p.m.: Fulbright visits CGU

TBD (July): Fulbright Alumni Roundtable

TBD (August): Application Polishing Workshop

Previous Webinars

April 26, 2021, 12 p.m.: Writing the Fulbright Personal Statement

A key element of both main Fulbright awards is the personal statement. This webinar will provide strategies for writing strong Fulbright personal statements, illustrated by successful examples.  

April 7, 2021, 12 p.m.: Applying for the Fulbright Research or English Teaching Assistant Awards

The Fulbright awards are some of the most prestigious grants available, but what exactly are they and how do you apply? This webinar will cover the basics of the two main Fulbright awards, the Research/Open Study Award and the English Teaching Assistant Award, as well as other important details such as eligibility, application procedures, and deadlines. Finally, we will discuss how the Center for Writing & Rhetoric is available to support the development of your application during spring and summer. 

April 1, 2021, 12 p.m.: Pursuing a Fulbright While at CGU (a part of the First-Year Experience program)

The Fulbright awards are some of the most prestigious available, but what exactly are they and how do you apply? This webinar will cover the basics of the two main Fulbright awards, the Research/Open Study Award and the English Teaching Assistant Award, as well as other important details such as eligibility, application procedures, and deadlines. Finally, we will discuss how the Center for Writing & Rhetoric is available to support the development of your application during spring and summer. 


Affiliation Letters

Applicants for research/study awards are required to obtain an affiliation letter from the institution that is going to support their project in the country. Fulbright provides some helpful guidance on finding affiliates, and Amherst has made helpful guides for initial emails for both the research and study tracks as well as templates for the actual research and study affiliation letters. The letter templates might be helpful to provide to potential affiliates before they write their letters.


Student Grant & Award Initiative Staff

Rebecca Donaldson, Program Assistant

Rebecca Donaldson is a 3rd-year Doctoral Student in Positive Developmental Psychology with a concentration in Evaluation at Claremont Graduate University. Her research interests include the bio-ecological model of human development, resilience, narrative identity, and flow as it relates to good work in psychotherapy. Specifically, she is interested in resilience of individuals exposed to developmental complex trauma in different contexts around the world. She is passionate about understanding how we may buffer the negative effects of such experiences and/or support healing through intervention work by considering the various systems shaping the person and finding ways to help them flourish. Rather than see problems as within the person and asking, “what’s wrong with you?” she cares deeply about asking, “what happened to you?”   

At 16, Rebecca studied abroad in Costa Rica with American Field Service, funding her year abroad by selling banana bread outside of grocery stores. This positive experience led her to study Spanish, Portuguese, and linguistics as an undergraduate student at Western Washington University. She later received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2014 from the US State Department to serve as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Following Fulbright, she attended Columbia University in the city of New York, where she became trained as a bilingual speech-language pathologist and focused her studies in working with children with repaired cleft palates. She currently works in private practice as a bilingual speech-language pathologist and serves as a volunteer on a cleft palate team with Thousand Smiles in Ensenada, Mexico.   

Dr. Marcus Weakley, Director, Center for Writing & Rhetoric & Co-Chair, Student Grant & Award Initiative

Marcus Weakley, Ph.D. is the director of the Center for Writing & Rhetoric (CWR) at Claremont Graduate University. He has been working in writing centers since 2013 and has taught writing since 2014. During this time, he has worked at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as in both Writing in the Disciplines and Writing Across the Curriculum contexts. He is a firm believer that writing is a critical element of graduate education and works to ensure that the Center is prepared to instruct and support CGU’s graduate students at all stages of their degrees. Grant writing is one of a number of areas the CWR has expanded into to provide comprehensive writing and presenting support to CGU students.

Dr. Eusebio Alvaro, Full Research Professor & Co-Chair, Student Grant & Award Initiative

Eusebio Alvaro is a full research professor in the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University and directs the Arizona office of the Institute of Organizational and Program Evaluation Research. His basic research centers on the study of social influence processes with an emphasis on biased message processing, resistance to persuasion, indirect effects of persuasive messages, and mechanisms by which minorities can achieve change. His applied research and evaluation activities involve studying persuasion in the context of health promotion, disease prevention, and medicine with a particular focus on the development and testing of mass media messages targeting health behavior change.

Alvaro received a PhD in Communication (specializing in social influence) and an MPH in Health Education and promotion from the University of Arizona. He has served as director of the Health Informatics Program in the Center for the Management of Information at the University of Arizona and director of the Health Communication Research Office at the Arizona Cancer Center. He is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and other organizations.

Alvaro’s current work involves the evaluation of mass media and community outreach efforts to promote organ donation in both the general population and among Hispanics. These projects have a theoretical basis in work regarding the attitude–behavior relationship and are designed to assess efforts at transforming positive organ donation attitudes into organ donation behavior. He also works with William Crano in developing and assessing the impact of drug prevention messages for adolescents. Alvaro has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research and has published in the fields of psychology, communication, public health, and medicine.

At CGU, Alvaro regularly teaches the course Quasi-Experimental Methods, as well as core health psychology courses, including Overview of Applied Health Psychology, Health Psychology Research and Measures, Health Promotion, and Survey of Health Behavior Theory.