Fulbright specialist, Professor Raj Sashti held a staff centred workshop on enhancing international opportunities through fellowships and grants, at DUT’s ML Sultan Campus on Thursday, 05 March 2020.
The Fulbright programme was established in 1946 under Sentor J. William Fulbright from Arkansas in the United States of America. The programme operates in 160 countries and awards approximately 8000 grants annually. Prof Sashti has helped more than 500 professors through Fulbright funding, to study, travel and meet new people.
“My first Fulbright was in 1974, and since that time I have received individual Fulbright scholarships to Germany, Japan and Brazil. As well as the Fulbright funding to the tune of five-million-dollars in direct and matching grants, which has enabled me to introduce American professors to the day to day life in all regions of the world,” said Prof Sashti.
The Fulbright specialist said that academic staff need to know about Fulbright and other opportunities, as it allows them to step out into another culture and meet different people. Through this educational and cultural exchange, mutual understanding between South Africa and the United States of America will be promoted.
“This is the spirit of the Fulbright programme, because people to people understanding helps to promote tolerance, respect, political stability and peace in the world,” said Prof Sashti.
During the workshop Prof Sashti discussed key practices applicants can use to ensure success during the application process. These practices included key elements such as checking out the application deadline and reviewing the eligibility criteria. Individuals are urged to work on the application 16 weeks before the deadline and to avoid any procrastination. In addition to this, applicants should seek the guidance of individuals who have previously secured fellowships and grants. Applicants are also advised to submit a dynamic resume that reflects their accomplishments. Lastly, applicants must highlight their leadership qualities and their ability to be a team player.
Furthermore, Prof Sashti encouraged applicants to not fear failure, but rather to learn from any rejection that might come. The Fulbright specialist said that he once got rejected five times to receive Fulbright funding, it was only on his sixth attempt did he receive the funding.
Applications for the South Africa Fulbright Students Program are open for the 2021- 2022 academic year, applications close on 20 April 2020.
Pictured: Professor Raj Sashti at DUT’s Fulbright workshop