International Social Networking

How did Lauren connect with her host family in India? How was Mariami’s visit to the state of Georgia from her home country, Georgia? You can learn how scholars connect, make friends, study, and conduct research in countries that are new to them on this new social network for International study.

ExchangesConnect ( is an international online community managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs that connects potential, current, and former exchange program participants so that they can discuss application processes, programs, and living abroad.

How do you connect with other international scholars and students? Let me know at !


Intensive Fulbright Workshop–Coming Soon!

fulbright_logoThe Fulbright U.S. Student Program is designed to give masters and doctoral candidates, recent baccalaureate recipients, and young professionals and artists opportunities for personal development and international experience. Projects may include independent library or field research, university coursework, training in a music conservatory or art school, special projects in the social or life sciences, teaching assistantships (for English-language courses, in selected countries), or a combination of these.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to learn to appreciate others’ viewpoints, beliefs, and philosophies by working, living, teaching, and learning with them. Apply now for a U.S. Student Fulbright Fellowship. Funding can be obtained for study, research, or teaching assistantships in most foreign countries.

This program is for U.S. citizens only; permanent residents are not eligible. For specific information about this year’s 2013-14 competition, please visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website and the Fulbright U.S. Student Brochure.

Register for Workshop Here

Contact Karen Wachsmuth for more information:

Karen Wachsmuth
Academic Programs and Student Services Administrator
International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
T: 319-335-1436

Funding International Travel

6441760-flags-globe-with-world-map-original-vector-illustrationFunding international travel, research, and conference experiences has been on everyone’s mind lately. Between a big NSF announcement and a university wide effort to increase Fulbright visibility (join the Iowa Fulbright group!), everyone seems to be thinking of going abroad.

In addition, Anna Hoffman, from UI College of Education recently contacted me for an interview about international travel funding. I was featured alongside my buddy from International Programs, Karen Wachsmuth. Karen handles Fulbright, DAAD, Boren, and Stanley awards here at Iowa. I handle a mish-mash of other international opportunities including Chateaubriand, IDRF, AAUW, and pretty much anything else you find in your SPIN and Grants 4 Hawks Searches.

During my interview, I offered Anna the following three pieces of advice about funding international travel.

1)       Be flexible. At age 24, I wanted to teach in Australia, and ended up getting an offer to teach in Germany. I went from knowing almost nothing about Bavaria to having it become one of my favorite places! This is not an unusual story; part of the magic of international study is growing from the experiences you don’t expect.

2)       Start early. Big opportunities (such as those offered by Fulbright) not only require well-developed proposals, but also language study, testing, and sometimes in-country experiences. It also helps to have an early record of success with smaller opportunities such as travel grants, conferences, and/or trips to archives.

3)       Find a Mentor (and other readers!). Nobody can replace a strong faculty mentor when you are developing your research project. Work closely with them to develop your project, gently remind them of deadlines, and make they have the information they need to support you. You will also want to find “educated generalists” that can read your proposal and help keep it clear and jargon-free. This is the kind of reading I do for students, but you can also work with [Anna and Liz J maybe? ] through the COE Grant and Research Services Center, Karen Wachsmuth at International Programs, or another reader.

Are you a University of Iowa graduate student who wants to find funding for international research? Contact and I will connect you with the best resources for your needs. Undergrad? Contact the Kelly Thornburg from the UI Honors Program for the best resources.

Opportunities for Medievalists

medievalistAre you a medievalist with a dissertation project that will be approved by February 15, 2013? Are you a member (or considering membership) with the Medieval Academy of America? If so, the MAA Dissertation Grant  could be the oppportunity for you!

Your application is due February 15, and will be judged on the following criteria:

  • the originality of the dissertation project, the clarity of its methodology, and its likelihood to contribute to medieval  studies
  • the cogency of the writing and organization of the dissertation project description
  • the dissertation director’s statement regarding the excellence of the project and the applicant’s preparation to complete the project
  • the applicant’s demonstrated need for the grant to complete the dissertation successfully

Are you not ready for your dissertation just yet? Perhaps some Latin classes would be a better fit? Maybe you just want to see what else is available (scroll down for a good list!). As always, let me know if I can help!

Climate Change Research Grant

The George Melendez Wright Climate Change Fellowship Program is awarding $5,000 to $20,000  for research to be undertaken in calendar years 2012-13.

Deadline: January 18, 2013

Projects may consist of exploratory research that could lead to a larger project funded by other sources but must result in tangible outcomes that are aimed at informing resource decisions. Applications are encouraged for research in any area relevant to the natural and cultural resources of units of the National Park System. Examples include projects addressing vulnerability and risk assessment; adaptation strategies; public perceptions and values; and impacts to natural resources and cultural resources (e.g., cultural landscapes, archeological, traditional cultural/ethnographic, and historic structures).

Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens are eligible to apply.

Lewis and Clark Fund for Field Research

Do you need funding in order to conduct field study in 2013? The The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research may be your solution. This opportunity provides up to $5000 for your research costs.

The Lewis and Clark Fund encourages exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data. They support students in archeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, paleontology, population genetics, and some other fields as well.

Deadlines: Application: February 1, with notification in May, for work in June and beyond. Letters of support: January 28

Want to know what they are looking for? Check in with Jen at to see a sample of a winning proposal Lewis and Clark proposal from a former UI student.

Thinking About a Fulbright? START TODAY

Do you know when you should be planning for your awesome Fulbright adventure ? Not next month, not next spring, and CERTAINLY not next summer… No, you should start planning today.

But the deadline is in September, so what’s the rush?

Experts agree (and by experts, I mean winners) that a good Fulbright application takes more than a few months to prepare. It’s not that the writing is all that much work (although you will need to go through several drafts to be competitive), it’s the affiliations, the planning, and sometimes even the preliminary research to show that your project is worthwhile.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s a Fulbright blogger with his advice:

So how do you get involved in this exciting opportunity? It all starts with the application. Find someone you trust to edit your essays. Tell them you want the most honest and rigorous feedback they can give. It’s important that the proposal retains the quality of your own voice, but an editor can identify where your ideas are too vague, the language too flowery and information repeated.

Second, be willing to write and rewrite the application materials until they are clear, succinct, detailed and convey your passion. For reference, I rewrote my project proposal eight times. The degree of organization and professionalism of your application materials will speak to your ability to undertake the responsibility of teaching or researching in a foreign country.

In terms of the application itself, it’s important to approach the process strategically. At the outset it may seem that you don’t have enough space to convey everything you’d like the review committee to know. Be creative in how you include information. For example, there were a few accomplishments that I couldn’t fit into my project proposal or personal narrative, so I asked my references to discuss those achievements in the letters they were writing.

Smart advice, and there’s more on the Fulbright blog. But you will also want to start working with a fellowships advisor. My Fulbright Fellowship buddies, Kelly (for undergraduates), and Karen (for graduate students) can offer you great advice and help you make contacts with even more helpful people.

You will also want to make contact with your advisor/mentor/faculty that will support your application. These people will not only serve as references, they are essential to helping you plan a project that is feasible within the Fulbright time frame. If you don’t know a person with your area of interest, contact a Fulbright advisor and ask. Interested in teaching English abroad on a Fulbright ETA? Contact a faculty member with expereince in that country (or a Fulbright advisor to find one) and get some starting advice!


Congratulations to Samantha Shune, NRSA Winner!

The second time’s the charm for UI graduate student researcher Samantha Shune. This year she resubmitted her proposal to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and received word that her dissertation project would be funded by a NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA). Congratulations to Samantha on her success with this prestigious opportunity!

Samantha is a student in UI’s Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. Her work focuses on understanding the age-related physiological and functional changes that occur across the eating process. Specifically, she employs experimental approaches (including electromyography and optical motion detection techniques) in order to examine age-related changes in anticipatory responses and error correction patterns that occur during typical eating and swallowing.

Samantha’s work, and work like it, is contributing to increased understandings of the age-related physiological and functional changes that occur across the eating process. Additionally, her findings may lead to the design of more efficacious treatments for individuals with swallowing problems, particularly in the aging population.

Congratulations, Samatha! Would you like to learn more about the NRSA award? Contact for more information!


Calling All Canadians!

Are you a Canadian citizen studying at The University of Iowa? Are you in your 1st or 2nd year of graduate school? Are you in a social sciences or humanities discipline? You may be eligible for a Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship!

Up to 15 Trudeau Scholarships are awarded each year to support doctoral students pursuing research in one or more of the four themes: human rights and social justice, responsible citizenship, Canada and the world, and humans and their natural environment. Trudeau Scholars are highly gifted individuals who are actively engaged in their fields and expected to become leading national and international figures.

 Annual Value: $40,000 stipend plus $20,000 travel allowance
Contact for more information.

Fulbright: Not Only for Ivy Leaguers

Did you ever wonder if some fellowships are just for Ivy League Schools?  The Chronicle recently commented on this misconception about the Fulbright.  The article describes one student, Nora Lindvall, thinking “Only the Harvard kids get [Fulbrights].” Yet, after her university “bombarded” her with the opportunity, she did apply–and won!

Honestly, it sometimes takes a healthy dose of encouragement for anyone to apply for a fellowship. It is, after all, a fair amount of work. But it is important to know that your fellowship destiny has not been spoiled because you are not at an Ivy League Institution. What is important to getting the fellowship you want is getting started today.

Did you know that Iowa has a fantastic Fulbright network to support you? Contact Karen Wachsmuth for more information!