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Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship

CAMPUS DEADLINE: April 20, 2016, 5 pm

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 is now open. The federal deadline is May 6, 2016. The campus deadline is April 20, 2016.


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 October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018. 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 FY16

Specific Geographic Regions of the World.

A research project that focuses 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). Please note that applications that propose projects focused on the following countries are not eligible: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or Vatican City.

Competitive Preference Priorities: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address one or both of the following priorities.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), for FY 2016, we award an additional three points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1 and two points for an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2 (up to 5 additional points possible).

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1: Focus on Priority Languages (3 points).

A research project that makes use of any of the 78 priority languages selected from the U.S. Department of Education's list of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs), 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.

Competitive Preference Priority 2: Thematic Focus on Academic Fields (2 points).

A research project conducted in the field of economics, engineering, international development, mathematics, political science, public health, science, comparative or international education, or technology.

UNC Project Director Contact Information

Iyman Gaspard
Fulbright-Hays, FLAS and Fulbright Program Advisor
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 (2015-2016):

Political Party Networks and Local Governance in Post-Communist Democracies

Kiran Auerbach
Political Science

Kiran will conduct dissertation research in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will investigate the impact of political parties on local governance and human development. Her research focuses on how the organizational attributes of parties and political party configurations at multiple
levels of government impact the nature of electoral competition and contribute to the cycle of corruption in post-communist democracies.

A comparative study of social-ecological impacts of protected areas on communities and forest habitats in Kenya

Margit Bertalan
Environmental Science

Protected areas are intended to conserve wildlife and habitats. However, the social impacts of these areas on surrounding communities are often overlooked. In the name of conservation, people are often forced from their homes and denied access to traditionally available resources. Removing humans from a landscape promote ideas that humans are unnatural elements of those landscapes, supporting the idealistic goal of a pristine state of nature. Furthermore, as a result of negative social and ecological impacts, removal of humans from forested areas has the potential to drive forest loss in place of forest gain. A comparative study of four areas in Kenya, which are home to the last remaining Eastern
Mountain Bongo populations, investigates the social-ecological impacts of protected areas.

Political Party Networks and Local Governance in Post-Communist Democracies

Mary Morgan-Smith

Mary will explore the material expression of laborer household abandonment from Rancho Kiuic, a rural 18th-20th century
landed estate in the Puuc region of Yucatan, Mexico. This research examines the complex socioeconomic relationships between the Rancho's
Yucatec-speaking landowners and laborers using a mixed-methods approach.