Deadline NYU Internal Deadline - August 24, 2020
External Deadline - October 1, 2020
(for grants beginning Fall 2021)
Eligibility Bachelor's by time of award
Duration Varies by country, generally 8-12 months

Candidates must

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • hold a bachelor's degree before the beginning date of the grant
  • present a study plan or project which can be completed in one academic year


The Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship was launched in 2013 as a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. It provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in two to three countries on a globally significant theme (which changes each year). This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society.

The Fulbright has an excellent website that takes you through all the application steps. It includes checklists, application tips, and webinars. We strongly recommend you consult the website very carefully.

Please carefully review the Fulbright-National Geographic Application Components, Application Tips, the Application Checklist, and Frequently Asked Questions sections, as the requirements differ from those of the traditional Fulbright grant.

Submission Timeline & the Faculty Review Process

The final deadline for Fulbright applications is generally mid-October. Applications are submitted online using the Embark system, which opens for applications from May to mid-October. See the Fulbright webpage to begin an application. 

However, there are some important caveats to this final deadline.

  1. You need to decide whether you will apply “under” NYU or “at large.”
    If you choose the latter option, you are free to submit right up until the final deadline date. Your application will not need to be evaluated by NYU (see below). However, it also means that you will not have the chance to use NYU’s support structures and resources, nor use the faculty review as a way to strengthen your application. Statistically speaking, you are twice as likely to win a Fulbright if you apply under your school rather than “at-large."
  2. If you apply “under NYU,” there is an internal mid-September deadline for your application materials. (N.B. If you are part of the FADP, there is a slightly earlier internal deadline.)

This internal deadline is because the NYU Office of Global Awards needs time to convene a faculty committee to interview you and provide an evaluation of your application. This is a requirement, not an option, and we do it at the request of the Fulbright Program.

The interview will take approximately 30 minutes and will be scheduled once we receive your application materials. After these interviews are over, you will have a chance to revise and strengthen your application. We will send you detailed outline of this process when you submit in mid-September.

Fulbright Nat-Geo Fellowship Recipient and Finalist

Mimi Onuoha (United Kingdom, 2014):

I graduated from Tisch's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in 2014. For the Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship, I will be creating visual maps of the mobile/computer browsing history and personal geolocation data taken from a demographically diverse group of Londoners. Using this data, compounded with ethnographic research and interviews, I will be able to explore if and how the structural realities of urban offline spaces are replicated online.

Advice: I found the application to be very time-consuming and intensive, but in the end, those characteristics pushed me to better develop my proposal. In fact, that's the best advice I can offer to current students: think very thoroughly about whatever project it is that they're proposing. You need to prove that whatever research or project you're proposing is original, relevant, and important, but you also want to demonstrate why you're the best person to do that work. 

Anna Callaghan (Finalist, 2014):

I graduated from NYU in December 2013 with a master's degree in international relations and journalism. Since April I have been working as an editorial fellow at Outside Magazine in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Advice: I did a lot of reporting while I was writing my proposal for the fellowship. By the time I submitted the application, I had around 50 sources that I had either spoken to or planned to do so. I didn't know a lot about the topic I chose, other than that I was really intrigued by it. My biggest piece of advice in this vein is to make that extra phone call or send that extra email. There were countless times I shot an email out into what felt like a black hole and got incredibly useful information out of it. It's also true that academics love talking about their research, which enabled me to get a crash course in glacial melt in the tropics by the top scientists working on the topic. I also got as many eyes on my draft as possible, which is crucial when you're working with something for so long. Basically, in this kind of application process always take that extra step..