Budget Cuts to Ed Dept. Kill Fulbright Research Scholarships
Last month a little announcement appeared on the Department of Education website. It explained that although applications had been solicited for the hundreds of doctoral research grants funded by the Fulbright-Hays Program, at a total cost of $5,600,000, the program had now been suspended due to Congressional budget cuts.
This has drawn so little attention that even I, who advise many PhD students, had heard nothing about it. But it’s a big deal, and a travesty. The Fulbright fellowships were by far the largest source of money for American students to pursue research about foreign cultures. $5,600,000 is a tiny amount in the US budget but this program has been a huge success for the past 65 years, operating in 155 countries worldwide, and spreading lots of apolitical goodwill and respect for the United States. The grants were specifically targeted at students who otherwise had no opportunity to learn about other cultures. Fulbrighters I’ve met in Holland have come from Kansas, Iowa, Texas—not from Yale and Harvard. It’s been a great, great program.
Note that other aspects of the Fulbright Program, which fall under the Department of State, are still going — just not the international research fellowships.
**43 Fulbright Alumni have won Nobel Prizes.
**Some famous Fulbrighters: