FY 2021 Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships Program: Now Accepting Applications!

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February 2021

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Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships

Competition Now Open! Deadline to Apply: April 5, 2021

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellows

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to deepen research knowledge and increase the study of modern foreign languages, cultural engagement, and area studies not generally included in U.S. curricula. 


Program Features

Students may request funding to support overseas research for a period of no less than six months and no more than 12 months. Funds support travel expenses to and from the residence of the fellow and the country or countries of research; maintenance and dependent allowances based on the location of research for the fellow and his or her dependent(s); an allowance for research-related expenses overseas; and health and accident insurance premiums. Projects may focus on one or more of the following geographic areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the United States and its territories).


Eligible Applicants
Institutions of higher education (IHEs) in the United States are eligible to apply for grants under this program. As part of the application process, eligible students submit their individual research narratives and application forms to their home IHE. The IHE compiles all eligible individual student applications for inclusion in the institutional application that is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. A student is eligible to receive a DDRA fellowship from their IHE if he or she

  • is a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States;
  • is a graduate student in good standing at an IHE;
  • is admitted to candidacy in a doctoral degree program in modern foreign languages and area studies at that institution when the fellowship period begins;
  • is planning a teaching career in the United States upon completion of his or her doctoral program; or
  • possesses sufficient foreign language skills to carry out the dissertation research project.


The U.S. Department of Education's International and Foreign Language Education office (IFLE) expects to make 100 new awards totaling approximately $4.7 million under the fiscal year (FY) 2021 DDRA program competition. The FY 2021 application is available online through the U.S. Department of Education’s G5 system between Feb. 4 and April 5, 2021.


Please refer to the official Federal Register notice for detailed information about the FY 2021 competition. 


Application Technical Assistance

IFLE will post a prerecorded technical assistance webinar on its YouTube channel soon to help students and institutions learn more about the 2021 DDRA program and how to apply. Please check IFLE's YouTube channel for updates.


In addition to the webinar presentation, IFLE will host a live web chat to answer specific applicant questions. The chat will take place via Microsoft Teams at 2 p.m. ET on March 2, 2021. A link to join the web chat on the designated date and time will be posted soon under the “Tips and Assistance” section of the DDRA program “Applicant Information” webpage. Please check there for updates.


If you have questions about the program or application process, please send them by email to DDRA@ed.gov.

Click Here to Apply

* DDRA fellows featured in image above, from left to right: 

  • Colin Cahill, University of California (FY 2013, Indonesia)
  • Alison Heller, Washington University in Saint Louis (FY 2013, Niger)
  • Scott Hussey, University of Florida (FY 2012, Morocco)
  • Caleb Carter, University of California Los Angeles (FY 2012, Japan)
  • Morgan Hoke, Northwestern University (FY 2014, Peru)

Where in the World do DDRA Fellows Conduct Research?

Google Map of FY 2020 Grantees

Explore our Google map of FY 2020 IFLE grantees to learn more about the doctoral students who are currently funded under the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program.


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