Investigating the Matthew Effect Amongst Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grantees

Chair and Presenter: Dr. Cassidy Alvarado, Director of National & International Fellowships

Theme: International Education Research
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM


Global exchange provides numerous benefits to students. Selective grants like Fulbright reward accomplished students by funding opportunities abroad. However, little is known if grantees benefit from earlier accolades and awards. This content analysis explores cumulative advantage, or the Matthew Effect, amongst Fulbright recipients. 


  • Click here to view the full list of codes in the study with descriptions.
Special thanks to Yasmin Sadaghiani '22, my student researcher who helped code more than half of the LinkedIn profiles!


 Types of Accolades Present in LinkedIn Profiles


All NCAs represented in the study


Other Resources

Learn more about the nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships identified in the study below.

  • Boren Undergraduate Scholarship

    Boren awards allow U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, but underrepresented in study abroad. In addition to the traditional study award, Boren also offers the following special initiative programs:

    • African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) Boren Scholarship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) to study French, Swahili, Akan/Twi, Wolof, or Zulu in one of four African countries.
    • Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) - Boren Scholarship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for intensive language study of Indonesian and cultural immersion through domestic and overseas language programs.
    • South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) Boren Scholarship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) to study Hindi or Urdu in India.
    • Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) - Boren Scholarship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) to study Turkish in Azerbaijan.
    • Boren-Flagship Initiative Special opportunities to Boren Scholarship applicants enrolled in The Language Flagship and planning to study overseas for their capstone year.
    • Boren-ROTC Initiative A special initiative for undergraduate ROTC cadets and midshipmen. ROTC participants are strong candidates for the Boren Scholarship due to their commitment to national security and government service. Interested ROTC students should also consider applying for Project Go.
    • Summer STEM Initiative - Funding for summer study abroad to undergraduate students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields (STEM) up to $8,000.

    Amount: Maximum scholarship awards are $8,000 for the summer (STEM only), up to $12,500 for a semester, and up to $25,000 for a full academic year.

    Location: "Non-traditional" destinations (excludes certain countries)

    Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Open to all class years, though juniors and senior are not eligible for summer program. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

    Campus Deadline: January

    National Deadline: January

    Results AnnouncedMid/Late April


  • Boren Fellowships

    An initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

    • African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) Boren Fellowship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) to study French, Swahili, Akan/Twi, Wolof, or Zulu in one of four African countries.
    • Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) - Boren Fellowship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for intensive language study of Indonesian and cultural immersion through domestic and overseas language programs.
    • South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) Boren Fellowship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) to study Hindi or Urdu in India.
    • Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) - Boren Fellowship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) to study Turkish in Azerbaijan.

    Amount: Up to $25,000 for overseas study. In addition, Boren Fellowships can provide up to $12,000 funding for a domestic language study to supplement the overseas component. However, if Boren Fellowship applicants receive funding for a domestic language program, the maximum combined award is $30,000.

    Location: "Non-traditional" destinations (excludes certain countries)

    Academic Levels: Graduate students.

    Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Boren Fellowships are granted for a minimum of 12 weeks overseas and a maximum of one year overseas. Either matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program at a U.S. college or university located within the United States and accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Boren Fellows must remain matriculated in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship and may not graduate until the fellowship is complete.

    Campus Deadline: January

    National Deadline: January

    Results AnnouncedMid/Late April

  • Breakthrough Teaching Fellowship

    The Breakthrough teaching fellow experience is designed for undergraduates of all majors and for those who intend to pursue careers in education, as well as those who haven’t yet considered it.  The opportunity is unlike any other available to undergraduates and our alumni are transformed by the experience. Education coursework is not a prerequisite. We seek applicants with a deep interest in social justice and a passion for working with students. 

    During the nine-week summer residency, Breakthrough teaching fellows receive over 100 hours of teaching and leadership training, and 75 hours of lead classroom experience.


    • Teaching fellows receive a living stipend.
    • Some sites are able to offer additional financial aid.
      • The site directory includes each site’s living expense stipend range, as well as the potential availability of financial aid.

    Eligibility: If you are a college student, you are eligible throughout your entire undergraduate career, even if you are graduating the spring or winter before the summer session for which you are applying to teach. Unfortunately, graduate students are not eligible. No citizenship requirements.  You will need to have authorization to be an intern in the U.S. (or Hong Kong if you are applying to teach in Hong Kong) by the time the summer program begins.

