A Guide for Acquiring an Affiliation Letter for the Fulbright
1. CLOSELY Read Your Program’s Award Profile
Each Fulbright Award’s requirements vary slightly. Make sure to fully read the host affiliation requirements in the summary of the country to which you are applying. According to Fulbright, “Affiliation arrangements vary by country and may not be required at the time of application. Carefully review the affiliation information provided in the award summary for your host country. All academic grantees must have an affiliation in the host country.
Countries differ in the kinds of host affiliations that are acceptable. Examples of affiliations include universities, laboratories, libraries, non-governmental organizations, and so on. Pay special attention to the requirements in some countries to attend classes and/or affiliate with academic institutions.”
You can find your specific award using the Award Search engine on the Fulbright website.
2. Choose the Most Appropriate Affiliation for your Project
Your affiliation is the person who commits to host you in your chosen country. In other words, the affiliation is your host country advisor who will provide support for your project. “If the proposal contains a strong research component, you must have host country contacts that can support the research, provide access to required resources, and/or advise you during the grant period. It is your responsibility to identify, contact, and secure an affiliation from a potential adviser.”
Fulbright identifies several avenues for finding your affiliation/host country advisor:
- Faculty at your home campus.
- International students.
- Visiting Fulbright Professors in the U.S. or U.S. Fulbright Scholars who had grants to your host country. Directories are available here.
- Internet searches of faculty at potential host institutions with your interests, or organizations in the host country that work with issues related to your topic.
- Other U.S. academics with expertise in the location/subject matter of the proposed project.
- Contacts from previous experience abroad.
- Educational Advising sections of Embassies or Consulates of your potential host country.
3. START EARLY
It takes time to identify an affiliation and it takes time for that person to complete their affiliation letter. Fulbright requires the affiliation letter by the application deadline. You need to begin looking for your affiliation several months before the deadline to give yourself plenty of time to meet with the affiliation via phone call, Zoom, or in person if possible, form a positive working relationship, and thoroughly discuss and make plans for your research.
4. Request the Affiliation Letter
Once you have identified your chosen affiliation, reach out to them and ask if they are willing to write you an affiliation letter. You should also send them a copy of your Statement of Grant Purpose.
The Affiliation Letter should:
- Indicate the author’s willingness to work with you on the intended project
- Speak to the feasibility and validity of the project that is being proposed
- Provide a description of any additional resources to contacts that the advisor an provide to support the project
Submitting the Letter:
- “Scanned versions of the original hard-copy letters with hand-written signatures should be uploaded into the application. Letter writers can either send the original hard-copy letters or electronic copies to the applicants.
- Since affiliation letters are not confidential, you will upload the letter yourself into the online application system. Affiliation letters written in a foreign language must be translated into English and both the original letters and the English-language translations must be uploaded into the application. An ‘official’ translation of the letter is not required.
- Instructions on uploading letters of affiliation are available in the Fulbright online application system. IIE will not accept any affiliation letters via email or fax.”
- “The affiliation letter must be printed on institutional letterhead and must be signed by the author.
- Copies of email correspondence will not be accepted.
- Do not upload any documents other than a letter of affiliation to this field of the application. Uploading extraneous materials to this field may result in your application being deemed ineligible.”
5. SHOW GRATITUDE
Definitely say Thank You! Send your affiliation who took the time to write your affiliation and commit to host you in their country a thank you letter or note and keep them updated on the outcome of your application.