U.S. Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship
Synopsis of the Funding Opportunity Dated February 18, 2023.
Note from the live Q&A webinar of 3/8/23: One can propose to do research in Western Europe and/or in English only if the primary focus is from the absolute priority list and the primary language is NOT English.
The Department of Education FOA is a dense read and thus we have attempted to distill it to the essential elements below. Scoring distribution updated 3/8/23.
FY22 Competition Results Heading link
172 #DDRA Fellowship applications
94 #DDRA Fellowships awarded
2 #UIC fellowship applicants
1 #UIC fellowship awardees
16 #DDRA languages (awarded)
14 #Disciplines awarded
53 #Countries (awarded)
the bits Heading link
Applicants must adhere to the absolute priority and should adhere to the competitive preferences.
Purpose of the Program: The DDRA provides opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of their study in the U.S.
Absolute Priority: Geographic Focus: A research project must absolutely focus on one or more of the following geographic areas: 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 United States and its territories). [Unchanged from the previous two competitions.]
Competitive Preference Priority #1: Less commonly taught languages, i.e., NOT French, German, or Spanish. [2 points]
Competitive Preference Priority #2: Thematic focus: A research project conducted in the field of science (including climate change), technology, engineering (including infrastructure studies), mathematics, computer science, education (comparative or international), international development, political science, public health (including epidemiology), or economics. [Unchanged from AY22.] The research project must use modern foreign language(s) and area studies, defined as “means a program of comprehensive study of the aspects of a society or societies, including the study of their geography, history, culture, economy, politics, international relations, and languages.” [2 points]
Competitive Preference Priority #3: Promoting Equity in Student Access to Educational Resources and Opportunities [UIC is a minority-serving institution and thus additional points will be awarded] [2 points]
Maximum 6 extra points — researchers should not feel constrained by the disciplines listed.
- Type of Award: Fellowships to individuals.
- Estimated Available Funds: $3,408,863 [down from $4,153,390 in spring 2022].
- Estimated Range of Awards: $15,000-$60,000 [unchanged].
- Estimated Average Size of Awards: $37,876 [$46,000 last year or a decrease of 18%]
- Estimated Number of Awards: 90. [same as last two years]
- Project Period: 6-12 months in an 18-month period.
To be eligible, a doctoral student must:
- be a citizen, naturalized citizen, or permanent resident of the United States;
- be a graduate student in good standing who, when the fellowship period begins, has been admitted to candidacy in a doctoral degree program in modern foreign languages and[/or] area studies at that institution;
- plan a teaching career in the United States upon graduation, or plan to apply language skills (in world areas vital to US national security) and knowledge of these countries in the fields of government, international development, and various professions; and
- possess adequate skills in the foreign language(s) necessary to carry out the dissertation research project;
- submit their materials to UIC Project Director, Benn Williams, Fellowships and Awards Coordinator, via email to: DDRA.email@example.com by March 20, 2023.
Students may not:
- accept certain grants (Fulbright US Student Program administered by IIE (FUSP), Boren, IREX, Japan Foundation) in the same fiscal year that they receive a US/ED Fulbright-Hays grant;
- have received support for more than 6 months under the DDRA Program previously.
Learn More about the DDRA Experience
Diana Chioma Famakinwa, Nigeria
Dr. Diana Chioma Famakinwa, a 2019-20 DDRA Fellow, as she speaks with the Go Global ED Podcast about her research abroad and fellowship experience in Nigeria.
Diana joined the African Studies Program from UW–Madison’s School of Education, where she completed her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, with a concentration on comparative and international education and African studies. She has held administrative, research, and teaching positions with various units across campus and has a long track record of successfully managing a variety of international projects in nonprofit and university settings in Madison and beyond. Diana has experience living and researching in Nigeria, where she conducted an ethnographic case study of diaspora-homeland collaborations at Nigerian universities as a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellow in 2018-2019. As a scholar-practitioner in the field of international education and African diaspora studies, she enjoys (re)connecting with members of the African studies community and promoting engagement with African languages and cultures.
Dr. Matthew Kirwin, Burkina Faso
Listen to Dr. Matthew Kirwin, a 2008 DDRA Fellow to Burkina Faso, as he shares reflections on his experience in a short video with photos from his time abroad.
