As Fulbright application deadline approaches, UT students encouraged to apply

AUSTIN – The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year and UT students or recent graduates interested in conducting research or teaching abroad are encouraged to apply by the campus deadline of Sept. 1. 

The program has provided emerging American leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to study, conduct research, and serve as English teaching assistants abroad as part of an effort to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Over 1,900 grants are awarded annually for research and teaching in more than 140 countries.

The University of Texas has one of the highest numbers of Fulbright award recipients in the country. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 20 UT students received Fulbright awards to study a wide range of topics in 17 countries. Of the 57 UT student applicants in 2018-2019, 16 received awards.

One of these recipients, Shirin Khakoo, a neuroscience and anthropology 2019 graduate, wanted to take an interdisciplinary approach to studying refugee populations around the world. Through her work in the 2019 Fulbright U.S. Student Program this year, she will begin her research in Germany to improve the physical and emotional experiences of displaced people in the country.
“I hope to provide immigration lawyers with more information about physical trauma and its long-term neuro-biological effects so that they can help advocate for people who truly need refuge from their native countries,” Khakoo said. “I am excited to improve my German and Arabic skills and immerse myself in a completely different culture. I am also excited about the academic doors that receiving a Fulbright opens for me as an immigrant and a woman of color in academia.”

In addition to hundreds of traditional study and research grants, the program currently offers more than 1,000 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship awards to over 70 countries. 

Art history graduate Katherine Gaard, who received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant 2019-20 award, is combining her interests in art, language and Latin America to work on projects in Brazil. 

“While in Brazil, I will work in a classroom as a resource for university students studying English as well as on my own supplemental project,” Gaard said. “I chose to revolve my supplementary project around engaging with the local art scene, and in doing so, I hope to take what I’ve learned from art and use it while working as a teaching assistant. Overall, I think I am most excited to get to know Brazil. As a Peruvian-American, I’m no stranger to Latin America, but I feel like especially given the difference in language, Brazil will surprise me in more ways than one.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program selects participants through a competitive, merit-based application process and offers several benefits, including funding for round-trip travel, living expenses and healthcare benefits. 

Applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program must be U.S. citizens and hold a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) by the beginning of the grant period. Individuals may be, but are not required to be, currently enrolled in a college or university at the time of application. Early career professionals in a range of fields, including artists, are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Students currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin should contact the campus Fulbright Program Adviser at and visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program web page for more information. Final applications must be submitted by the UT campus deadline of Sept. 1, 2019.