Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Fulbright Scholarship Program
 
Fulbright Logo

Fulbright Program Logo

Fulbright Program

FULBRIGHT PROGRAM COMPETITION NOW OPEN

Deadline is June 7, 2013

Brief Overview

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals.

Approximately 310,000 "Fulbrighters" have participated in the Program since its inception in 1946.

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB), composed of 12 educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States, formulates policies for the administration of the Fulbright Program, establishes criteria for the selection of candidates and selects candidates nominated for awards.

Since 1964 when the first Educational Exchange between the U.S. and the then former Yugoslavia was signed, over 350 Slovenian scholars took part in the Fulbright Exchange Program. Over the past ten years or so, up to eight Fulbright grants were awarded annually  (up to five one semester scholar grants and up to three 9-month student grants). Because of some additional funding from the U.S. Government that became available last summer, 10 Slovenians went to the U.S. on the Fulbright Exchange Program  in 2011-2012 academic year (5 scholars, 4 students and 1 Hubert Humphrey Fellow).

On October 6, 2011 the third Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia concerning the Fulbright Exchange Program was signed since Slovenia’s independence. As is the case for many other countries around the world, Slovenia does not have a Fulbright Commission. In cooperation with the host government, the Fulbright Program in Slovenia is managed by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy. Starting with the academic year 2012-2013, the Fulbright Program in Slovenia will be jointly administered and implemented by the U.S. Embassy and the Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund.

Due to U.S. Government budget cuts predicted for the coming academic year, Slovenia is no longer eligible to participate in the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program, nor will (for the time being) the International Fulbright Science and Technology Awards for outstanding foreign students be offered.

Preference is given to candidates without recent experience in the United States. Recipients of Fulbright Scholarships within the past 5 years will not be considered. Persons who are citizens of both Slovenia and the United States are also ineligible.

Fulbright grantees enter the United States on an Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa under a Department of State program, which requires them to return to their home country for a minimum of two years at the end of the grant period. 

Nature of Grants

Grants are awarded for a period of one, rarely two semesters (5 to 9 months) for post-doctoral applicants; of 2 semesters (9 months) for pre-doctoral applicants. The exact number of grants awarded in each category depends on the amount of final funding available.

A grant may be suspended if (1) the grantee ceases to carry out the project or academic program during the grant period, or (2) the grantee leaves the United States for more than two weeks without authorization of the supervising agency.

Preference is given to candidates without recent experience in the United States. Recipients of Fulbright Scholarships within the past 5 years will not be considered.

Ineligible Persons: Persons holding permanent residence in the United States; persons who are citizens of both Slovenia and the United States; persons currently studying in the United States.

Fulbright grantees enter the United States on an exchange visitor (J-1) visa under a Department of State program, which requires them to return to their home countries for a minimum of two years at the end of the grant period.

Fulbright Scholar Program (Post-Doctoral Research)

Up to four (or more, depending upon availability of funding) one-semester grants in the Fulbright Scholar Program category in any field of study to conduct research or lecture (please mark the correct category).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Slovenian citizenship and evidence of employment in the Republic of Slovenia
  • Proficiency in English
  • Doctoral degree 

Additional documents which must be mailed by registered mail by JUNE 7 DEADLINE include:

  • Copy of the online application
  • Xerox copy of doctoral degree
  • Letter from employer confirming employment in Slovenia (in English or Slovenian)
  • Letter or e-mail of invitation from a U.S. university 

Please mail to:

U.S. Embassy
Public Affairs Section
(Attn. Ivanka Ponikvar)
Prešernova 31
1000 Ljubljana

For additional information please contact Ivanka Ponikvar at PonikvarI@state.gov

Application Guidelines

Make sure the reference reports are submitted promptly and in English. Referees must submit references electronically. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that reference reports are submitted by the deadline so that references accompany the application throughout the entire review process. References should be from persons qualified to evaluate your professional work and proposal. At least one of the references should be from a specialist outside your university. 

