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Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Grant

The DDRA program offers approximately 150 awards each year for six to 12 months to support dissertation research outside of Western Europe. Research topics can vary, but must relate to area studies or modern foreign languages and serve to deepen the nation's capacity and knowledge base in areas not typically included in US curricula. These grants are funded by the US Department of Education and administered by individual institutions like Michigan State University.

DDRA Events

  • Fulbright-Hays DDRA Application Information and Timeline Overview
    • Friday, February 11, 2022
    • Recording available; ask Project Director for link
    • Prerequisite: Please attend or watch DDRA general session from January
  • Fulbright-Hays DDRA Budget and Travel Information
    • Monday, February 21, 2022
    • Recording available; ask Project Director for link
    • Prerequisite: Already in the process of applying for a DDRA

Applicant Support

  • MSU's Fulbright Program Adviser, who also serves as the DDRA Project Director, is available to assist applicants with brainstorming, learning more about the program, and making sure all application components are completed.
  • Students should work closely with their dissertation advisers to develop competitive applications. Portions of the application are completed online by students, while the campus adviser completes other sections and coordinates the submission with MSU's Office of Sponsored Programs.


  • Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident at the time of application
  • Applicant must be a doctoral candidate (ABD status) by the time the award begins, typically in a field related to foreign languages or area studies
  • Applicant must possess a high level of language proficiency (a language evaluation is required for each language of research)
  • More information about eligibility can be found on the eligibility page of the DDRA website.


Round trip international airfare, maintenance allowance based on living costs in the host country (including allowances for dependents if applicable), supplemental health and accident coverage, funds to support research (e.g., books, copying, local travel for interviews), and tuition or affiliation fees (in some cases).

Important Dates

  • Competition opened: February 2, 2022
  • MSU deadline: March 22, 2022
  • National deadline for applications: April 6, 2022

Application/Competition Timeline

Download a detailed month-by-month suggested timeline for 2022 applications. 

  • Begin by exploring the DDRA website, including subpages and FAQs.
  • Note that these dates all depend on the publication date of the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA), which is unpredictable and has historically varied by several months. Once the NIA is published, the process moves very quickly, so prepare well in advance.
  • Fall semester 2021: brainstorm and discuss your plans with your dissertation advisor; make contact with faculty or other researchers in desired host institution, draft project description, contact MSU Fulbright Adviser to express interest
  • February 2022: Notice Inviting Applications published (expected)
  • Within one week of NIA publication: Request letters of reference, letter of affiliation, and language evaluation (groundwork for these requests should have been laid prior to this time)
  • Within two weeks after NIA publication: submit draft budget and CV to Fulbright Adviser
  • Within four weeks after NIA publication: submit final budget to Fulbright Adviser so it can be approved by the Fiscal Officer and the Office of Sponsored Projects
  • Two weeks prior to national deadline: Submit finalized application to Fulbright Adviser via online G5 system. The Adviser then works with MSU's Office of Sponsored Programs to finish the institutional portions of the grant proposal.
  • April 2022: Fulbright Adviser/Project Director submits application to G5 before national deadline (exact date TBA)
  • August-September 2022: Grant winners are notified

DDRA Application Components

  • A DDRA application has two primary sections; the Project Director completes information relating to MSU, and each student applicant completes an individual section via the federal government's online G5 system. Students submit their sections to Project Director, who reviews them and submits the entire global application to the Department of Education.
  • Components in the student section for the DDRA application include:
    • Extensive biographical data (e.g., name, contact information, birth date, details of your academic background, occupational experience, extracurricular activities, publications, and previous international experience)
    • Abstract and 10-page project description
    • Bibliography of sources relevant to proposed research (2 pages)
    • Detailed budget (following template provided by Project Director)
    • CV (tailored to this project)
    • Transcripts (MSU and any previous degrees)
    • Affiliation letter from host institution
    • Three letters of recommendation (submitted online by referees; one letter must be from dissertation adviser)
    • Foreign language evaluation(s)

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