    National Deadline: February

  • Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program

    The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program is a six-week summer program designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs, a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs, and the enhanced knowledge and skills to pursue such careers. The Program usually selects participants (known as “Rangel Scholars”) each year from universities throughout the United States. This program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need. Students live at Howard University, attend classes, and participate in a variety of programs with foreign affairs professionals at Howard and at diverse locations around Washington, DC.


    • The Program covers the costs for tuition, travel, housing, and two meals per day.
    • It also provides a stipend of $3,300.

    Location: Howard University in Washington D.C.


    • Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students, with at least sophomore status on the date of the application deadline.
    • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
    • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

    National Deadline: February

    Results Announced: Late March

  • Critical Language Scholarship

    The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students with the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries.

    Amount: The CLS Program fully funds the costs of participating in its overseas institutes, including intensive overseas group based language courses, room and board, U.S. academic credit issued through Bryn Mawr College, domestic and international airfare. 

    Languages: The CLS Program offers instruction in fifteen critical languages:

    No Previous Study Required
    One Year of Study Required
    Two Years of Study Required

    Eligibility: Open to U.S. citizens only. Must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program that results in a degree. Must be enrolled at your home college or university in the Fall Semester of the application year. Students taking a leave of absence to participate in an organized semester- or year-long study abroad program, or to participate in a substantive internship program, may still be considered eligible. Must be at least 18 years old. Must be able to submit a satisfactory Medical Information Form and Physician's statement and must inform the program of any changes in their health status between submission of these forms and departure in order to participate in the program. Undergraduate students must have completed at least one academic year of study. Must receive a visa in the country of study prior to program entry.

    National Deadline: November 

    Results Announced: March

  • DAAD Research in Science and Engineering Grants

    Deadline: December

    Purpose: to fund summer research for undergraduate with post-docs in Germany research institutions

    Amount: monthly stipends, German language classes.

    Location: Throughout Germany.


    • be currently enrolled at a university/college in the United States, Canada, the UK or Ireland as a full-time student in the field of biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, earth sciences or engineering (or a closely related field)
    • be an undergraduate who will have completed at least 2 years of a degree program by the time of the internship placement
    • prove that you will maintain undergraduate status after the internship has taken place

    German language skills are not required for most positions but would be helpful to manage everyday life outside of the laboratory. The working language will generally be English.

    Key Qualifications: Careful review of current internship placements, application that highlights specific courses and research experience and how these relate to a potential placement.

  • Fulbright UK Summer Institutes 

    Three-to-four week summer programmes for US undergraduate students. Participants can explore the culture, heritage and history of the UK while experiencing higher education at a UK university.

    Amount: The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes covers most costs of participating in the institutes, including US-UK airfare, tuition and fees at the host institution, accommodation (room) and meals.

    Location: Around 10 institutes are offered each summer in multiple UK cities.


    • Be a US citizen and possess a US passport
    • Be at least 18 years old by the start of the programme
    • Participate in the programme in its entirety
    • Have a minimum GPA of 3.7
    • Have at least two years of undergraduate study remaining after the Institute finishes (open to current freshmen and sophomores)
    • Have had little or no study or travel outside of the US

    Application Deadline: February

    Results Announced: Late April

  • Gaither Junior Fellows Program

    12-14 one-year fellowships to graduating seniors and recent graduates to work as research assistants to the endowment’s senior associates. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a global network of policy research centers that aims to advance the cause of peace through analysis and development of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decision makers in government, business, and civil society. Research centers are located in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Past research projects have studied nuclear policy, energy and climate, economics in Asia, Middle East Studies, and Russian and Eurasian studies. Junior fellows are placed in different research centers depending on the program’s research. They work alongside Carnegie Endowment program scholars, conducting research for books, meeting with high-level officials, and potentially co-authoring journal articles. Positions are paid, full-time positions for one year. 


    • Junior fellows receive a monthly salary of $3,750 (yearly total of $45,000) and a full benefits package.


    To be considered for a Gaither Junior Fellowship, applicants must:

    • either be graduating seniors or have graduated during the past academic year
    • not have begun graduate studies (exceptions include students who have completed a joint bachelor’s/master’s degree program)
    • be U.S. citizens OR attend a university within the United States
    • be eligible to work for ten to twelve months (start date September 1)

    Additional requirements, like foreign language skills and specific field backgrounds, vary with the needs of each project.

    Application Procedure and Selection Criteria

    Applications are available through the designated university nominating officials. The application is not available online, but completed applications are sent electronically by the university nominating official. Interested students must contact Lindsay Anderson to request an application packet. All application materials must be submitted to ONIF by LMU's campus deadline. 

