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Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship

CAMPUS DEADLINE: FY2016 TBD, expected mid-April

Application Procedure

STEP #1: Complete this interest and eligibility form
STEP #2: Review FAQ and Student Applicant Instructions
STEP #3: Align research statement with the Technical Review Committee Form
STEP #4: Submit G5 online application

The FY2016 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship competition has not yet been announced by the US Department of Education.   Please complete STEP #1 above to receive application announcements.


This U.S. Department of Education program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months.

The institutional project period is TBD. Students may request funding for a period of no less than six months and no more than 12 months within that time period.

This grant is available to Ph.D. candidates who wish to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Projects focusing on Western Europe are not eligible for funding. The grant provides travel expenses, maintenance allowance for the grantee and his/her dependents, books and other research-related expenses and health insurance.


Ph.D. students from all departments are eligible if the focus of the dissertation has an area studies and/or language component. Field work in English is generally not supported.

Specifically, a student is eligible to receive a fellowship if he or she:

  • Is a citizen or national of the United States or is a permanent resident of the United States;
  • Is a graduate student in good standing at an institution of higher education in the United States who, when the fellowship begins, is admitted to candidacy in a doctoral program in modern foreign languages and area studies at that institution;
  • Is planning a teaching career in the United States upon graduation; and
  • Possesses adequate skills in the language(s) necessary to carry out the dissertation project.

Competition Priorities FY15 (NOTE: the FY15 application period has passed)

Research projects must focus on one or more of the following geographic areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the United States and its territories).

Additionally, competitive priority points are awarded for projects in the field of economics, engineering, international development, global education, mathematics, political science, public health, science, or technology proposed by an applicant who will use advanced language proficiency in one of 78 Less Commonly Taught Languages.

The U.S. Department of Education’s list of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) is as follows: Akan (Twi-Fante), Albanian, Amharic, Arabic (all dialects), Armenian, Azeri (Azerbaijani), Balochi, Bamanakan (Bamana, Bambara, Mandikan, Mandingo, Maninka, Dyula), Belarusian, Bengali (Bangla), Berber (all languages), Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cebuano (Visayan), Chechen, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Gan), Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Min), Chinese (Wu), Croatian, Dari, Dinka, Georgian, Gujarati, Hausa, Hebrew (Modern), Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khmer (Cambodian), Kirghiz, Korean, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Kurdish (Sorani), Lao, Malay (Bahasa Melayu or Malaysian), Malayalam, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Oromo, Panjabi, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (all varieties), Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala (Sinhalese), Somali, Swahili, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrigna, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur/Uigur, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Wolof, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu.

Finally, competitive priority points are also awarded to applicants with research projects in one or more of the following geographic areas:

Sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Réunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

Southeast Asia: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam.

Application Instructions

Applicants submit a proposal electronically through G5, the Department of Education's Grants Management system.  It is recommended that applicants format their narrative proposal using the Fulbright-Hays Technical Review Form as a guide.

Applicants are reminded that the Federal Register notice is the official document for application guidelines and that applicants should not rely upon any information that is inconsistent with the guidance contained within it.

UNC Project Director Contact Information

Beth-Ann Kutchma
Senior Program Officer, Center for Global Initiatives 


Fulbright-Hays DDRA Info Session 2016

Join program staff for an important session on the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award. This award, supported by the U.S. Department of Education and administered at UNC by the Center for Global Initiatives, supports Ph.D. candidates who conduct…


Q1. Is it possible to be alerted by email of the deadline if I register somewhere on the web?
A1.  Sign up for CGI's biweekly eBulletin to receive announcements about all of our funding opportunities.

Q2. Will you please direct me to a source where I could review previous years' applications?
A2.  Applications are available in PDF format.  The file is password protected. Students must complete an interest form to receive access.  A reminder that we recommend that you organize the content of your proposal to follow the format of the Technical Review Committee Form.

Q3. Are there travel or research restrictions to my country that could prevent me from implementing a DDRA?
A3. Please review UNC's travel policy and check State Department travel warnings.  Additionally, the RFP targets specific countries or world regions.  Proposals within these regions are considered more competitive.

Q4. Can I submit my application before all of my letters of reference have been submitted?
A4.  No.  In the FY 2015 G5 application, students cannot submit their individual application to their institution until their references have been submitted.  If a student submits their application before their references are submitted, the reference will not be included in their application. 

Q5. Is completed IRB approval required as part of the application?
A5.  No.  However, applicants must prepare an IRB narrative which is then submitted to the UNC Project Director (Beth-Ann Kutchma).


CGI aims to significantly increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students who have access to and benefit from global opportunities. As such, we actively encourage applications from these populations.  


The recipients of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (2013-2014):

Creating a Tatar Capital--National Cultural and Linguistic Space in Kazan

Gary Guadagnolo
Department of History

Guadagnolo will conduct dissertation research in Russia  examining the transformation of Kazan in the early Soviet era into a regional capital more inclusive and representative of the region's significant Tatar population.

Claiming the Caucasus--The Evolution of Russian Imperialism in Armenia

Stephen Riegg
Department of History

Riegg will implement dissertation research in Armenia and Russia exploring the transformation of the Russo-Armenian relationship in the nineteenth century. Organized as a case study that analyzes how Russia's strategies of imperialism adapted to the myriad changes that
characterized the nineteenth century, Riegg's research will provide the first full-scale academic history of Russia's incorporation of Armenia into the empire.