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Fulbright Clinton Fellowships

25 Nov Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments

Formerly known as the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowships, the Fulbright Clinton Fellowship Program provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to serve in professional placements in a foreign government ministry or institution in partner governments. Fulbright-Clinton Fellows build mutual understanding and contribute to strengthening the public sector while gaining hands-on public sector experience.  Now in its third year, this program is of interest to graduate students (and recent degree recipients) in policy-related fields.  It’s time for an update on this popular program!

The Fulbright Clinton program is targeted particularly at young professionals who have recently completed Master’s or professional degrees (or are pursuing the Ph.D.) and wish to gain international public sector experience while representing the U.S. abroad.  The fellowship unfolds over the course of one academic year and is made up of two components:  a professional placement, in which the fellow will serve for approximately 32 hours per week, and an independent academic project, to which the fellow will devote 8-10 hours per week.

The list of countries to which Fulbright Clinton awards will be offered changes from year to year.  In 2014, the countries currently slated to host Fulbright Clinton Fellows are:

  • Bangladesh
  • Burma
  • Cote D’Ivoire
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Malawi
  • Nepal
  • Samoa
  • Timor-Leste

Candidates must apply for one country, though they are asked to indicate alternate choices and may be considered for other placements if there is a match to their qualifications.

 To be eligible to apply, candidates must:

  • Be U.S. citizens (as of November 1, 2013).
  • Have (or expect to receive) a Master’s level degree (MA, JD, MBA, MPA, MPH, MSW, MSc, or other) with an area of focus that is applicable to public policy prior to September 1, 2014; OR be a student in a doctoral program.
  • Have at least 2 years of full-time professional experience in policy-related fields.
  • Meet any specific requirements (including language proficiency requirements) of the country to which they are applying.

The most competitive candidates will possess the following qualifications:

  • Depth of knowledge about the country, society, and issues in the region where the country is located.  Prior experience in the country is not essential, but will in most cases be a positive.  The ideal candidate is one who will be able to “hit the ground running” – that is, one that is familiar with the political landscape, the major issues, and the cultural milieu.
  • Language qualifications that meet or exceed the requirements of the country.  Each country participating in this program sets language requirements for participants.  In some countries, English is sufficient, while in others a high level of competency in the local language is required.  Even when knowledge of a local language is not required, such skills will be a positive.
  • Interest in public service and an ability to articulate a connection between your studies, your interest in the country / the Fulbright Clinton program, and your career goals.
  • Flexibility and adaptability.  Assignments made though this program are tailored around the needs and interests of the host government, as well as the skills and qualifications of the fellows.  For this reason, the postings are individual and may take some time to come into focus as the fellow and the office to which he or she is assigned get to know one another.  Fellows should also expect a mix of different kinds of work – you may be helping to design a program one day, and making photocopies the next.  Your role is as an “assistant,” NOT an “advisor,” and you should expect to function in a support role.

If you’ve looked at other Fulbright programs in the past, it is important to note that this program is seeking a different kind of candidate than other Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants.  In contrast to other Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants, the Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships prefer candidates with substantial prior knowledge and experience of the host country, and also require graduate-level education and professional experience.

More information about the Fulbright Clinton Fellowships can be found on this web site under the “Tips and Advice” tab, “Advice for Specific Competitions.”  The Fulbright U.S. Student Programs web site is also currently offering webinars for applicants to this program.

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