All applications require three letters of recommendation. Recommendations evaluate your professional work, including the abilities you bring to your project; your ability to adapt; the merits of the project; and your teaching effectiveness.

  • Applicants must register their recommenders in the online application, and are responsible for ensuring their letters are submitted via the online system by the application deadline
  • Recommenders submit their letters directly to the online application, and may not be submitted outside the online system
  • Letters can be submitted before or after you submit the application
  • All recommendations must be in English


  • Applicants: Provide your recommenders with a copy of your project statement
  • Recommenders: Retain an electronic copy of submitted letters

Who may serve as a recommender?

Recommendations should be from a variety of persons able to evaluate you, your work, and your proposed project:

  • At least one letter should be from a colleague or supervisor at your home institution (employer)  
  • If you are applying for a teaching or teaching/research award, one of your recommenders should include the departmental chair, dean, or other individual responsible for evaluating your teaching at your home institution
  • At least one letter should be from a colleague in your discipline who is outside your home institution. Such letters help demonstrate the breadth of your scholarly reputation.
  • If your institution or employer recently changed, one of the letters should be from someone at your previous institution or employer
  • Anyone who serves as a recommender may not also provide the applicant with an invitation letter
  • For applicants currently finishing their doctoral (or equivalent terminal) degrees: If you are applying before your final degree requirements are complete, one of your letters must come from your committee chair, addressing your degree progress and expected date of conferral, which must be on or before February 1, 2020 unless otherwise noted in the award description. Additional documentation may be requested later.
  • References from relatives are not permitted
  • Representatives of U.S. Embassy posts or Fulbright Commissions in the country of application may not serve as recommenders
  • Representatives of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State may not serve as recommenders
  • Representatives of the Institute of International Education may not serve as recommenders