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Fulbright

Hey all,

I am picking at my Fulbright Scholarship application to do a project documenting the Roma population in Bulgaria, as I have already been there with Fulbright for a 3 week summer program. The application as some of you may know is very intense and time consuming, and while I have been doing bits and pieces of it, it is obvious I am not totally committed. Does anyone here have experience with a Fulbright Scholarship to do work in photography, any hints/tips on your portfolio/application?

Greg

by Gregory Nelson at 2006-05-25 11:06:31 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) St. Bonaventure, NY , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

You should send a note to Carolyn Drake who is on a Fulbright right now in Ukraine. She’s a LS member.
Best, -John

by John Loomis | 25 May 2006 11:05 | Miami, FL, United States | | Report spam→
try getting in touch with Jason Eskenazi – he’s been on Fulbright for several years and several projects as far as I know.

by [former member] | 27 May 2006 06:05 | Cobham, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
greg, i sent you a note but let me know if you have other questions. i spent over a month working non-stop on the application but it’s worth it in the end because if you receive the award you get funded to work for 10 months with complete independence.

by [former member] | 27 May 2006 07:05 | Lviv, Ukraine | | Report spam→
Would anyone care to elaborate albeit briefly on the Fulbright? I thought this was a strictly scholarly grant intended for students and not for independent photojournalists. What are the criteria?

by Jon Anderson | 27 May 2006 09:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I’m not a spokesperson for Fulbright but I will briefly describe what I know. There are two types of grants – scholar grants and student grants. You don’t have to be enrolled in or an employee of a university to receive either. Some people apply to teach in a university and others apply to do research projects. They accept proposals for all kinds of projects – scientific, historical, creative writing, journalism, painting, dance, photography, etc. – but some countries are more interested in supporting certain kinds of projects than others. If you receive a grant to do research, you have complete independence to develop your project without having anyone oversee or direct you, but you are expected to engage in a cultural exchange by participating in conferences, publishing your work, or finding other ways to establish a dialog between the United States and the country of your grant.

by [former member] | 27 May 2006 09:05 | Lviv, Ukraine | | Report spam→
I’m not a spokesperson for Fulbright but I will briefly describe what I know. There are two types of grants – scholar grants and student grants. You don’t have to be enrolled in or an employee of a university to receive either. Some people apply to teach in a university and others apply to do research projects. They accept proposals for all kinds of projects – scientific, historical, creative writing, journalism, painting, dance, photography, etc. – but some countries are more interested in supporting certain kinds of projects than others. If you receive a grant to do research, you have complete independence to develop your project without having anyone oversee or direct you, but you are expected to engage in a cultural exchange by participating in conferences, publishing your work, or finding other ways to establish a dialog between the United States and the country of your grant.

by [former member] | 27 May 2006 10:05 | Lviv, Ukraine | | Report spam→
Thanks Carolyn. I just read the info on the site, and I sent a long email with questions to the person managing matters for the DR. What is not clear to me is just how a photojournalist does “research”, but I suppose in effect what we are talking about is doing a documentary project. For the DR, the site states that one could affiliate oneself with an NGO, and that could be easy for me, as I already am affiliated with them all. But I could also connect with the main public university here. Does one have to have local people vouch for you? do you have to have the institution write something up on your behalf? My other question had to do with just which discipline I would fit into, since photography per se is not listed but “art” and “humanities” are. Well I guess they will answer these questions once they get round to it, and the next round of applications (2007-2008) is far enough off to allow for plenty of planning. Thanks Carolyn. If I have any specific questions that might benefit from your experience, you mind if I PM you in the future?

by Jon Anderson | 27 May 2006 10:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
“Research” is a pretty open-ended word but it boils down to the fact that you’re proposing to work on a long term project of some sort. You have to have a bachelor’s degree and be an American citizen to be eligible to apply (I think). But if you’re a citizen of another country you can apply to do a project in the US. And to receive a photo grant you have to pass a portfolio review as well as having them approve your proposal. Yes, it will help your case if you submit “letters of support” from one or several universities or NGOs in the “host country” along with your application. Many universities in the US have a Fulbright representative on the staff whose job it is to answer these questions so you might try tracking down one of them. Photography should be listed as a discipline – at least, it was last year when I applied. Yes, feel free to contact me however you want if you have other questions.