    Applicants may apply to only one program. The application requires:

    • An application form
    • 1-2 page resume/C.V.
    • 1 page personal statement
    • 3 page project assignment essay (see bulletin)
    • Unofficial transcripts
    • 2 letters of recommendation

    Campus Deadline: December 1, 2023

    National Deadline: January 15, or the following Monday if that date falls on a weekend

    Results Announced: March/April

    Recording of 2022 Campus Info Session


  • Benjamin A. Gilman Undergraduate Scholarship

    The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.  The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages (those deemed important to national security). Veterans of military service are encouraged to apply, and preference is given to veterans when other factors are equivalent. By supporting undergraduate students who have high financial need, the program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending HBCUs or other minority-serving institutions, students attending community colleges, and students coming from U.S. states with less study abroad participation.).

    Amount: Up to $5,000.

    Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Open to all class years. Must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or provide proof that he/she will be receiving a Pell Grant during the term of his/her study abroad program or internship.

    National Deadline: Varies, depending on travel dates. October for spring and the summer early application deadline. March for summer, fall, or academic year travel.


  • NOAA's Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

    The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility during the summer.


    • Up to $9,500 per year.
    • Paid summer internship.
    • Awards also include travel funds to attend a mandatory NOAA Scholarship Program orientation and the annual Science & Education Symposium, scientific conferences where students present their research, and a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internsh


    • be a U.S. citizen;
    • be currently enrolled or accepted as a full-time 2nd year student in a four-year academic program or as a full-time 3rd year student in a five-year undergraduate program at an accredited college or university or university within the United States or U.S. territories;
    • earn and maintain a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on other identified scale) in all completed undergraduate courses each term and cumulative, as well as an overall GPA of 3.0 in your major field of study. The grade point average requirement applies prior to and at the time of application for a scholarship, for the period between application and award notification, and after award distribution; and
    • have and maintain a declared major in a discipline including, but not limited to, oceanic, environmental, biological, and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, engineering, remote sensing technology, physical and social sciences including geography, physics, hydrology, geomatics, or teacher education that support NOAA's programs and mission.

    National Deadline: January

    Results Announced: April

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.


    • Three-year annual stipend of $37,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

    Location: United States.


    • U.S. citizens and permanent residents
    • Early-career: undergrad & grad students
    • Pursuing research-based MS or PhD
    • Science and engineering
    • Enrolled in accredited institution in the US by the following fall

    External Deadline: Late-October (exact date varies by program)

    Results Announced: Late March


  • Public Policy & International Affairs Fellowship Program (PPIA) Junior Summer Institutes

    The PPIA program prepares junior-level undergraduates to be competitive candidates for top degree programs in the fields of public policy, public administration or international affairs through participation in a Junior Summer Institute (JSI). JSI is an intensive, 7-week, academic program during the summer at a designated host campus. 

    Once a student has successfully completed their JSI, they join an alumni network of nearly 4,000 leaders. In addition to the opportunities that this network provides for mentoring and career development, our alumni network has the opportunity to receive financial support for their graduate school education if they attend one of the programs in the PPIA Graduate School Consortium.


    • Full tuition at a PPIA Junior Summer Institute.
    • Eligibility to receive assistance with travel expenses.
    • A stipend of up to $1,500 (funding determined by each JSI).
    • University housing with a meal plan.
    • Books and related course materials at your JSI.
    • Each JSI may offer additional benefits, such as GRE preparation, at their discretion. Please check with each JSI about any additional benefits.
    • Minimum of a one-time $5,000 scholarship at a PPIA graduate school if admitted for a Master’s degree.
      • PPIA Fellows often receive financial offers above and beyond this minimum from their graduate program.
    • Fee waiver when applying to schools that are members of the PPIA Graduate School Consortium.


    • If you are a United States citizen or legal permanent resident you are eligible to apply to all JSI programs. 
      • International students, who are currently studying at U.S. institutions are eligible to apply, and may be accepted to study at select U.S. institutions.
    • Junior-level standing at the time of applying.
    • Must not have attained a Bachelor’s Degree before start of Junior Summer Institute.
    • Must be committed to completing a Master’s Degree in public and/or international affairs at one of the PPIA Consortium graduate schools.
    • Must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a professional career associated with public services such as government, nonprofits, humanitarian and international organizations and other related programs.
    • Must be interested in contributing to the diversity of perspectives present in the PPIA Fellowship Program.
    • Economic need is considered during the review of applications.
    • All academic majors are welcome to apply!

    National Deadline: November