Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

The 2023 competition details will be posted here when available. 

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) competition provides grants to US institutions from the US Department of Education with funding for individual doctoral fellowships to conduct research in other countries in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to twelve months. This is an annual competition.

Recent past recipients include:

2022Joseph Hiller (Cultural Anthropology) - Columbia;  Melissa Karp (Literature) - South Korea and France
2021:  Sophia Goodfriend (Cultural Anthropology) - Israel
2020: Jacqueline Allain Mercer (History) - France; Natalie Gasparowicz (History) - Mexico
2019Anderson Hagler (History) - Mexico
2018Elsa Costa (History) - Spain & Mexico
2017Robert Franco  (History) - Mexico & The Netherlands; Gray Kidd (History) - Brazil; James Nealy, Jr. (History) - Russian Republic; Matthew Sebastian (Cultural Anthropology) - Uganda; Stephanie Stefanski (Nicholas School of the Environment) - Argentina
2016Jeffrey Nicolaisen (Religion) - Taiwan, China and Canada; Hyeju (Janice) Jeong (History) - Saudi Arabia;
Farren Yero (History) - Mexico, Spain and United Kingdom
2015: Claire Payton (Anthropology) - Mexico; Tom Cinq-Mars (History) - Russia
2014: Cindy Cheng (Political Science) - China; Hunter Bandy (Religious Studies) - India, Germany and United Kingdom;
Christina Davidson (History) - Dominican Republic


Institutions of higher education in the United States are eligible to apply for grants under the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program. Students must submit fellowship applications through their institution's grant application.

A student is eligible to receive a fellowship if s/he meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is a citizen or national of the United States, or is a permanent US resident;
  • Is a graduate student in good standing at an institution of higher education in the United States who, before the fellowship begins, has been admitted to candidacy in a doctoral program in modern foreign languages and area studies at that institution;
  • Is planning a teaching career in the United States upon graduation; and
  • Possesses adequate skills in the language(s) necessary to carry out the dissertation project. Generally this means being at the advanced level in your research language.

Students may propose research for a period of no fewer than six months, and up to a maximum of twelve months. This fellowship may not be renewed.


  • International travel expenses, including excess baggage between the US and the host country(-ies) of research;
  • Maintenance allowance based on the cost of living in country or countries of research for the fellow;
  • Project allowance for research-related expenses such as books, copying, tuition and affiliation fees, local travel, and other incidental expenses; and
  • Health & accident insurance premiums.
  • In some cases, it is also possible to request dependent allowance(s) (maintenance only).


Fellows shall:

  • Maintain satisfactory progress in the conduct of their research;
  • Devote full time to research on the approved topic;
  • Not engage in any gainful employment during the fellowship period; and
  • Remain a student in good standing at their institution.


A final report is due from each fellow 30 days after the end of the grant period. Students should contact their institution’s project director for electronic reporting instructions.


    Both institutional grant and student fellowship applications are submitted entirely on-line, including transcripts, at: [ www.g5.gov ]. The Fulbright-Hays DDRA grant requires an institutional application, which means that all documents and correspondence for fellowships from the Department of Education must be submitted through Duke University's grant application.

    If you are considering applying or would like additional information, contact Hal Matthews to be included on a prospective applicant listserv. This will enable you to get updates on the competition, including critical deadlines and helpful tips for creating a successful application package.

    2023 DDRA Application Instructions will be available on the Office of Global Affairs website.  Duke graduate students who are interested in the Fulbright-Hays DDRA Program should visit https://global.duke.edu/fulbright for more information.


    Details about any planned webinars for the 2023 competition will be at https://global.duke.edu/fulbright once available.


    • Online applications for students are now  available at G5. [ www.g5.gov ].
    • The Campus Deadline is for your Fellowship Application and will be announced at the onset of the national competition. The Campus Deadline is when you must submit your completed Fellowship Application online - including all of your faculty references and supporting documents.  The 2023 Campus Deadline will be posted here when available.
    • The National Deadline is for the institutional Grant Application and will also be announced at the onset of the national competition. Duke’s completed institutional Grant Application must be submitted online by the National Deadline. (Keep reading below.).  The 2023 National Deadline will be posted here when available.

    CRITICAL INFORMATION regarding timing: The application you and other students create and submit through the G5 portal becomes a part of Duke University’s Grant Application. Your Fellowship Application (aka, "Campus") Deadline is *earlier* than the National Deadline because the Office of Research Support requires two weeks' lead time prior to the National Deadline for their receipt of the institutional Grant Application in order to complete the Duke portion.
    READ: It is paramount that your referees understand the timing, and in particular that their references be submitted no later than the Campus Deadline for inclusion. No exceptions. If referees encounter technical issues, they should first contact the G5 Help Desk.

    Giovanni Zanalda, Ph.D.
    DDRA Project Director at Duke University