The Fulbright Application

This semester I spent a lot of time preparing an application to be a Fulbright International Scholar. It was a difficult process, mostly due to the fact that formation of a connection had to be done completely independently. The program I applied for was to conduct pediatric cancer research in the Netherlands. While there was not a severe language barrier, which made things much easier, it was difficult and intimidating to contact various successful scientists in another country. I ended up e-mailing the heads of various hospitals in order to ask if they knew of any principal investigators who would be willing to take on a Fulbright scholar. Additionally, it was hard to make a convincing case without knowing the kind of project I would be working on in addition to never having actually met the investigator I would be working with. However, I do believe that the topic I was applying for naturally contained people who were both passionate and excited to teach others about the research. That is what I found when I got into contact with a professor who was willing to take me on as a Fulbright scholar. She emphasized the importance of an international team and one that focuses heavily on teaching. I was excited to find someone willing to take me on despite not having exactly the kind of background that the research was related to. One thing that was also difficult about coordinating the application was the fact that it required several rounds of editing, which was difficult with the difference in time zone. I would usually have to work on the application at random times of the day in order to get it back to my mentor in a reasonable amount of time. However, whatever the outcome, I am glad that I applied as it gave me plenty of experience writing a proposal and coordinating with an international team.

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