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The newsletter of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, promoting educational and cultural exchange between Australia and the United States.
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REMINDER: 2017 Fulbright Scholarship applications will close on 1 August 2016 
Please remind your friends, colleagues and any potential Fulbrighters to submit their documents by the closing date!

2016 Fulbright Roadshow Wraps Up in Perth 

The Fulbright Commission has wrapped up a six-week tour of Australian universities, promoting binational exchange scholarship opportunities in each State and Territory.

The Fulbright National Roadshow tour was held at selected host institutions across Australia, and comprised full-day events including scholarship information seminars, a series of public lectures and engagement events with key faculty, staff, Alumni and Fulbright Ambassadors. To improve accessibility for regional candidates, the scholarship information seminars were recorded and streamed online to enable potential applicants to connect remotely.

Fulbright Receptions were also held in each State and Territory to recognize the achievements of local Fulbright scholars, and acknowledge the support of sponsors. The Commission was honoured to host U.S. Ambassador Mr John Berry in Canberra; U.S. Consul General Mr Hugo Llorens in Sydney and U.S. Consul General Ms Frankie Reed in Adelaide.

The National Roadshow also saw a number of fully-booked public lectures delivered by Professors Carol Weissert and Douglas Cochran, Fulbright Distinguished Chairs in American Political Science and Advanced Science and Technology.

Professor Weissert discussed her exploration of Federalism and inter-governmental politics at Flinders University, and gave fascinating insight into the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Professor Cochran provided an in-depth look into his collaborative research on cutting-edge radar technologies with the Australian Government Defence Science and Technology Group.

The Commission also spent time catching up with Alumni across Australia, reconnecting and hearing stories from various generations of Fulbrighters. 

Applications for the 2017 round of Fulbright Scholarships will close on 1 August 2016. For any queries, please contact the Commission.

Further information can be found on the Fulbright website.

Watch our Fulbright Webinar LIVE at 11:00am (AEST) Thursday 7 July

Fulbright Alumni Initiative Grant Recipients Announced

The Fulbright Commission is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the Fulbright Alumni Initiative Grant. This year two Australian and two American Fulbright Alumni have received grants to advance the collaborations and institutional links developed during their Fulbright programs.
Professor Neil Saintilan, Head, Department of Environmental Science, Macquarie University
 
Professor Saintilan was the 2014 Fulbright Professional Scholar in Climate Change & Clean Energy. In partnership with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve and Chapman University, he conducted a program of research to better characterise ecosystem and carbon services provided by estuaries and improve understanding of their vulnerability to climate change, thereby providing a clearer focus to restoration efforts.

For his FAIG project, Professor Saintilan
 plans to work with experts at the University of California, Los Angeles to develop a community of practice across the Pacific, developing best practice guidelines for tidal wetland restoration, and reviewing the emerging issues in Blue Carbon as it pertains to large-scale restoration programs.
Dr Steven Kenway, Research Group Leader,
Water-Energy-Carbon, University of Queensland
 
Dr Kenway completed a 2010 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship in Natural Resource Management at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in California. His FAIG project will build on collaborations established during this time, strengthening connections between UQ and U.C. Berkeley and creating new linkages with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory – a sister organisation to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Specifically, Dr Kenway will be investigating opportunities for energy generation at water and wastewater utilities, analysing the legislative, regulative and policy environment relevant to distributed energy generation, and conducting case studies through visits to critical stakeholders in the Utilities sector.
Professor Abbe Smith, Director, Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, Georgetown University
 
Professor Smith completed her Fulbright Senior Scholarship at the University of Melbourne Law School in 2006 researching criminal defence and lawyers’ ethics through the representation of ‘unpopular clients’. An article based on her research, Defending the Unpopular Down-Under, was published by the Melbourne University Law Review.

For her FAIG project, Professor Smith plans to build on her earlier work by including some of the Australian lawyers she met in a new book project; a second volume of her co-edited publication entitled How Can You Represent Those People? (Palgrave Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press, 2013, with Monroe H. Freedman).

How Can You Represent Those People? was the first-ever collection of essays offering a response to the “Cocktail Party Question” routinely asked of criminal lawyers: how can you represent guilty criminals?
Professor Steven Segal, Director, Mental Health Research Group, University of California Berkeley
 
Professor Segal completed his Fulbright Senior Scholarship in 1998, collaborating on research into Social Welfare. His FAIG project seeks to build on previous work exploring the utility of outpatient commitment, or the assisted involuntary treatment of individuals diagnosed with severe mental disorders.  

