demystifying the ph.d.

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How to win a Fulbright - Defining the Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement

One of the most common questions I get asked is: “How can I win a Fulbright?”

Since I was a Fulbright grantee in Paris to conduct research in 2017-2018, I know a lot about the Fulbright process. I am also a paid consultant to personally edit statements for the Fulbright and other fellowships. I’ve read literally hundreds of essay drafts. I’ve coached folks in person, over the phone, and by email on how to strengthen their application. Specifically, I’m referring to the Fulbright U.S. Student Grant Program for researchers, students, and English Teaching Assistants.

In my humble opinion, the two required essays, the Statement of Grant Purpose and the Personal Statement are two of the most critical components of your application.

It’s your chance to introduce yourself.

It’s a chance to expand your image beyond your GPA, CV, or language skills.

A good essay can make a reader lean in and want to know more about you. A not-so-good essay can make a reader want to finish as quickly as possible to go on to the next essay.

During the application process, writing the essays can be maddening. You want to be authentic but not corny, concise but thorough. And you only get two pages to do it! It’s a challenge.

Since I’ve spoken widely about my experiences with Fulbright on my YouTube page and shared slices of life on Instagram, folks often reach out with questions about how to write the essays.

I’ve created a clear, simple, and concise guide on how to determine the difference between the two required essays and pro-tips on how to approach them. Check it out here: www.scholarnoire.com/resources

I’ve also created a guide specifically about how to write a strong Statement of Grant Purpose, available here.

The guide is modern, nice to look at, and a PDF that you can read over and over.

If you are applying for a Fulbright and feel stuck on the essay writing process, I would highly encourage you to get a section or two.

They are available for purchase in the ‘Resources’ section of the site. In addition, I’ve created a Free PDF of all information provided about the essay instructions on the official Fulbright website, so check that out too.

Let me know what you think and keep going!

Onward,

scholar noire