Before You Apply
Before you begin working on the application, be sure you have carefully read the following:
- Fulbright Program Overview: http://us.fulbrightonline.org
- The summary for the country where you wish to study: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/regions
- Guide to preparing an application: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/getting-started
The Fulbright Graduate Study & Research Abroad application is a comprehensive application that requires a considerable amount of time to complete. Start this process early. The review committee expects proposals to be carefully thought out and developed. Please consult with the campus Fulbright Program Advisor for graduate students for advice on preparing your application materials.
UH Campus Application Deadline
The deadline to apply through the UH Manoa campus is usually mid-September, one month prior the national deadline in mid-October. The campus deadline is a firm deadline as we begin putting together the UH Fulbright Campus Committees immediately following the deadline. Check the UH Fulbright web site for deadline information: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/international/fulbright/fulbright.html
Submit your application materials via the Fulbright Embark Online System. This system is open from May 1 until the October deadline. You should familiarize yourself with the program by reviewing the application components, tips and timeline. The online application system closes on the October deadline. Unsubmitted or incomplete applications will not be considered. Start this process early.
To ensure that you will be able to meet the deadline, you should make your requests for letters of reference and order your official transcripts far in advance of the internal UH application deadline.
If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at UH Manoa, you are required to apply through this institution even if you are not currently in residence. Applications from alumni are welcome. You may still apply as part of UH Manoa if you’re within five years of graduation or as an at-large candidate.
On-line Application Deadline
The deadline for submission of the electronic application is 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. However, it is wise to submit your application 24 hours before the deadline just in case unforeseen problems occur that may interfere with your application submission (e.g., power failure, natural disaster, severe illness). On the day prior to and on the deadline, heavy traffic on the Embark online application website may create delays. After 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the deadline, applicants will no longer have access to the on-line application. If you want a copy of your application, you must print it out before the on-line application system shuts down on the deadline date.
We would appreciate your prompt submission of your personal availability in the days following the campus deadline as soon as your fall schedule has been finalized. This information is needed to schedule your campus interview. Please keep the following points in mind when completing the schedule: (1) Keep as much time open as possible. It gives us the flexibility we need for arranging a meeting time with 2-3 busy faculty serving on your Campus Committee; (2) Provide phone numbers and email where we can readily make contact with you; (3) It is to your advantage that you keep your information up-to-date. It is also your responsibility to notify us of any changes. The period following the campus interview can be a time when information may be needed on short notice. If you know you will be on travel during the time of the interviews, please communicate that with the Graduate Division.
Completing the Application
Submitting Your Online Application:
All applicants are required to use the e-application available at http://us.fulbrightonline.org
General Advice: Be sure to follow all of the instructions for the on-line application very closely. Any deviations, however minor, might result in the disqualification of your application. The various tips under the Application tab of the Fulbright website are very helpful and we recommend that you study those very carefully. Your attention to detail is critical.
Statement of Grant Purpose: Work on this statement offline and have others (i.e., in and outside of your field of study) proofread it for you. Format it per requirements for the application. Keep it clear and easy to understand. Within the page limits, ensure that you write with readers outside of your field of study in mind. The readers of your application will not necessarily be experts in your field of study.
The Fulbright U.S. Student program is administered by the Department of State. It is very important for you to explain how you will represent the United States abroad as an ambassador of goodwill by explaining specific plans you will have for engaging with the local community during your studies. This can be done in one brief paragraph.
Letter of Affiliation: Most countries require a letter from a university or agency in that country. This is something you need to arrange early, well before the deadline.
Personal Statement: Keep this statement clear and easy to understand. Your writing needs to communicate who you are, your passion, and plan for how you plan to not only learn from this cultural experience, but also what you will contribute being an American.
References: Online Reference/Evaluation System: The Fulbright Program requires that the three references and the Foreign Language Evaluation (if necessary) be submitted using the online reference system. You must discuss this method with the people that you ask to complete references or an evaluation to make sure that they agree to comply. If a referee or evaluator will not complete the online process, then you can discuss alternatives with your Fulbright Program Adviser or ask another person to complete your reference or evaluation. Letters of reference in excess of the required three will not be accepted.
Transcripts: Transcripts from degree granting institutions (undergraduate and graduate), plus transcripts of other relevant transfer credits, are required. Applicants will need to obtain copies of official transcripts, scan, and upload them to the online application.
This is a 25-30 minute interview during which time the Fulbright Campus Committee will explore your knowledge of the host country and your ability to do what you have proposed. Be prepared to defend your proposal. You may be asked to answer questions in the language of your host country. During this interview, you must convince the committee that you deserve the grant; the intent is also to help you to strengthen your proposal. Immediately following the interview, the committee will meet to assign a final score to your application.
Bring a notepad to the interview; the committee members may make comments and/or suggestions which you may want to note. You are encouraged to make any revisions that would strengthen your proposal. If you decide to make revisions, you will be allowed several days to complete the documents. The Fulbright advisor will un-submit your application so you can make revisions. It remains your responsibility to re-submit your application so that the Fulbright advisor can upload the Campus Committee Evaluation and finalize the application.
Re-submitting the Completed Application Electronically
Do not electronically re-submit your application until all changes and corrections have been made because once submitted you are not allowed to make any further changes. All re-submissions and other documents must be submitted by the national deadline.
After the national deadline, it is your responsibility to notify IIE immediately of any of the following changes: (1) Change of present or permanent address including telephone number; no changes will be made until after the notification of the outcome of the first stage of the selection process; (2) change in marital status or in accompanying dependents, (3) change in anticipated academic progress; (4) award of any other grant for study during the same academic year; (5) any other change which affects your application in any way; (6) any correspondence with foreign institutions indicating admission has been obtained. In all correspondence with IIE, please list your name, country of application, and your field of proposed study.
Notification of Award
If you are granted an award, you will receive notification directly from the Director of U.S. Student Programs, IIE, as early as March or as late as May.