Fulbright UK Summer Institutes

History   |   Description   |    Eligibility   |    How to   |   Application   |    Checklist

History and Purpose

Created by treaty on 22 September 1948, the US-UK Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission) fosters mutual cultural understanding through educational exchange between both nations. This mission is fulfilled through the prestigious Fulbright Awards Programme and Education USA Advisory Service. For UK citizens, the Commission offers a variety of grants and placements on special programs to the US. Scholars are selected through a rigorous application and interview process and receive a high level of support ranging from visa processing and health insurance to a comprehensive pre-departure orientation and re-entry session. The Commission is also the first point of contact for US citizens going to the UK on a Fulbright exchange, organizing programs and support throughout the year including an arrival orientation in September and an annual Fulbright Forum on current political, social and cultural issues. In recent years, the US-UK Commission has offered a variety of UK and US-based summer institutes for high school and undergraduate students

The Commission is funded partially by the UK and US governments, with additional support coming from a variety of individual and institutional partners. The work of the Commission is governed by a Board of Commissioners and is carried out by a small team of full- and part-time staff.

Description of the Summer Institutes

The US-UK Fulbright Commission offers special Summer Institutes for US citizens to visit the UK.  These summer programs provide the opportunity for US undergraduates to visit the UK on a three, four, five or six week academic and cultural summer program. Participants in these programs will get the opportunity to experience an exciting course of study at a highly regarded UK University, explore the culture, heritage and history of the UK, and develop their academic ability by improving presentation, research and communication skills. Currently, there are eight choices of programs at locations below. (Please note that the Nottingham Trent program will not be held this year). Students may apply to only one program at a time.  Duration of program and application deadlines (some are 2/23/16; some are 2/26/16) are available on the Summer Institutes website.

  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (London)
  • King’s College (London) 
  • Durham University (North East England)
  • Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland)
  • Scotland (at Universities of Dundee and Strathclyde)
  • University of Bristol (South West England)
  • University of Exeter (Devon, South West England)
  • Wales (at Universities of Cardiff, Bangor, and Aberystwyth)

The majority of costs are covered, including round-trip US-UK airfare, tuition and fees at the host institution, accommodation and meals, and in some cases, a small daily allowance

Eligibility requirements and Rules for Nomination

Applicants must have/be:

  • First years and sophomores, with at least two years left of their undergraduate education; must be 18 years old by the time of departure to the UK
  • US citizens with a US passport
  • GPA minimum (strict) of 3.7 (note that this is a change from last year's minimum of 3.5)
  • leadership qualities, initiative, academic ability, character, adaptability, and ambassadorial qualities, as well as an interest in the UK and its culture; be mature, responsible, independent, and open-minded
  • able to participate in a phone interview at the designated time and stay for the duration of the program
  • Nomination by the undergraduate institution is not required

How to apply

Since this is a “direct apply” award, students may apply without consulting or notifying the MHC National Fellowships Advisor, Christine Overstreet.  Students are encouraged to seek feedback on essays for the application.  Interested students should attend an information session early in the spring semester.  They can then receive feedback on their essays during the last two weeks of February and the first week of March.  Finalists may request individual mock interviews to prepare them for the phone interviews with the Fulbright Commission.  Students are asked to provide the National Fellowships office a copy of their application. 

Application components

All application materials must be completed online, but a pdf of the application is provided on the Summer Institutes website. Drafting your answers on the "paper" form is recommended before completing the online form. Recommenders also submit their letters through an online form. To access the application materials, go to the webpage of the Institute that interests you and click on the "Applying" tab.

  • Application form including biographical, educational, and travel information; listing of extra-curricular activities over the last four years; a personality/character self-assessment; an equal opportunities monitoring form; the form also includes space for:
    • a one-page personal statement (must fit in box provided on application form)
    • a one-page essay in response to one of four prompts
  • an academic transcript, sent to you, which you will scan into your application
  • two letters of reference from people who can comment on your academic ability as well as your character and interests. At least one reference must be from a teacher, tutor, or professor who has taught you in an academic context. The other can be from a coach, a youth group leader, internship supervisor or employer.  
  • a US passport - if you don't have one yet, apply immediately!

Campus Process and Checklist

Please note that for all deadlines, submission time is 12:00 noon

Timeframe Task(s) to Complete
late Jan/early Feb Attend information session; read about programmes on website
late January begin drafting application
February Write & revise essays, complete application, request transcripts
  request recommendation letters – supply recommenders with information
Feb/March applications due to Fulbright (Feb 23 or 26, depending on program)
mid-April candidates notified; 20-minute telephone interviews 3rd week in April
early May finalists notified
summer 2014 awardees participate in programmes