When composing curriculum vitae, it is important to include:

1. Education (universities attended, degrees held)

2. Positions held

3. Courses taught and other services provided to students and the home institution

4. Publications

5. Other professional activities, such as workshops, seminars and consultations

6. Membership and activities in professional associations

7. Professional honors, awards and fellowships

8. Community service 

Preparing the Project Statement

The project statement is the most important aspect of preparing the Fulbright application. Scholars with the most compelling, theoretically sound, well-written, feasible proposals are generally recommended for awards. Sometimes those with outstanding professional achievements assume that a brief, general project statement will be sufficient. But, in order to ensure a more complete application, your proposed project, as well as the strategy for completing it, should be thoroughly explained.

Factors to Address in the Project Statement

  • Clearly define your objectives and the methodology you will employ. Indicate whether you will use interviews, library or archival research, or laboratory experiments to accomplish your project.
  • Place your project in academic or professional context by referring to leading works by others on the topic if that information is available.
  • Explain the significance of the project for the field and your own professional development.
  • Explain why residence in the United States is necessary for accomplishment of the project. Comment, if applicable, on the adequacy or inadequacy of research facilities and library resources in your own country and on the need to use specific collections in the United States.
  • Describe arrangements you have made, for affiliation or collaboration. Secure a letter of invitation from a U.S. host institution testifying to the merits and feasibility of the proposal. Scholars who have studied previously in the United States should avoid seeking affiliation at their U.S. alma mater because candidates are encouraged to expand their contacts within the U.S. academic community.
  • Discuss how your project can be completed within the time period you have available.
  • Indicate how you will disseminate the results of your research both in the United States and in your home country.

“Do's” and “Don'ts” for Prospective Applicants

The following advice has been passed on from former grantees and review committees and can assist the scholar in preparing a successful Fulbright application.

What you should do:

Do make sure that your qualifications and expertise match the objectives in your project statement. You should be able to show that you are qualified to accomplish what you are proposing to do.

Do emphasize key points in the first paragraph of the proposal. Academic reviewers examine many Fulbright applications, and having to search for the main points of the proposed activity is not helpful. You should use the rest of the proposal to support your statements in the opening paragraphs.

Do express what you can bring to the program clearly and succinctly. The best applications are those that reflect the individual and his/her situation. You should think of the basic questions that need to be answered: Why apply for a Fulbright award to come to the United States? If selected, what will I do, and how will I do it? What preparations have I made to complete the project? What can I contribute to the Fulbright Program? What will the results of my participation be?

Do emphasize how your project will benefit the host institution or scholars in your field both in your country and in the United States. Address in your project statement the ways in which you will utilize the experience upon your return. What is the likely impact of your experience abroad? To whom? How will you use what you learned upon your return, professionally and at the home institution?

Do try to make a connection between your past experience and what you are preparing to do if you receive an award. Explain the project's significance and its importance to the field. Focus on what can be reasonably accomplished during the period of the grant.

Do treat the application as a unitary whole, with all parts reinforcing the project statement. The flow should be orderly: the candidate's capabilities are listed in the application, further documented in the resume or curriculum vitae, and confirmed in the references. Use the project statement to make the parts interact by referring to items in the resume or research bibliography. Without being redundant or simplistic, you should make it easier for the reviewer to find the key pieces of information you wish to convey.

Do choose your references carefully and contact them early. The letters of recommendation need to accompany the application as it could otherwise be weakened by an insufficient number of references. Make sure the references are sent directly to the American Embassy or Ministry of Science, Education and Sport.

What you should not do:

Do Not exceed the page limit of the application proposal by including irrelevant or extraneous material that may divert attention.

Do Not use excessive jargon; keep your proposal simple and straightforward so that an educated reader from another discipline can understand it.

