Fulbright Information Sheet for Faculty writing letters for study/research applicants


The Fulbright Program offers graduating seniors, recent graduates, and graduate students one-year fellowships for study, research, or teaching assistantships abroad.  Like the entire Fulbright program, its mission is “to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.”

This information sheet is intended to make the process of submitting a letter of recommendation as simple as possible and to help you make the letter as effective as possible. We know you work hard on behalf of our applicants, and we appreciate your efforts!

Fulbright uses a completely online system, and signed hard copies of recommendations are no longer required.  Because Fulbright requires a campus review of all candidates, the internal deadline for submission of all materials is September 13


Prior to preparing your letter, it is essential that you review the project summary provided by the applicant.    If you are not familiar with U.S. Student Fulbright Program in general or with the program the student is applying to, you may wish to visit the Fulbright website at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/ or our website at https://www.brynmawr.edu/fellowships/fulbright-grants.  In preparing your statement, please keep in mind that the applicant will be serving as a citizen representing the United States and that personal suitability, as well as academic excellence, is an important criterion to be considered.

In particular, please comment on any of the following that are appropriate relative to the candidate, the proposed plan for study and/research, and country to which he/she is applying.

  • Ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed research project and/or study program.
  • If the proposal is primarily a research project or has a significant research component, feasibility of the applicant's proposed project in terms of resources available in the host country and the time allowed for completion.
  • Merit or validity of the research or study project itself.
  • Linguistic preparation for the proposed plan.
  • Candidate's ability to adapt to a different cultural environment.
  • Impression the candidate will make abroad as a representative of the United States.
  • In the Creative or Performing Arts: The candidate's talent and potential for growth.
  • Any other factors which you believe may have a bearing on the candidate's experience overseas


Fulbright uses an online recommendation system.  If a student asks you for a Fulbright letter in person, please provide your email address for her to register you online.   

Once the student has registered you, you will receive an email message with user id, password, and a link to the application website.  Please save this email in a secure, easily found place, so that you may return to it as necessary.  You will be asked to log in to confirm the following:  Name, Organization, Email and Address.  You will then find a list of applicants, both past and present, who have requested recommendations from you, based upon your email address.  Current applicants will be accessible via a hyperlink. 

Note: Messages from Embark are sometimes perceived as spam.  If necessary, please check your quarantine folder or contact the Help Desk.  Students can also activate the application system to resend the email.

After clicking on the student’s name, you will find two pages to be completed.  The first page requires your biographical data, such as name, title and institutional information.  This page also asks you to indicate in what context and for how long you have known the candidate.  This answer must be limited to 10 lines, which may be previewed to be certain that your answer fits.  The second page is where you may upload your letter of recommendation.

Please follow these steps in preparing and uploading your letter.

  1. Prepare your letter offline.
  2. At the top of each page of the document that you upload into the system, state the name of the applicant and the country to which they are applying.
  3. Limit your comments to two, single-spaced pages.
  4. When finished, save your letter as a Word document. Or you can print out your letter on university letter head, sign it and then scan it into a PDF file. Make sure that you compile all documents into a single file for upload.
  5. To upload your reference letter, simply click on the "Browse" button below to select your reference letter. When the name of your document appears in the box, click on the Upload button to complete your upload.
  6. The final step is to Submit the reference.

You may save what you have entered and return to the recommendation site as often as you like before the deadline for submission.  Nothing that you enter will be seen by the Fulbright Commission until you click the “Submit” button.  However, no modifications will be possible after the recommendation has been submitted.  If you have any concerns about the content of your letter, please contact me before you submit it. 

Questions:  Contact Ellie Stanford, Bryn Mawr Fellowships Adviser