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Nearly accepted onto Fulbright S&T, what's my next step?

  1. Sep 21, 2011 #1
    Hey Guys,

    I am a physics student from Imperial College London, graduating with a first class MSci. I want to go to America to do a PhD, and had applied to the Fulbright commission for their Science and Technology award. I was put through as one of the UK's nominees but found out recently that I didn't pass the screening committee in Washington (though I'm not 100% what that means, other than being out of the race). In the email I got from the UK commission telling me of this, they suggest the reason for this is that I was lacking experience:

    " We do hope that you will consider reapplying next year, as we feel that with another year’s experience you would come back as a significantly stronger candidate. We will be seeking additional feedback from the screening committee in Washington, but it may be some time before that comes through.

    Please do let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss this. Again, I sincerely hope you will consider coming back to us next spring…"

    So I see myself with 2 options: Apply to America for a PhD starting next year and say to hell with Fulbright, or find a masters degree for this year and apply to Fulbright next year?

    I have found 2 masters courses in Brazil (at UFMG and UFRGS) that are reasonably suited to my research interests, have the highest rating for a Brazilian university, can be finished within a year and begin in March, which would mean by the time of the next Fulbright round I should be fairly well advanced in my completion of the course (I have conversational brazilian portuguese so language shouldn't be an issue).

    I'll try and summarize what I'm asking cause this has become far too long:
    - Is it worth taking a masters course and trying for the Fulbright Science & Technology award next year?
    - If I do not get the award, but did take the masters course would the extra time mean I also lose out in terms of applying to American PhDs? Would, for example, the masters course mean I can shave a year off the PhD?
    - How risky is it to take a masters course in Brazil in terms of then getting a Fulbright and if I were to apply directly to the American university for a PhD? Would I fare better going to a better-known, more internationally prestigious university(unless the brazilian universities I'm interested in are already that), or am I being an elitist tw0t for thinking that way?

    Please help me, any opinion would be useful as I'm really stressing myself out about this, and applications and entrance exams will all soon be due.. Thank you!
     
  2. jcsd
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