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Practical Fulbright Advice from Tessa Boyd-Caine PDF Print E-mail


What does a Fulbright scholarship entail?

We spoke to Tessa Boyd-Caine about her Fulbright experience and her best tips for handling the logistics...


In 2013, Tessa Boyd-Caine (now CEO of Health Justice Australia) was one of two inaugural recipients of the Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership. Tessa spent four months in the United States researching issues around how not-for-profit organisations can strengthen and lead the trust and confidence in which the sector is held.

As Deputy CEO of the Australian Council Social Service (ACOSS) at the time, Tessa found the support of her organisation invaluable and essential to undertaking the Fulbright. Here she shares her best tips for current applicants and scholars considering the logistics of the scholarship:

Tessa Boyd-Caine
  1. "The Fulbright Nonprofit Scholarship is a rare opportunity to step away from the day-to-day and immerse yourself in a learning and development opportunity. You can’t do it (or yourself) justice if you are also juggling your day job. And you shouldn’t have to. In my case, the stipend with the scholarship meant I could take leave without pay from my








job, leaving my employer free to backfill me with a replacement. I did a two week handover with my replacement at the beginning, a one week hand-back at the end, and for the rest of the time I was blissfully free to engage in my Fulbright work and the experience of living in the USA.

2.   "The support of your organisation will go a long way to enabling the most out of a Fulbright experience. From providing a reference, to supporting the time I needed away from the office during the Fulbright, through to valuing my ongoing engagement in Fulbright activities afterwards, I had strong support from my employer and this was really helpful. But this doesn’t only go one-way; ideally, your organisation should benefit too. I brought value back into my organisation with my newly-developed expertise from the issues I examined during my Fulbright; I extended our organisational networks; I had suggestions about new ways to tackle challenges within the organisation, from the time I had spent embedded in other organisations; and I was much more focussed on how to support and lead my colleagues.

3.   "Don’t underestimate the time you might need to step back from the day-to-day of your job before you are really ready to engage in the Fulbright opportunity. I was fortunate to be in the position where I had not taken leave for some time and so could take a break between finishing up in my job and commencing the Fulbright. This turned out to be invaluable as a way to decompress and meant I was in the best headspace to throw myself into my Fulbright experience, once it commenced."

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Applications are closing soon for the 2020 Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership!

Click HERE to find out more and apply.

Applications close Monday 15 July 2019 at 11:59pm AEST.