This challenging aspect of social welfare has become a focus of concern throughout the world as countries, implementing deinstitutionalisation polies, struggle with attempting to ensure the rights as well as the health and safety of their citizens. Victoria has been a leader in both endeavours and its educational, health and welfare, and justice facilities strive to maintain this leadership and meet the needs of Australia’s citizens. Professor Segal will work with experts at the University of Melbourne's School of Health Sciences/Social Work and Melbourne School of Population and Global Health/Centre for Mental Health to share knowledge and develop collaborative linkages.
Fulbright Specialist Program applications for Australian institutions are now OPEN

Fulbright Scholar Stories 


Briony Swire-Thompson  

Postgraduate Scholar, Psychology
The University of Western Australia


The high proportion of researchers that live in Boston has shaped this city into nerd heaven. On my cycle route to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I pass a pub called ‘Miracle of Science’ and a café called ‘Darwin’s’ before reaching the Charles river. I’ve overheard runners discussing experimental design, witnessed swimmers stop and wade in order to have a 45-minute conversation about coding, and while I have been writing this opening paragraph, the individual next to me in a café has audibly announced ‘IT’S SIGNIFICANT’. The passion of research is contagious, but this excitement for science coexists with a tense motivation to succeed in a rather unforgiving academic environment. True to the Boston lifestyle, people at MIT work extremely hard. I once sent a query to a friend I was working with and received the calm reply, ‘Well, I’m on the way to the hospital now as my water broke… maybe try talking to Justin?’ I later asked what she was doing answering emails at all during childbirth and she said, ‘Might as well, there was nothing else to do’.
MIT has been a fascinating place to work—in a day, you could visit the campus nuclear reactor, sit in the grass to watch the campus Quidditch team, or ride the rollercoaster that a dorm builds each year from scratch. Although I’m a cognitive psychologist, for the past year I’ve been collaborating with Professor Adam Berinsky, a political scientist. Along with Dr. Ullrich Ecker and Professor Stephan Lewandowsky from the University of Western Australia, we have been investigating how people process misinformation, and why people continue to believe in misinformation even after a credible correction has been presented. When applying for a Fulbright scholarship over two years ago, I couldn’t have imaged how perfectly the US political landscape would lend itself to my research area. With both the primaries and now the general election campaign, inaccurate information continues to be a contentious topic.
One study investigated the impact of political polarisation on how people assess whether information is true or false. To this end, we used statements from perhaps the most polarising political figure of recent times, Donald Trump. We asked participants to rate how much they believed in statements that were explicitly attributed to Trump (e.g. ‘Trump said that the MMR vaccine causes autism – how much do you believe in this statement?’) or, alternatively, we presented the statements without attribution (e.g. ‘The MMR vaccine causes autism – how much do you believe in this statement?’). Our results indicated bipartisan polarisation: if misinformation was attributed to Trump, Republicans believed it more than if it was presented without attribution, whereas the opposite occurred for Democrats.

I thought that as time went by, I would become accustomed to being a Fulbright scholar and that researching at MIT would become commonplace. However, even at the end of my placement, I’m still astounded and feel tremendously privileged. In addition to the incredible research opportunities, I’ve been able to attend presentations as disparate as Noam Chomsky discussing foreign policy and the director of GCHQ discussing freedom of information. Personally, as well as professionally, nerd heaven has been a pretty extraordinary place to live.

 
Briony Swire-Thompson 
2015 Fulbright Western Australia Postgraduate Scholar

ED's Update

What an amazing couple of months we've had at the Commission, travelling across the country to talk about Fulbright, meeting with key academic faculty and staff, joining our Distinguished Chairs for the Fulbright Public Lecture Series, and engaging with our valued Alumni and Fulbright Ambassadors.

The strong U.S. presence at our State Receptions was yet another demonstration of the dedication and commitment to the Fulbright Program shown by our friends at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates, and hearing His Excellency John Berry honour our Fulbright Ambassadors in Canberra was a true highlight of the Roadshow.

I'd like to congratulate our wonderful Fulbright Alumni Initiative grant recipients, all of whom are forging stronger bilateral links in the fields of Environmental Science, Renewable Energy, Criminal Justice, and Social Welfare through ongoing engagement on their Fulbright research.

In this final month of Fulbright applications we will be offering a new form of support for applicants by hosting a webinar focusing on best practice for constructing a Fulbright application. This will be streamed online on Thursday 7 July, and will be publicly available for viewing via our YouTube page. We hope this will be a helpful initiative, providing potential Fulbrighters with key advice on how to make the most out of their applications.


We'll have many more exciting developments over the coming months - stay tuned to find out what's in store for the Commission.

 
Dr Ruth Lee Martin
Acting Executive Director

Key Dates

Fulbright Scholarship application rounds:

U.S. Postgraduate
31 March - 11 October

U.S. Postdoctoral, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair
1 February - 1 August

Australian Candidates (all categories)
1 May - 1 August


Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) application rounds:

Australian Institutions:
1 July - 1 September


U.S. Specialists:
See the Specialist Roster
Copyright © 2016 Australian-American Fulbright Commission, All rights reserved.


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