Filling Out Application forms
Applicants should review the important information before starting their application.
Make sure you know the Fulbright Program deadlines.
All IIE Fulbright grants require that a single application form be filled out to apply for study abroad.
For additional guidance, review:
The IIE application materials include eleven forms. The form numbers referred to below are located in the top right corner of each application page.
Form 1- Cover Sheet
- Leave the Campus Rating box at the top right corner blank.
- Islamic Civilization Initiative applicants must indicate this option in the "Special Programs" box (item 4). In addition, the post grant Islamic Civilization Initiative form must be attached to the application.
- Critical language enhancement award is noted in line 5
- Field of Proposed Study. Select the field and corresponding code number closest to your proposed project from the Field of Study Code Sheet at the end of the application materials.
- Line 28 -- The MSU Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) is Professor Frank M. D'Itri, TEL: 517-432-8244.
Form 2 Educational Background
- Abstract of Proposal (line 33) -- This very short, usually 100-120 word abstract is critical to the success of the application. It introduces the reviewer to your project and provides the first impression before the formal proposal on Form 6. For best results write the abstract after the proposal has been well formulated. The abstract must clearly and concisely describe the project, objectives, activities, expected outcome, audience, and methods of dissemination.
- Education and Honors -- Be concise and inclusive. This is no place for false modesty.
Form 3-Occupational and Foreign Experiences
- Future Plans (line 40) -- Clearly state your plan to utilize your research and overseas experiences after returning to the United States. If appropriate, describe your plans to continue interacting with individual organizations in the host country and any community service or other related outreach activities on your return home.
- Occupational Experience: This section pertains only to applicants who have interrupted their university education with employment. Do not include summer or part-time jobs.
- Foreign Experience: Applicants who have lived in and/or attended school in the proposed host country must list when, where, and how long. Do not include recreational travel or travel to visit relatives. Usually short, education-related visits are acceptable; but if applicants have lived in and/or attended secondary schools in the intended host country, this experience may prejudice their chances. Preference is usually given to applicants who have not had extensive overseas experience.
Form 4-Student Record Card
The box in the top right corner requests information related to the applicant's university training, such as:1) graduating seniors, check the Bachelor's box, 2) graduate work beyond a Bachelor's degree, check the Master's box, or 3) for course work beyond a Master's, check the Ph.D. box.
Form 5-Statement of Grant Purpose
The applicant's task is to convince the proposal reviewer that the project is innovative, valid, and feasible. It must also support the mission, objectives, and goals of the IIE Fulbright U.S. Student program and host country. Strong justification should be offered for why the applicant's presence is required in the host country, why the project cannot be accomplished in the United States.
The IIE Fulbright project description is limited to two typed, single-spaced pages in 12 point standard font. Use as much of the space as possible while maintaining reasonable margins on Form 5. Do not extend over its borders. The first page must be on it. Statements longer than two pages will not be presented to the Fulbright National Screening Committees; nor will any attached bibliographies, publications, or other materials. The final paragraph of the Statement of Proposed Study should indicate the amount of time required, a minimum of six months to a maximum of one academic year. The planned date of departure from the United States should be stipulated within the academic year the award is received. Under exceptional circumstances an applicant can submit a multi-country project if a strong justification is provided.
Applications for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) must address the following issues in the Statement of Proposed Study or Research.
- Why apply for an ETA Fulbright Fellowship.
- Expected contribution to the students/country where the applicant would teach.
- Skills to bring to the ETA Fulbright experience and what the applicant expects to gain from it. See My ETA Experience by ShaVon Myles.
- Independent study or research to supplement the teaching. The normal workload for an ETA is about 20 hours per week. The independent project or university coursework usually involves an additional 20 hours per week.
- Future career plans and how the ETA experience will contribute to them.
- Additional information for completing an ETA application
Form 6-Personal Statement
The personal statement is a short, personal and intellectual biographical narrative that describes the applicants' personal history and background relative to their goals and aspirations. It is limited to one typed, single-spaced page in 12 point standard font. The information should not repeat what is available elsewhere such as the academic degrees, honors, and accomplishments described on Forms 1 and 2.
