Overseas Programs Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

To provide opportunities for graduate students to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign language and area studies with the exception of Western Europe.

This program is designed to develop research knowledge and capability in world areas not widely included in American

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Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Imagined Democracies, Nocturnal Communities: The Production of Political Space in Cote d'lvoire; Strategies for Survival: Women, Power, and HIV Risk in Uganda; Spirit Possession in Northern Brazil; The Exus of Umbanda Forest Conservation and Common Property Management in Oaxaca, Mexico; Continuity and Change: Cooperatives in Contemporary Rural China; Strangers in their Homeland: The Ethnic Adaptation of Japanese-Brazilian Return Migrants and the Japanese Sociopolitical Response Towards Co-management; Conservation, Indigenous Communities and the Philippine State Disease; Social Change and Gender Among the Huli of Papua New Guinea; Language and Identity in Ukraine: The Politics of Interaction Propaganda vs.

"Stalinization" of the Soviet Press, 1922-1930; Commemoration of Nation and Class in Two Palestinian Villages; Educating Ethnicity: Cypriot Conflict and the Revision of History; Education and Youth Culture in Kerala, South India, Trekking Tourism, Traditionalism and Development in a Nepali Village; Women's Political NGOs in the Emerging Democracy of Ghana; and Community Building among Indonesian Transmigrants: The Challenges of Ecological Sustainability and Social Harmony.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

In FY 2008, 150 new fellowships are expected to be awarded.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds will be available to enable doctoral candidates to complete field research for their dissertations.

Generally awards will not be available for projects focusing primarily on Western Europe or countries where the United States has no diplomatic representation.

Financial provisions include basic stipend computed on the cost-of-living in the country where research is to be conducted; cost of round trip jet economy air fare for award recipient only; baggage allowance, if justified; dependents allowance for accompanying dependents based on cost-of-living in host country; project allowance to be utilized for the purchase of expendable materials, services, and supplies, tuition payments to foreign institutions, and local travel expenditures; funds to secure health and accident insurance.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Institutions of higher education may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Candidate for Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship must: (1a) Be a citizen or national of the United States; (1b) be a permanent resident of the United States; or (1c) provide evidence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that he or she is in the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident; (2) be a graduate student in good standing at an institution of higher education who, when the fellowship period begins, has been admitted to candidacy in a doctoral degree program in modern foreign languages and area studies at that institution; (3) plan a teaching career in the United States upon graduation; (4) possess adequate skills in the foreign language(s) necessary to carry out the dissertation research project.


This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The graduate dean of a college or university or his or her representative will be responsible for accepting, screening, and forwarding through the Department of Education's Application Control Center to the Advanced Training and Research Team those individual applications which meet the institution's technical and academic criteria and the program's eligibility requirements.

Candidates for dissertation research fellowships apply directly to the institutions at which they are enrolled in a Ph.D.

program, not to the Department of Education.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No.


Application Procedures

Institutions should request application materials from the Advanced Training and Research Team. Students should address requests for application forms to the office of the graduate dean or his or her representative at the graduate schools at which they are enrolled in a Ph.D. program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

The Advanced Training and Research Team will make initial selection and recommendation of fellowship recipients with the advice of a panel of specialists in foreign language and area studies and comments by U.S. embassies and binational commissions in the proposed countries of research. Selections are subjebject to review and final approval by the presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The grant covering successful graduate students is made to the applicant, i.e., institutions of higher education.


Generally, the last week in October or first week in November of the year preceding the year of research. Exact date is announced in the Federal Register.


Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, Section 102(b)(6), Public Law 87-256.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

About 200 days.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards are made for at least 6 but not more than 12 months.

Post Assistance Requirements


Fellows: Terminal reports through the grantee institution no later than 90 days after the termination date of the award.

Institutions: fiscal reports.


Fiscal records of institutions subject to Education Department audit at any time within 5 years after close of the fiscal year in which expenditures are made.


Records bearing on receipt and expenditure of funds to be made available for inspection by the Department for 3 years after close of fiscal year in which expenditures are made if departmental audit has occurred by that time, until audit or for five years following the end of the budget period in which the grant expired (whichever is later) or until resolution of any outstanding audit questions.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $4,444,896; FY 08 est $4,666,000; and FY 09 est $4,721,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For FY 2008, the range of awards is expected to be $15,000 to $60,000 for fellowships; the average fellowship is expected to be $29,330.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Final regulations published in 34 CFR 662, and in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

International Education Programs Service, Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-5331. Contact: Sara Starke. E-mail: Sara.Starke@ed.gov. Telephone: (202) 502-7688.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 662.21 and are listed in the following paragraphs. The maximum score for all of the criteria, including the competitive preference priority, is 105 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. Quality of proposed project (60 points): In determining the quality of the research project proposed by the applicant, the Secretary considers: (1) The statement of the major hypotheses to be tested or questions to be examined, and the description and justification of the research methods to be used (10 points); (2) the relationship of the research to the literature on the topic and to major theoretical issues in the field, and the project's originality and importance in terms of the concerns of the discipline (10 points); (3) the preliminary research already completed in the United States and overseas or plans for such research prior to going overseas, and the kinds, quality and availability of data for the research in the host country or countries (10 points); (4) the justification for overseas field research and preparations to establish appropriate and sufficient research contacts and affiliations abroad (10 points); (5) the applicant's plans to share the results of the research in progress and a copy of the dissertation with scholars and officials of the host country or countries (10 points); and (6) the guidance and supervision of the dissertation advisor or committee at all stages of the project, including guidance in developing the project, understanding research conditions abroad, and acquainting the applicant with research in the field (10 points). Qualifications of the applicant (40 points): In determining the qualifications of the applicant, the Secretary considers (1) the overall strength of the applicant's graduate academic record (10 points); (2) the extent to which the applicant's academic record demonstrates strength in area studies relevant to the proposed project (10 points); (3) the applicant's proficiency in one or more of the languages (other than English and the applicant's native language) of the country or countries of research, and the specific measures to be taken to overcome any anticipated language barriers (15 points); and (4) the applicant's ability to conduct research in a foreign cultural context, as evidenced by the applicant's references or previous overseas experience, or both (5 points). Subject to change. Contact program officer for further information.

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