How to Write Study Objective for Fulbright Scholarship

Find out what to include in the Study Objective essay for Fulbright application

As the deadline for Fulbright Scholarship 2020-21 is approaching for May 13, 2020, aspirants’ anxiety regarding their application is also skyrocketing. Fulbright application for M.S and Ph.D. requires two essays: one is related to your personal life story, how you evolved as a person and what you want to achieve in life i.e. Personal Statement; the other is Study Objective for Fulbright which explains your specific area of research. How you have learned through your previous experience and how do you intend to relate the past experience to the future research you’ll be carrying out in MS/Ph.D.

Study objective and personal statement are an important part of the Fulbright application. These essays are difficult to write because you have to pitch your candidacy in a limited number of words and must stand out among a pool of highly competitive applicants. Fulbright applications are evaluated by Fulbright alumni who’re experienced in assessing a candidate’s suitability for the scholarship from the overall application.

In this post, I will be guiding you on how to write the Study Objective for Fulbright and how to impress the evaluator by showing that you are the perfect candidate for the prestigious Fulbright scholarship. You will get to know What to include in the study objective and what to avoid. You will get to read plenty of examples for each point discussed in this article.

Let’s first see the actual statement about the study objective as required by the Fulbright application:

Write a clear and detailed description of your study/research objectives, and give your reasons for wanting to pursue them. Be specific about your major field and your specialized interests within this field. Describe the kind of program you expect to undertake, and explain how your study plan fits in with your previous training and your future objectives. This statement is an essential part of your application and is required. Do not mention specific U.S. universities at which you would like to study.

Please limit your response to 700-750 words.

Study / Research Objective prompt in the Fulbright Scholarship application

As given in the study objective prompt, the application asks you to write a detailed description of your study/research objective and your research to pursue them. You will have to list the specific field and the program you want to pursue and how your previous experience relates to your future goals. Also, you are instructed not to mention any specific professors and US universities in the study objective for Fulbright as this is a general application that will be submitted to US universities on your behalf after the final selection.

Study Objective for Fulbright Application

Relate you previous and current experiences to your future goals

In the study objective and personal statement, many applicants do not emphasize on their future goals. It is important that you show in your essay that how your past experiences have informed your present work, and how you present experience can be extended to the future or can raise specific research questions in your area of research.

The Fulbright evaluators give a positive weightage to the study objective in which the candidates can establish that their future research will have a positive impact on Pakistan. If your past and present work is relevant and relates directly to your future plans then it’s a clear indicator that you have had a good experience in your past. Especially for master’s candidates, if you are not sure about your future goals, then you should at least mention how can you develop your current work. The Fulbright committee wants to see that you have a sense of direction and motivation to purse issues specific to your field and relevant to your country’s needs.

Elaborate on your qualifications

The Fulbright alumni who evaluate the Fulbright applications are experts in your field and they want to read details of your specialized work that you want to undertake during your Fulbright master’s or Ph.D. Show them the skills and research will benefit you and would help you achieve your future goals. Don’t be vague about your specific research area in the hope of reaching a wider audience. However, your application shouldn’t be replete with the technical jargon; use the technical terms only when to tell a specific story about your research.

Highlight and emphasize the qualifications you have gained from your experiences; don’t’ just list the experiences (they’re already listed in your CV which will be submitted along with the application). So, do not restate your resume, but elaborate on the experiences that you gained from your past work. Mention your accomplishments and how they transformed you into a better person and researcher. Give concrete examples of your past work and remember the axiom: “Show, don’t tell”.

Specifically explain why you are the best fit for Fulbright Scholarship

You must in your study objective for Fulbright application that how your research matches the requirements of the Fulbright scholarship. Keep in mind that Fulbright scholarship focuses on priority areas that relate to the socio-economic growth of the country for which is it is offered. For Pakistan, USEFP (United States Education Foundation for Pakistan) encourages candidates of following disciplines to apply for the Fulbright scholarship:

Applicants are especially encouraged in the fields of Energy, Water, Agriculture, Public Health, Education, Social Sciences, Journalism and Mass Communication, Arts and Culture Management including Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, Environmental Science/Studies, Security/Peace Studies, and Data Science.

Fulbright scholarship priority areas

Introduce the main idea for each body paragraph in the topic sentence

Communication research suggests that readers best comprehend and retain information when you unify a paragraph around one main idea that is clearly signaled in the topic sentence. Try to organize each body paragraph in your application essay around one qualification or ability.

Final Words

That’s all folks. I admit that the study objective (SO) and other application essays are difficult to write because there is a lack of general consensus on the format and style of the essays. Still, if you follow these practices you’ll see that you can improve your study objective for Fulbright application by a wide margin. Try to draft your essays well before the deadline and keep revising your essays. This is the key to secure the Fulbright scholarship for studying in the US.

Mention your specific queries in the comments. Your feedback is welcome. I’ll keep uploading more articles that’ll help you prepare your application for the Fulbright and other scholarships.


Muhammad Sarwar

Muhammad Sarwar is an Electrical Engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He loves to teach and share knowledge. He's a Fulbright scholarship awardee. He reads books, play games, blogs and program in his spare time.

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    1. Hi Mohamed

      Just a quick one, is there a specific format for the essay, for example , introduction paragraph then the main body paragraph and conclusion or ?

  1. Thank you so much! The article is very helpful. Is there any specific format that the candidate should follow? Are there any previous examples of successful candidates’ work?

  2. Thank you.
    There’s no specific format but your essay should answer all the question in the prompt.
    You can find several study objective and personal statement essays of successful candidates on the website.

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