Applying to Fulbright - Harvard & Columbia Watch

Zeno of Citium
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I'm contemplating applying to Columbia and Harvard on a Fulbright for a year of my doctorate; it's a long-shot, but the faculty in the departments, and ability to access archives in the States, would be extremely helpful. This all being very provisional, I was hoping that someone with knowledge of the programme might be able to clarify a few things:

1. I understand you have to apply to your chosen institution and the award independently. In what capacity would you apply to the institution? It's clearly not a full-time or regular programme you're entering. Would you have to establish a special arrangement with the particular academics or departments you hope to study under?

2. Can you take a Fulbright in any year of your PhD? I have read several passages implying that you have to, or at least that it's normal to, take a Fulbright in the first year of your PhD.

3. I know how competitive Fulbright is. I don't, however, know how probable it would be for me to be accepted by Columbia or Harvard. Even with external funding, would this be highly competitive? If this hurdle is as great as securing a Fulbright, my likelihood of failure would seem to multiply.

4. Does a Fulbright have to be for an entire academic year? Is it possible - this would be preferable in my case - to take only a semester in a U.S. institution?

5. Flicking through a few Fulbright profiles, especially those at Harvard (less so at Columbia), it seem that a lot of emphasis must be given to high-profile public roles in business, charity or the media (i.e. one hosted a Channel 4 television programme, another was a major BBC producer). How important is this? Would I be able to succeed on academic merit (with the necessary luck) alone?

6. Are there any other comparable (i.e. funded) opportunities to take a semester or year in places like Columbia or Harvard?

Any help would be hugely appreciated
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sj27
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Can't help on fulbright details but you should maybe dig a bit as there are definitely other fellowships, eg Knox at Harvard. It may also help if you mention what discipline you are in - I think (not sure) that Columbia has some in journalism, for example.
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Zeno of Citium
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(Original post by sj27)
Can't help on fulbright details but you should maybe dig a bit as there are definitely other fellowships, eg Knox at Harvard. It may also help if you mention what discipline you are in - I think (not sure) that Columbia has some in journalism, for example.
Thanks for this, if I do apply for Harvard, I'll certain try for the Knox scholarship and its partner, Kennedy scholarship.

My discipline is History (or possibly Politics/IR).
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gnomgnomuch
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It really depends on the quality of your proposal I think. You don't really need high profile connections - i think its just a function of their proposals being so excellent. I've got a few friends who have received Fulbright, one for eta in Bulgaria, another in Peru, their proposals - I looked over them, were phenomenal. They thought out everything, what they wanted to do, how they were going to do it, and they tied it to their personal lives and then they tied that to their academic lives and then they tied that to their professional lives. They also had incredibly high grades (3.8/4) (3.9/4) and absolutely wonderful letters of reference.

My Fulbright adviser said that many people have the "stuff" for the Fulbright, but very few people have the right idea+writing style.

Take this with a grain of salt, I might be for all I know, completely wrong.

BUUUUUUT, you'll never know if you could have gotten the Fulbright if you don't apply. ( I didn't get it, but I applied =P)
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