What are the responsibilities of an academic advisor?
First and foremost, advisors are expected to help facilitate successful completion of the proposed project or studies. For scholars and students who will be conducting research, this includes providing feedback on their work, helping them access necessary equipment, data, etc., and pointing them to additional useful resources. For students who will be taking classes, this means monitoring their progress and providing supplemental academic support.
Advisors may also be asked to assist PhD-level students and scholars in finding a place to live (not providing one), as researcher housing at universities is often limited.
Please know that Fulbright grantees are provided with a transatlantic travel allowance and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses in Norway. Though you are welcome to offer additional support, there are no financial obligations for Fulbright grantee advisors or their host institutions.
I have been asked to be an advisor. Should I say yes?
Only if you want to. Before agreeing to serve as an advisor, be sure you have good knowledge of the candidate and the proposed project. In addition to thoroughly reviewing the application and corresponding by email, you may want to set up a Skype call with the applicant to discuss their plans and to consider any modifications that would make the project more mutually beneficial.
I support the applicant and am going to write a letter of affiliation. What should I say?
Your letter should discuss why you would be interested in serving as an academic advisor for the applicant. Specifically it should speak to the merits and feasibility of the proposed project, the fitness of the applicant to complete the project, and how the project fits in or complements your own work and/or expertise. If hosting the applicant will lead to collaboration with an institution in the US or strengthen an existing partnership, be sure to note that in your letter.
In general, the more enthusiastic the host, the stronger the application.
Do I have to promise student applicants admission to a program?
No. If your ability to advise the applicant is conditional on him/her being accepted into a program at your university, you should say so. This caveat will not hurt the applicant’s chances of being awarded a grant.
What happens next?
Should the applicant make it past an initial cut made by a selection committee in the US, our office will contact you to see if you are still interested and to give you the chance to add to or update what you wrote in the affiliation letter. This usually happens in November for scholars and in January for students.
What happens if the applicant I recommend gets a grant?
Our office will contact you when the applicant accepts our offer. You and the grantee are then encouraged to get in touch with each other to make plans and discuss each of your expectations. In addition to establishing a mutual understanding of what the grant activity will look like, it is important to identify and address things that will be necessary for the proposed project. Examples include human subject research approval, access to data, and use of laboratory equipment and supplies.