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Your Fulbright Year
As a British Fulbright Scholar, you will be invited to participate in a wide range of exciting events. The Commission works hard to open doors for its scholars and below is just a taster of what is typically on offer each year.
Each October, the Commission arranges a one-day Fulbright Finalists Workshop bringing together scholars from almost all UK awards categories to get to know each another and Commission staff at the start of the long process leading up to departure. Postgraduate Student Scholars will benefit from a thorough briefing on the US university application process and all Scholars will come away with a clear understanding of the paperwork and US visa processes and, we hope, a group of new colleagues to interact with before, during and after their Fulbright experiences.
Preparing for Your Move
In addition to Fulbright and US visa paperwork, Commission staff will be available to assist you in your planning to relocate to the US, including offering help in opening a US bank account up to six weeks before you depart ensuring you hit the ground running.
Every summer we bring together all British Fulbright Scholars from that year to participate in a three-day pre-departure Orientation aimed at providing practical information as they prepare for their time as a student, researcher or lecturer in the US. ‘Nuts and bolts’ sessions on grant administration, visa interviews, US point of entry procedures and mandatory Fulbright reports are complimented by interactive meetings on culture shock and alumni opportunities. The events conclude with a formal reception (pictured).
Grantees also receive a free Elsevier scholar support package, which includes access to the entire suite of SciVerse products (ScienceDirect, Scopus, Applications), subject-specific databases (Embase, Compendex, BrainNavigator, Reaxys) and a wide range of online journals (including The Lancet).
Your Fulbright Twin
By early summer, most scholars are paired a soon-to-arrive American counterpart and sent an introductory email. Throughout the year, both are encouraged to exchange emails, asking practical questions, or offering recommendations. Your Fulbright Twin can be a close confident, a professional pen pal, or the happy recipient of an infrequent friendly hello – the relationship is what you make of it.
Before you arrive in the US, you will be assigned an IIE Student Support Officer (for Postgraduate Student Scholars) or a CIES Programme Officer (for Scholars and Fellows). Your Officer will be your first point of contact during your Fulbright grant period, and will assist you in getting settled, accessing enrichment activities, extending your visa (if necessary), answering tax questions and exploring internships or work experience opportunities. You will also still be in touch with Commission staff during this time.
Interim and Final Reports
In addition to reports and paperwork that will be requested by IIE and CIES, the Commission requires reports from all grantees. Postgraduate Student Scholars will complete an interim report by the end of January and a final report by the end of July, Scholars and Fellows will complete only a final report and Special Programmes participants will usually complete an evaluation form. Police Research reports will be permanently stored at the National Police Library and the Scottish Police College for the good of the wider community. All reports and evaluations help us account for the spending of UK and US government funds, and ensure quality control.
Once Your Fulbright Year is complete it’s important you get back in touch with Commission staff so that we can update your file, ensure you are in contact with the British Fulbright Scholars Association (BFSA), and so that one day we can ask for your help in selecting Fulbright Scholars. The Commission can also assist you in communicating your findings whilst in the US throughout the UK. We'll also invite you to one of our popular 'returners' soirees' so that you can reconnect with other recently returned scholars and meet some from other programme years. Upon returning home, please contact the Fulbright Awards team.
During Your Fulbright Year, the British Fulbright Scholars Association (BFSA) offers a Travel Award, through open competition, to allow one British scholar the chance to undertake a cultural experience in the US unrelated to their academic project. Your alumni association, the BFSA, has developed an international network enabling all Fulbright scholars to be involved in transatlantic and international relations after their initial Fulbright project has ended. You are encouraged to remain in contact by joining the BFSA when you return home.
Please note: depending on the award or programme category and the project start date, not all opportunities detailed above may be offered.
© The US-UK Fulbright Commission
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