Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation for Research Abroad (US citizens)

The Office of Postsecondary Education's, International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) Division is now accepting applications for its Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation for Research Abroad (DDRA) grant competition through May 6, 2015!

Purpose of Program: The Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship Program 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 deepen research knowledge and increase the study of modern foreign languages, cultural engagement and area studies not generally included in U.S. curricula. More broadly this program furthers the development of peace and security for our nation throughout the world.

Program Features: The institutional project period is 18 months. Students may request funding for a period of no less than six months and no more than 12 months. Funds support travel expenses to and from the residence of the fellow and the country or countries of research; maintenance and dependents(s) allowances based on the location of research for the fellow and his or her dependent(s); an allowance for research related expenses overseas; and health and accident insurance premiums. Projects focusing on Western Europe are not supported.

Eligible Applicants
Institutions of higher education (IHEs) in the United States are eligible to apply for grants under this program. As part of the application process, students submit individual applications to the IHE. The IHE then submits all eligible individual student applications with its grant application to the U.S. Department of Education. A student is eligible to receive a DDRA fellowship from their IHE if he or she:

Is a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States
Is a graduate student in good standing at an IHE
Is admitted to candidacy in a doctoral degree program in modern foreign languages and area studies at that institution when the fellowship period begins
Is planning a teaching career in the United States upon completion of his or her doctoral program
Possesses sufficient foreign language skills to carry out the dissertation research project

Story from a former grantee/participant:
My Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation for Research Abroad (DDRA) fellowship enabled me to conduct my anthropological dissertation research in New Zealand. I worked with Maori communities, specifically native film and television producers, to examine the connections between media, sovereignty, and language revitalization. Maori have one of the most developed media industries in the indigenous world, being successful both nationally and internationally. The revitalization of the Maori language is also one of the 20th century’s most successful language revitalizations (another being Hebrew), and media has been intimately tied to this project. This success in multiple domains has made Maori and their programs global leaders, as many other indigenous groups look to them as practical models for what they want to do in their own communities.

The DDRA fellowship allowed me to work with people on the ground and face-to-face (or as Maori might call it, “eye-to-eye”), an invaluable experience that contributed to and enriched my understanding of Maori media practices and how they fit into larger efforts for self-determination. Attending Fulbright events in both New Zealand and in the United States also gave me a tremendous network of colleagues, many whom I am proud to call my friends. On a more personal level, the time I spent in New Zealand gave me experiences and friendships that I will value for life.

After returning to the United States, I finished my Ph.D. in anthropology at New York University. I then worked for Oprah Winfrey as the senior academic researcher on her 2015 television series, “Belief,” a 7-part documentary series on cross-cultural belief systems. Over the course of three years, our production team shot in 35 different countries and six different continents, compiling a set of stories that are intimate, beautiful, and emotionally moving. I worked on the series from its conception to its completion, helping to ensure that the people who were featured were treated respectfully and accurately.

I now teach courses on indigenous societies in the Pacific and critical understandings of media, art, and culture in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Bowdoin College in Maine, a position that I am fortunate to have, and one that is a direct legacy of my Fulbright-Hays time in New Zealand.

----April Strickland, a New York University FY 2008 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellow

Visit the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral-Dissertation Research Projects Abroad webpage to learn more and apply.

To learn more about other programs from OPE's International and Foreign Language Education Division, you can visit their webpage, subscribe to their Newsletter and follow them on Twitter @GlobalED. For a complete list of 2016 grant programs offered by the Office of Postsecondary Education please visit our Funding Opportunities Page. To learn more about our divisions, grant programs and policy development you can visit OPE's website and follow us at Twitter @EDpostsecondary.

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