by [former member] | 27 May 2006 10:05 | Lviv, Ukraine | | Report spam→
Thanks again Carolyn. I just finished reading the rest of the info related to my country of choice, and it more or less pans out as you suggest, plus i have the contacts who supervise applications for DR. I have written to them with the more specific questions. Problem is that the disciplines are rather more limited for DR and photography is not among them. But arts and humanities are, so I imagine I can rig something along those lines. For DR they are emphasizing the All Disciplines route, but there is an NGO alternative, so I will just have to wait until the person in charge gets back in touch. meanwhile, basically, everything but the proposal statement is pretty much ready.

by Jon Anderson | 27 May 2006 10:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Good luck!

ps. just make sure you know that the fulbright people in DR support photography before you go through the whole application process. not every country does and it would be a waste of time to go through the process if photo isn’t on their list.

by [former member] | 27 May 2006 11:05 (ed. May 27 2006) | Lviv, Ukraine | | Report spam→
Hi all,

For Fulbright grants in photography you first must pass a round in New York where your portfolio is the only thing judged. If you make it through, your written application is then forwarded to your host country for review. Some countries are more open to artistic grants than others and some countries such as the Western European ones are much more competitive because so many people want to go them. I applied for a photo grant to Romania and passed the portfolio round in New York but, alas, my application was not accepted in Romania. There are many criteria such as your language proficiency, contacts in the host country, and of course the idea of your project that play a part in your acceptance! But, if you can manage to get one, it’s a lot of money to use in some places! Best, Davin.

by Davin Ellicson | 27 May 2006 12:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thanks Davin for clearing the stages up. The question for me is whether or not I will be applying under “photography” or under a more general “arts” or “humanities” rubric. Photography is not listed for DR; and in fact here the more practical arts like engineering, agriculture and so on are emphasized. Schools here do not even have what the US would call Liberal Arts programs. But as my work spans lots of categories (Caribbean studies, history, art, etc), there might be a way to squeeze in here. Plus, I am an ex-academic with years of teaching under my belt, so I may be able to get one on those grounds. The only thing to do is wait until the people I have written to can clear the matter up. All the other criteria I can meet handily: fluent Spanish, publications, references, contacts in host country, and a topic that will surely get some attention if not full acceptance (one can never bet on that)

by Jon Anderson | 27 May 2006 13:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Jon,

Yes, you need to determine if a specifically photographic project would be ok for the Dominican Republic. . . Where were you teaching before?! Davin.

by Davin Ellicson | 27 May 2006 13:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Jon,

Yes, you need to determine if a specifically photographic project would be ok for the Dominican Republic. . . Where were you teaching before?! Davin.

by Davin Ellicson | 27 May 2006 13:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Mine would probably be a mix of photos and text. Well if it comes under the rubric of art or humanities, my experience is that the restrictions are pretty lax. I taught at Columbia for about eight years, as well as NYU and Cooper Union as an adjunct. That was a past life.

by Jon Anderson | 27 May 2006 14:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
BTW you may want to also ask about minimum/recommended GPA.
Recently spoke with a Fulbright Advisor and she basically said if you received anything below a 3.8 GPA
as your cumulative (as undergrad or grad student) you better have a great idea and great pictures.
Fulbright committee frowns on low GPA’s…

by michael christopher brown | 28 May 2006 10:05 | Brooklyn, NY, United States | | Report spam→
No GPAs apply in my case, as my grad schools did not give grades. The fact that I scored in the 98th percentile for my GREs and was awarded two of the top national doctoral fellowships ought to erase whatever doubt they may have on this score. No, the problem is not qualifications, the problem is finding the fit with the program as it is structured down here, and for that I will just have to wait and see what the person in charge has to say. And even if I can find a fit, they may entertain proposals from people whose fields are more in line with the kind of thing they usually fund here, so I am possibly at a disadvantage there.

by Jon Anderson | 28 May 2006 10:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→

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Participants

Gregory Nelson, Photographer Gregory Nelson
Photographer
St. Bonaventure, Ny , United States
John Loomis, Photographer John Loomis
Photographer
New York, Ny , United States ( LGA )
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
Photographer
New York , United States
michael christopher brown, Photographer michael christopher brown
Photographer
China , China


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