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Fulbright Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism


Applications for 2017-18 are now closed. Applications for 2018-19 will open in August 2017.

This postgraduate-level award is named in honour of the great transatlantic journalist and commentator, Alistair Cooke. It is given to one UK citizen each year seeking a Master's in Journalism or in a specialist subject leading to a career in Journalism (e.g. Area Studies).


Candidates choose and apply to US university departments directly and independently.


Please read the above tabs for more information about the benefits of the Postgraduate Student Awards, eligibility and selection criteria, the application process and the awards timeline. You can also read profiles of current and past scholars, as well as a list of FAQs, to help you learn more about the Fulbright Programme.


Fulbright Awards offer generous financial support to contribute toward the first year of postgraduate study in the US. However, Fulbright is much more than a scholarship – we offer our grantees the opportunity to have a transformative cultural and academic experience and provide unrivalled support both during and after their Fulbright year. 

Grant Amount

The Fulbright Alistair Cooke Journalism award contributes up to $45,000, and is intended as a contribution towards the first year of tuition fees and general maintenance costs whilst in the US.

The grant is paid in instalments, the first of which is typically given just prior to departure from the UK. This funding is intended as a contribution towards any institutional fees, accommodation and general maintenance costs while in the US. 

Other Grant Benefits

A number of memberships, sickness and accident benefit coverage, and J-1 visa sponsorship are also included.

Pre-Departure Support

There is substantial pre-departure support, including a Finalists Workshop (March) and a 2-3 day Orientation Programme (July). Once in the US, further support is offered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Post-grant Benefits

The benefits of a Fulbright Award do not end once the grant period is over. Receiving a Fulbright Award opens many doors and provides unparalleled global networking opportunities. Over 300,000 Fulbright Awards have been given since the programme’s inception, and Fulbright alumni have the opportunity to stay engaged through our extensive alumni networks, including UK Fulbright alumni network. Alumni also remain connected to the Programme through ongoing social and cultural events, volunteer opportunities and mentoring schemes.

Selection Criteria

Minimum eligibility criteria

In order to apply for this award you must:

be a UK citizen* (resident anywhere except the United States), and

hold or expect to obtain a minimum 2:1 honours undergraduate degree or the equivalent prior to your anticipated enrolment with a US university.

What do we look for in our applicants?

  • a strong research project and academic excellence
  • demonstrable ambassadorial skills with evidence of cultural sensitivity and a genuine desire to learn more about the United States and share with American citizens aspects of British culture,
  • experience and interest in extracurricular and community activities,
  • evidence of ambition and leadership potential, and
  • a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and give back to your home country upon returning.

Selection committees and the interview panels will also be looking for clear reasons for selecting your US university preferences. As a publicly-funded organisation, the Fulbright Awards Programme expects candidates to conduct a thorough university search and to identify institutions which are a strong fit for their academic, personal and professional goals.

Previous US experience

As our aim is to foster cultural understanding between the US and UK, some preference will be given to applicants who do not have recent, extensive experience in the US (6 months or more in the last five years). If you do have significant experience in the US, we still encourage you to apply and explain in your application how further experience in the US will fulfil the Fulbright mission and not be a duplication of prior visits

Terms and Conditions of Grant and FAQ's

Please read the Terms and Conditions and FAQs for this award before making an application.

Awards are not available for peripatetic visits or attendance at conferences only, nor for projects based outside of the United States.

*Non-UK citizens are encouraged to use our advisory service in the UK, but to apply for Fulbright scholarships through the office in their country of citizenship (see US nationals, those with dual US-UK citizenship and those resident in the US may not apply in this Award categoryThose who hold joint citizenship between the UK and any country other than the US may apply in this award category.


The Fulbright online application system is called Embark and is used by all Fulbright Commissions worldwide. Each Commission sets its own policies, procedures and country-specific instructions for using the online application system. 

UK Fulbright Application Instructions

Before beginning an application on Embark, read and follow the UK Fulbright Application Instructions It is critical that you follow the instructions in this document in order to submit an accurate and complete application for the UK Commission.

* You must apply for a place at US Universities separately from your Fulbright application. Those who do not secure a place at a US university will not be able to take up their awards.

1. Online Fulbright Application Form

In order to make an application to the UK Fulbright Commission you need to register with the Embark online application site. You will be able to log in and out of your account and will not be required to complete the application in one sitting. 

It is imperative that you follow the UK country-specific instructions as you complete the Embark online application; failure to do so will mean that your application may not be considered.

You must complete the Embark online application form in order to apply for a Fulbright Award. In the application you must provide:

  • biographical information about yourself, your academic and extracurricular accomplishments and project plans.
  • details of one or more US institutions to which you plan to apply or secure an affiliation
  • a personal statement and project statement,
  • details of three referees who must each submit a letter of recommendation to the online system on your behalf. 

2. Commission Form

You are required to fill out completely and upload the following Commission Form to your application on the Embark system. Your application will be considered incomplete without this form:

3. References

Request three reference letters using the online Embark system. Notify your referees that they will receive an email invitation from the Embark system to submit a reference for you online.

Your reference letters should not be posted as they will be delivered to Fulbright electronically via the online system.

4. Required Additional Materials

In addition to the Embark application form, the Commission Form, and 3 references, you are also required to upload the following to your online application form before submitting it: 

  • a scanned copy of your passport bio page (and that of any accompanying dependants)
  • a copy of your CV
  • copy of your official transcript(s)
  • US University admission letter (if applicable)
  • Creative writing or artwork sample (if applicable)

Fulbright Interviews

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews on the date(s) listed within the Timeline tab above. Interviews will be held on one of the indicated date(s) only and may not be rescheduled. 

All interviews must be conducted face-to-face.


1 August 2016 - Competition opens; applications available online. 

*Applications submitted prior to 1 August will not be considered*

October 2016 - Applicants encouraged to attend Grad School Day to learn about US postgrad admissions processes. 

6 November 2016, midnight - Application deadline.

November 2016 - January 2017 - Initial screening and review of applications are done by the US-UK Fulbright Commission and review panels. You chould not expect to hear from the Commission during this time and staff will be unable to comment on the process or the status of an individual application.

Mid-Late January 2017 - Short-listed candidates are invited to interview via email. You will get at least one week notice before your scheduled interview. Candidates who have not been selected for interview will be notified via en Embark message by the end of January. Please check your spam folder for the message. 

30 Jan - 10 Feb 2017 - Fulbright interviews.

Late February 2017 - Notifications of Finalist status and Finalists are invited to Fulbright Finalist's Workshop. Unsuccessful candidate will also be notified via email by the end of February.

17 March 2017 - Fulbright Finalist’s Workshop in London.

March-June 2017 - Fulbright and J1 visa paperwork.

Summer 2017 - (normally June or July) Fulbright Pre-Departure Orientation.

Mid-July 2017 to 30 April 2017 - Independent departures, Your Fulbright Exchange begins.

Upon returning to the UK, candidates will be invited to participate in Fulbright alumni activities including our annual Returners’ Workshop as well as informal social events.

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Additional Information