Identifying an Affiliate
- The first step is to check the country specific information.
- You want to find someone who is academic area/professional work is aligned with your project, who can be of help to you, and when possible, provide access to resources from their organization/university. A majority of Fulbright applicants will affiliate with universities, although in some countries it is possible to affiliate with other types of organizations, such as research institutes or government ministries. Make sure your proposed affiliation is acceptable for your country and appropriate for your project.
- To find potential affiliations:
- Talk faculty and administrators at Babson, and those you may know from schools abroad. They may have suggestions or possibly even connections that they could reach out to on your behalf.
- Research where work on your topic is being done in your proposed country.
- Search for who is publishing research in your area.
- Reach out to Fulbright Scholars in your proposed country, as well as those who are currently in the US from your proposed country, for suggestions of potential affiliation contacts.
- Inquire with contact you have from companies and organizations where you have worked, they may have connections.
Requesting an Affiliation Letter
Once you have identified a potential affiliation you will need to request the letter, which in most cases will be done via email.
Make sure to include:
- A brief email introduction of yourself and that you are applying for a Fulbright grant.
- A description of your project.
- A request asking them if they would be willing to let you affiliate with them.
- An explanation of what you hope they may be able to provide.
- If the contact has not worked with Fulbright before, you should explain that the affiliate host does not provide any financial support but instead provide support for your project work. You should include some possible ways that you believe would be helpful such as the ability to audit courses, access archives, labs or libraries, participation in research conversations, or to be part of a research group, etc.
- It is fine to send out a few requests at once, but remember you will have to manage expectations.
- Keep your request short and attach a current resume.
- The Affiliation Letter they provide should confirm that you would be able to affiliate with this organization and describe ways in which they will provide resources or assistance to you for your project. It is important to make sure the affiliate has a good understanding of your project, and it is always best if they can speak to the importance of the project work you are proposing.
Requirements for a Sponsor’s Affiliation Letter
The affiliation letter should come from the institution/individual in the host country with whom you are proposing to work. It should be written in or translated to English, printed on official letterhead and should be signed by the author. When requesting the letter, you should provide the author with a copy of the Statement of Grant Purpose.
The affiliation letter should:
- Indicate the author’s willingness to work with you on the intended project;
- Speak to the feasibility, and validity of what is being proposed; and
- Indicate any additional resources or contacts that the adviser can provide to support the work.
Make sure the affiliation letter adheres to the proper format:
- The affiliation letter must be printed on institutional letterhead and must be signed by the author.
- Affiliation letters written in a foreign language must be translated into English and both the original letters and the English-language translations must be uploaded into the application. An ‘official’ translation of the letter is not required.
- Since affiliation letters are not confidential, you will upload the letter yourself into the online application system. Scanned versions of the original hard-copy letters with hand-written signatures should be uploaded into the application. Letter writers can send either the original hard-copy letters or electronic copies to the applicants.
- Copies of email correspondence will not be accepted.
- Instructions on uploading letters of affiliation are available in the Fulbright online application system. Affiliation letters will NOT be accepted via email or fax – they MUST be uploaded into the application.
Once an affiliation is confirmed, you can share information from the following:
- There are no specific requirements for the letter of affiliation from the host institution. Every affiliation relationship will be different and depend upon the candidate’s project.
- Letters of support are to be on institutional letterhead and sent with the application.
- The letters should state how the supervisor/host institution will help the applicant to facilitate the project (i.e., what resources will be offered, what kind of supervision will be given, etc.).
- Some applicants propose to do independent research, so these letters of support are important for establishing the feasibility of a project. Other applicants propose to study at an institution/program, so letters of support are really a complement to the overall application, but they do attest to feasibility. Therefore, you should try to get a letter of support that is as detailed as possible. Ultimately, it is up to your host affiliation as to the level/kind of support that they are willing to offer you.
The letter of affiliation can be short, as long as it includes the following:
- A statement of who your host is and what they do;
- Knowledge of your project and aims (can be broad strokes);
- The nature of the connection you will have with the institution/lab [this is likely to include how they might assist you (e.g., help you network, provide certain facilities, offer you a position in a lab, supervise your research, mentor you, etc.)]; and,
- Enthusiasm about your chances of being awarded the Fulbright.
NOTE: The salutation of the letter of affiliation should simply read “Dear Fulbright Selection Committee:” A sample letter follows for your reference; you may share it with your potential affiliate host if they would like a model.
Sample Letter of Affiliation
This letter must be provided on letterhead (either in hard copy or a PDF version)
Dear Fulbright Selection Committee,
I write in support of (name), an excellent candidate for a Fulbright fellowship in (location). I am (title, organizational role, etc.) and look forward to working with (name) in the coming year. (Name) and I have been in contact since/I first met (name) in (date) and find (name)’s proposed project both interesting and feasible. (This paragraph usually includes some information about the connection between the applicant’s proposed work and that of the writer, and can include information about whether the applicant will be working closely with the writer/have access to institutional resources at the writer’s location and/or the opportunity to make contacts, network, or otherwise benefit from access to the writer/the institution or organization/etc.)
The next paragraph usually indicates, if it is the case, that the applicant may have access to courses at a university or other academic opportunities.
Finally, the letter generally closes with something like “Thank you for your consideration of (name). I look forward to working with (name) during (name)’s Fulbright and collaborating into the future.” If the relationship is not quite as close as that, the letter may close simply with the thank you and a reiteration of support for the proposal/project/applicant.