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U.S. Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship

Synopsis of the Funding Opportunity Dated January 24, 2019

DDRA website:

Campus Deadline: 11:59 pm CST March 11, 2019 - the Graduate College will complete the online electronic submission

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of the Program: The DDRA provides  opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation reserach abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the their study in the U.S.

Absolute Priority: Specific Geographic Regions of the World: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the U.S. and its territories). For an updated list of the countries CLOSED for the DDRA, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Competitive Preference #1: Less commonly taught languages, i.e., NOT French, German, or Spanish.

Competitive Preference #2: Thematic focus: A research project conducted in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, computer science, education (comparative or international), international development, political science, public health, or economics. Applicants that address Competitive Preference Priority 2 must intend to engage in dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies with a thematic focus on any one of the academic fields referenced above.

II. Award Information

Estimated (a) Number of Awards: 90; (b) Range of Awards: $15,000-60,000; (c) Estimated average: $36,842

Project Period: 6-12 months

III. Eligibility: Student ...

  • Is a citizen or national of the United States or is a permanent resident of the United States;
  • Is a graduate student in good standing at an institution of higher education in the United States who, when the fellowship begins, is admitted to candidacy in a doctoral program in modern foreign languages and area studies at that institution;
  • Is planning a teaching career in the United States upon graduation; and
  • Possesses adequate skills in the language(s) necessary to carry out the dissertation project.
  • Students submit to the UIC Project Director, Benn Williams, Fellowships and Awards Coordinator in the Graduate College via email: He will bundle individual applications and submit them online to the Department of Education.
  • Student may not hold a DDRA Fellowship and a U.S. Student Fulbright Fellowship concurrently.

IV. Application Materials and Submission Information

  • Available here or by calling ED Pubs at 1-877-433-7827; reference "CFDA number 84.022A"; individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact or to call TDD or text TTYat 1-800-877-8339.
  • Application elements:
    • Narrative of 10 pages (double-spaced) + 2 pages of bibliography (single-space); 1" margins; 12 point Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, or Courier New font -- submit to Mr. Williams as Word document (.doc or .docx); he will save as PDF;
    • Application for Federal Assistance face sheet (SF 424), a supplemental form without pages limits;
    • Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF424;
    • Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs (ED 524)
    • Transcripts
    • Reference forms, i.e., information regarding who will submit letters of reference

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection criteria:

(a) Quality of project - 60 points

(1) Statement of major hypotheses, description, justification of research methods;

(2) Relationship of the research to literature on the topic and to major theoretical issues in the field;

(3) Preliminary research already completed in the US and overseas or plans for such research prior to going overseas;

(4) Justification of overseas field research and preparations to establish appropriate affiliations;

(5) Applicant's plans to share the results;

(6) Guidance and supervision by dissertation advisor or committee.

(b) Qualifications of the applicant - 40 points

(1) Overall strength of applicant's academic record;

(2) Applicant's strength in area studies;

(3) Language proficiency and specific measures to overcome any anticipated language barriers; and

(4) Applicant's ability to conduct research in a foreign cultural context.

A final performance report is required of fellowship winners.


Updated 1/24/19/bw

The following section has not yet been updated for the 2019 competiton. 

The following countries are closed to Fulbright. Research to these areas will not be funded:

Africa: Angola, Burundi, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Sao Tome & Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan

EuraAsiaPacific: North Korea

Europe: Turkey ( DDRA applicants can only apply to Ankara and Istanbul)

NearEastAsia: Algeria [contact for updates], Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Egypt [contact for updates], Libya, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia [contact for updates], and West Bank [contact for updates] 

SouthCentralAsia: Pakistan [contact for updates], Afghanistan, Bangladesh

WesternHemphishere: Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba

Source: Largely drawn from the Federal Register, vol. 83, no. 95 (May 16, 2018): 22653-22657 and email correspondence with the Department of Education.

Updated 5/30/18/bw