UC Berkeley News


Berkeley grad students to receive Fulbright funding

10 March 2004

UC Berkeley and FedEx Corp. have agreed to fund jointly special Fulbright research abroad fellowships for advanced graduate students, resolving a controversy that erupted last month when the U.S. Department of Education declared the application deadline had been missed.

FedEx will contribute approximately half the anticipated financial need for the fellowships. Chancellor Robert Berdahl stated that the balance of the funding will come from the campus’s fellowship endowment.
Through a collaborative effort between FedEx, Berkeley, and Gov. Arnold Schwar-zenegger, a solution was found to assist with the funding of the Fulbright awards following a special review of the Berkeley applications put in place by the Fulbright Scholarship Board.

“The care and concern for these students shown by FedEx and Gov. Schwarzenegger is tremendously impressive,” said Berdahl.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is managing a special review of applications from Berkeley graduate students. The review will adhere to the rigorous Fulbright guidelines, thereby providing recipients a fellowship that will carry the Fulbright name and prestige.

The Fulbright board recommended the separate review of the Berkeley applicants, but required that funding for any fellowships awarded not come from Fulbright funds. FedEx and campus officials agreed on this solution, which places the students’ interest first and foremost at this critical time in their careers.

The announcement concludes a story that began in January when the Department of Education ruled that when the Berkeley applications were not picked up on time, the application deadline was technically missed and that there would be no recourse for the students.

Last year, 30 Berkeley graduate students applied for Fulbright grants, and half the students were awarded fellowships. Again this year, 30 students from a number of fields were applying for fellowships for the 2004-05 school year.