Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Finding the Right Affiliate

I'm about a month into the Fulbright application process and I have run into the first big hurdle, which is learning that my preferred program to be my affiliate is not willing or able to fulfill that role. According to Fulbright's website, an affiliate is "Any body, enterprise, organization, association, or grouping, organized under U.S. or foreign law and based in the United States, a partner country, or third country, one of whose primary purposes is to engage in fundraising or cost-sharing for the benefit of Fulbright Commissions or posts, and which is controlled, directly or indirectly, by an employee, executive director, or board member of a Fulbright Commission or by an officer of a post (or by a spouse)." In my case, my first candidate was an organization organized under foreign law and based in a partner country.

Although I have given up pursuing affiliate #1, I haven't given up on country #1. I have about a handful of contacts left with potential affiliates in country #1. In fact, I'm already establishing contact with my second potential affiliate this week. This one is more promising than the first because the contact has ties with the University of Iowa and has talked with my cognate advisor. Because this contact has a very executive status, I need to prepare a formal letter of request complete with my CV and research proposal.

The first affiliate seemed to be the best fit for my research according to me, two professors, and the Fulbright officer at Iowa, who has just left her post. Unfortunately, no one at Iowa or any of my contacts in country #1 had connections with this affiliate. I suspect that this is a major reason why I failed to secure an affiliation with them.

I'm giving myself one more month to find an affiliate because time will be running short for IRB approval, which is needed for the Fulbright application. Both IRB and Fulbright require an affiliate in the target country of investigation. If I fail to secure an affiliate by early July, then I must postpone my Fulbright plans for another year.

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