Instructions for Fulbright Reference Writers – Academic/Research Grants

Instructions for Fulbright Reference Writers

Applicants for Study/Research Grants

Fulbright applicants register referees in the Embark Fulbright Online Application System allowing them to complete the reference online so that it can be submitted with the student’s online application.

The Fulbright Program requires that references be submitted in the Online Application System. Reviewers only have access to the online application and electronically submitted materials. 

If you are not familiar with the U.S. Student Fulbright Program, you may wish to visit our website. The most useful pages for referees are the sections Application Components and Countries for the applicant’s proposed host country.

In completing the reference, keep in mind that the applicant will be serving as a citizen representing the United States and that personal suitability, as well as academic excellence, is an important criterion to be considered. Applicants for study/research grants should provide you with a summary of their Fulbright project proposal. In particular, please comment on any of the following that are appropriate:


  • Feasibility of the applicant’s proposed project in terms of resources available overseas.
  • Ability of the applicant to carry out the project and in the allotted time.
  • Linguistic preparation for the proposed plan.
  • Candidate’s ability to adapt to a different cultural environment.
  • In the arts, the candidate’s talent and potential for growth.
  • Any other factors which you believe may have a bearing on the candidate’s experience overseas.


Steps to submit your reference letter:

  • Once the student has registered you as a referee, an email will be generated and sent to you, from the Embark Online Recommendation system with the student’s name in the subject line. If you do not receive this email, please let the applicant know or email Embark Technical Support directly: and tell them the name and email address of the applicant and your name and email address.
  • Prepare your letter of reference offline and save it as a Word document or scanned PDF document.
  • Login to the system using the User ID and password generated by your applicant and shared with you via email.
  • Following the steps in the online system, Upload your letter.
  • If you are satisfied, the final step is to Submit the reference. Before you click Submit, be sure that this is the letter that you wish to have reviewed by screening committees in the U.S. and abroad. Once you submit the reference, you will not have access to edit or change it.