Matt Kirwin has over 20 years of work and research experience on politics, development, and security in Africa. He is currently a Division Chief in the Office of Opinion Research at the US Department of State. He started at State in 2010 and has covered the Sahel and Nigeria as an analyst during which he was awarded the Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards. He has authored multiple Presidential Daily Briefings and has routinely briefed Assistant Secretaries on developments in Africa. He is an expert on public opinion analysis and has lectured on the topic at multiple universities.
He has a PhD in Political Science from Michigan State University, a Master’s in International Affairs from Ohio University, and Bachelors in International Studies from the Ohio State University. His research has been supported by a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant, a West African Research Association pre-Dissertation Grant and the American Political Science Association. He served in the Peace Corps in Niger and is fluent in Hausa and French.
Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from the regulations for this program in 34 CFR 662.21 and are as follows:
(a) Quality of proposed project (74 points), i.e., quality of the research project proposed, especially…
- The statement of the major hypotheses to be tested or questions to be examined, and the description and justification of the research methods to be used; [29 points]
- The relationship of the research to the literature on the topic and to major theoretical issues in the field, and the project’s originality and importance in terms of the concerns of the discipline; [10 points]
- The preliminary research already completed in the United States and overseas or plans for such research prior to going overseas, and the kinds, quality and availability of data for the research in the host country or countries; [10 points]
- The justification for overseas field research and preparations to establish appropriate and sufficient research contacts and affiliations abroad; [10 points]
- The applicant’s plans to share the results of the research in progress and a copy of the dissertation with scholars and officials of the host country or countries; [5 points] and
- The guidance and supervision of the dissertation advisor or committee at all stages of the project, including guidance in developing the project, understanding research conditions abroad, and acquainting the applicant with research in the field. [10 points]
(b) Qualifications of the applicant (26 points)
- The overall strength of the applicant’s graduate academic record; [10 points]
- The extent to which the applicant’s academic record demonstrates strength in area studies relevant to the proposed project; [10 points]
- The applicant’s proficiency in one or more of the languages (other than English and the applicant’s native language) of the country or countries of research, and the specific measures to be taken to overcome any anticipated language barriers; [1 point] and
- The applicant’s ability to conduct research in a foreign cultural context, as evidenced by the applicant’s references or previous overseas experience, or both. [5 points]
The campus deadline is about ONE MONTH prior to the hard national deadline in order for the Program Director to provide feedback and to work with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research on the components that it must approve. You will be expected to have all of your components (unsubmitted application, budget, narrative, bibliography, CV, IRB, transcripts, and letter(s) of affiliation ready for review by the Program Director at the campus deadline. Referees will enjoy a grace period; however, their uploads should be done ONE week prior to the national deadline. (NOTE: G5.gov does not currently allow uploads from non-US servers or email addresses! Talk to the Program Director beforehand.) The nebulous SF-424 forms and their ilk will be handled by the Program Director BUT may require your input (see below).
- Narrative of a maximum 10 pages (double-spaced with 1-inch margins) including footnotes, charts, figures, titles, headings, quotations, endnotes, and captions (newly revised criterion; PD will want to see 2+ drafts)
- Bibliography of 2 pages (double-spaced as well)
- 12 point font or no smaller than 10 pitch of Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, or Courier New font (select “12” in word processing app)
- Ten-page limit does not apply to cover sheet, budget, budget narrative, abstract, CV, or letters of support
- Application for Federal Assistance face sheet (SF 424), a supplemental form without pages limits; [Benn will handle]
- Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF424 [Benn will handle but will need your Human Subject information, narrative, etc.];
- Budget Information (see the Monthly Maintenance Form)
- Transcripts [redact SSN, birth date, unlock]
- References forms, i.e., information regarding who will submit letters of reference
- Do NOT use fillable, interactive, or password-protected PDFs
- Most recent campus deadline: NOON, March 20, 2023
Fulbright-Hays Application Tips
IFLE has posted a prerecorded technical assistance webinar on its YouTube channel to help students and institutions learn more about the 2023 DDRA program and how to apply. It has also posted an Alumni Panel: Application Tips webinar. Please subscribe to IFLE’s YouTube channel and check periodically for updates.
In addition to the webinar presentation, IFLE will host a live web chat to answer specific applicant questions. The chat will take place via Microsoft Teams at 2 p.m. ET on March 2. A link to join the web chat on the designated date and time will be posted soon under the “Tips and Assistance” section of the DDRA program “Applicant Information” webpage. Please check there for updates.