The purpose of the personal statement are two-fold. First, it should describe the applicant as the type of person the Fulbright U.S. Student Program would recommend and a host country would like to invite. Second, it should inform the reviewers about how past and current life experiences have contributed to the applicant's training and motivation to apply for a Fulbright fellowship.
The personal statement should be written in an interesting and direct manner. Be careful to avoid being contrived, cute, and/or disingenuous. At the same time, convey passion and excitement about studying in the host country. Include significant events such as obstacles overcome, special accomplishments, and opportunities taken advantage of. Also, be sure to discuss career plans subsequent to the completion of the Fulbright experience and how they relate to the proposed project. Especially stress all aspects of the formal/informal training that would convince the reviewer of the applicant's ability and motivation to complete the project successfully.
Form 7 and 8-Language Background and Foreign Language Evaluation
The applicant is responsible for arranging the language proficiency examination required to complete Form 8, the Foreign Language Report. If the required language is not taught at MSU, the FPA may be able to assist you in finding a language teacher or a native speaker of a less common language. A completed Form 8 is required for all applicants to non-English speaking countries, even if the Participating Countries page indicates that knowledge of the host country's language is not necessary for most projects. In these cases, the applicant should indicate his/her plans for obtaining a hospitality/survival level of language competency in order to accomplish the program's goal of increasing mutual understanding.
The top section of Form 8 should be completed with name, host country choice, and field of study. The additional information requested about language courses should be appended on a separate 8 1/2x11 sheet of paper. Then, the partially completed form should be given along with a copy of the proposed project (Form 5) to whoever tests the language proficiency. After the evaluation has been completed, the teacher or native speaker will electronically attach the form to your application.
Three references are required. For graduate students they should be from professors and/or other professionals in the applicant's major field. Graduating seniors will not be expected to have all of their references from professors in their major field. Instead, they may include other academic references, a work supervisor, or someone in the intended host country. References may be included from professors at prior institutions attended. Selection of the reference writers requires careful consideration because, aside from the applicant's own ideas and initiative in developing the project, the next most important factor is the quality of the three letters of reference. For more information on this subject visit Consultants and Winning Reference Letters.
Complete the top section of Form 9 with name, chosen host country, field of study, and the name of the person who is being requested to write the reference letter. Next, give a copy of Form 9 along with copies of the proposed project (Form 5) and personal statement (Form 6) to each of the three reference writers who have agreed to accept this responsibility.
A complete, well-written proposal will give the reference writer the information to write a compelling reference letter. To submit an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) application, ask the reference writer to address qualifications and motivation to teach English as a second language; any prior teaching experience, especially overseas; and the applicant's understanding, study, and interest in the culture of the host country.
Inform the reference writer that the original reference letter, either on Form 9 or institutional letterhead, should be placed in a sealed envelope with his/her signature across the seal. It can either be returned to the applicant to be submitted as part of the completed application package or be mailed directly to the MSU FPA. The deadline for receipt of reference letters is the MSU Application Deadline. Please indicate the importance of this deadline to the three reference writers.
Form 10-Campus Committee Evaluation Form
Form 10 lists the criteria MSU Evaluation Committee members apply to rate applications. Plan ahead of time how to address these criteria in the required campus interview. For more information about interview procedures visit The Fulbright IIE Campus Review and Interview Process (PDF)*. Form 10 is completed by the MSU Fulbright Program Adviser with the input and guidance of members of the applicant's Campus Fulbright Evaluation Committee. This form is mandatory for all applicants enrolled at MSU at the time of their application. Candidates applying "at-large" do not need this form.
Form 11- Creative and Performing Arts Supplementary Materials Record Card
This form should be filled out by applicants in the creative and performing arts if they are submitting slides, tapes, paintings etc. Applicants in academic fields should not submit any supplementary materials.
Form 12-Transcript Labels
Include an official transcript from each institution of higher learning attended. Transcripts provide the Fulbright national and host country reviewers with the documentation necessary to assess the extent and relevancy of course work to the project. Therefore, be sure the official transcript includes all courses/credits that were transferred as well as those compiled at MSU.
The official transcript must contain the institution's seal or other certification to verify its authenticity. Preferably, it should be mailed directly to the MSU FPA. If the applicant has the transcript mailed directly to him/her, it must be submitted unopened by the MSU Application Deadline , as part of the completed application package.
*Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read PDF documents.