WSU had more faculty go abroad as Fulbright scholars in the 2010-2011 academic year than any other university in the Pacific Northwest. Seven WSU faculty earned Fulbright awards, nearly twice as many as any other university in the region.
 
Nancy Shrope, WSU’s Fulbright campus representative and assistant director of the Office of Research and Grant Development (OGRD), is hoping and working for similar success this year.
 
The application deadline for the faculty scholar core program is Aug. 1, Shrope said, but potential applicants should be starting the process now.
Faculty are encouraged to contact Shrope, nshrope@wsu.edu, visit the Fulbright website or contact Mushtaq Memon, memon@wsu.edu, a Fulbright ambassador and WSU associate professor in veterinary clinical sciences.
 
On Friday, April 8, Shrope, Memon and Pam Kelley, research support and events coordinator in OGRD, will present a workshop 1-2 p.m. in the Nursing Building, room 105, WSU Spokane at the request of the College of Nursing. The workshop will be delivered live by polycom to WSU nursing locations statewide. Others are welcome to attend, Shrope said, and can check the OGRD website (under workshops) for polycom locations.
 
Awards cover many disciplines, countries, time frames
Core awards for faculty scholars, the largest program offered by the Fulbright program, can be from two months to one year, Shrope said, with six months being fairly typical. Fulbright sends about 800 scholars each year to about 125 countries.
 
Other awards, such as research specialists, can be as short as two weeks.
 
Traditionally, Memon said, Fulbright awards were primarily for faculty in the social sciences, but now faculty in all disciplines are encouraged to participate. The key to a successful application is for an applicant to do the research and find a host country or institution whose needs match his or her strengths.
 
According to Memon, WSU’s strengths seem to match well with what Fulbright host institutions are looking for. In the 2012-2013 awards cycle, 52 awards are being offered in agriculture. But, he said, a sampling of other awards includes: Macao, humanities and social sciences; Bulgaria, pure and applied sciences; Indonesia, science and technology; Philippines, agriculture and fisheries modernization; and Mongolia, humanities, social sciences, science and technology.
 
While many people think only senior faculty are eligible for Fulbrights, Shrope said that is a myth. Fulbrights are designed to promote international exchanges and cross cultural understanding, she said, and junior faculty and faculty adjuncts can be successful candidates as well.
 
Some myths dispelled
 
According to information provided by the Fulbright program, other myths about the Fulbright program are:
 
2. Accepting a Fulbright means leaving your family behind. Benefits vary by country, but families are often welcome on Fulbright assignments.
 
3. A Fulbright Scholar award offers little benefit to the scholar’s home institution. According to a Stanford Research Institute survey of 1,004 U.S. Fulbright scholars, nearly three-quarters of returning scholars have helped globalize their campus as a result of their Fulbright experience.
 
4. Fulbrights are only for research. Just 24 percent of Fulbright scholar awards are for research only. Most are for lecturing or combined lecturing and research.
 
5. You have to speak a foreign language fluently to apply. Only some awards require fluency in a foreign language and most grants require English fluency.
 
6. Fulbright grants require an invitation from a host university. This is true for some countries, but not for others.