Do Not be vague in describing your previous work or in laying out the nature of your proposed Fulbright activity. A frequent failing in applications is that the proposal is underdeveloped or too imprecise to give reviewers a clear sense of the endeavor.

Do Not assume that your suitability for the endeavor is based upon past experience, your scholarship is self-evident, or the project's requirements will be understood by reviewers.

Do Not stress how a Fulbright grant will benefit only you or your career. Remember that the program is intended to foster mutual understanding between cultures and nations.

Do Not ask someone for a letter of reference unless the person is well acquainted with your qualifications. A pro forma letter from a well-known scholar, a contact abroad, or a prominent government official will carry less weight than a realistic assessment of your abilities from someone who knows you and your work well.

Arrangements for Affiliation with a Host Institution

One of the most important requirements of the Fulbright Scholar Program is a formal affiliation at a U.S. university or research institution. When determining which institutions to contact, do not limit yourself to only the most well-known U.S. universities. Many U.S. universities may not have an international reputation, but they often have appropriate facilities for scholars to conduct research. We have observed that scholars placed in these smaller and less renowned institutions often are given greater attention than their colleagues who are affiliated with more well-known universities. 

Fulbright Student Program (Pre-Doctoral Research)

Up to two (or more, depending upon availability of funding) Fulbright Student grants in any field of study to conduct research for a period of nine months. At the time of the application submission applicants must have Master’s Degree or be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Slovenia. Under this category candidates cannot enroll in a degree seeking program in the United States.

Confidential Letters of Reference: Three references must be sent electronically directly into the on-line application. U.S. universities consider letters of reference extremely important. All letters of reference should be written by teachers under whom you have studied or pursued research or by someone who has supervised you in work related to your proposed field of study. Letters of reference should not be written by persons related to you either by blood or marriage, or by personal friends. At least one academic and one professional or work-related letter must be included among the three letters you provide. The letters of reference should be written in English. Please be certain to ask that both pages of the form are completed.

Arrangements for Affiliation with a Host Institution

One of the most important requirements of the Fulbright Program is a formal affiliation at a U.S. university or research institution. In many cases, applicants are in touch with colleagues at U.S. institutions and have made preliminary plans for their own placements. However, if you are unable to make these preliminary contacts, you are encouraged to identify two or three institutions that have appropriate facilities for the kind of research you wish to undertake and faculty specialized in your research interests. When determining which institutions to include on your preferred list, do not limit yourself to only the most well-known U.S. universities. Many U.S. universities may not have an international reputation, but they often have appropriate facilities to conduct research. We have observed that students placed in these smaller and less renowned institutions often are given greater attention than their colleagues who are affiliated with more well-known universities. If program officers find that the preferred institutions listed by the student are not suitable for the work proposed or no strong professional reasons are given for wanting a particular institution, the program officer will request placement at another institution after consulting with staff, former U.S. Fulbright Students, and other sources. The task of affiliation is substantially accelerated if candidates have projects that are clearly defined. Through Public Affairs Offices of U.S. embassies, students are notified of the arrangements made for their affiliation in the United States and of recommended starting dates.

Standardized Tests

All pre-doctoral candidates (student) Finalists will be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and will receive instructions on how to apply. Candidates must have a minimum score of 90 IBT (Internet Based Test).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Completed master's degree, or enrollment in a doctoral program in Slovenia
  • Proficiency in English
  • Slovenian citizenship

Other Important Information

Duration of Grants: 9 months, beginning in August or September. Some candidates may be asked to arrive during the summer for a pre-academic course or intensive English program prior to the academic year.

Additional documents which must be mailed by registered mail by June 7 DEADLINE include:

  • Xerox copy of master's degree, or letter confirming enrollment in a doctoral program
  • Xerox copy of an online application

Please mail to:

U.S. Embassy
Public Affairs Section
(Attn. Ivanka Ponikvar)
Prešernova 31
1000 Ljubljana

For additional information please contact Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund [Fulbright@sklad-kadri.si ]