Brittany Power, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellow

Nov. 20, 2023
Brittany Power


My name is Brittany Power, and I am a PhD. Candidate in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. My working discipline is anthropology. Within anthropology, I focus on the relationship between foodways or food culture and the production of identity and belonging. My fieldwork centers on the relationship between the foodways of Moroccan Jews and their sense of identity and belonging in the Kingdom of Morocco. I analyze how Moroccan Jews, as a religious minority, living in Morocco today “make home” and construct integrated religious and national identities among a Muslim majority within a Muslim state.

To fund my research, I applied for several grants, some small and a few large ones. I received most of the small institutional grants. However, of the three large grants I applied for, the only one that I received was the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Program. An important factor in that success was the guidance I received during the application process. One grant that I applied for and did not receive, the American Institute for Maghrib Studies Annual Grant, was specifically designed to promote social science research in the Maghrib or North Africa, the very area where my research is centered. I followed all their guidelines, and I even submitted my proposal for prereview. I was told that no comments could be provided regarding the content of my proposal but that I had fulfilled the technical requirements for its submission. No other advice or guidance was provided, and because I was fairly new to applying for funding, I needed more guidance than was offered. 

Advice, guidance, and knowledgeable administration at each level of the application and submission process are crucial. The competent and dedicated guidance provided by the UArizona Fulbright-Hays DDRA program director and her colleagues, as well as the orientation sessions provided by the national administration, made all the difference in my success at receiving the fellowship. I benefitted from advice on content, organization, insights into areas of my own qualifications that were not readily apparent to me, checks and reviews of my proposed budget, and compliance with the Fly America requirements. While the merits of my proposed project as perceived by the reviewers garnered the DDRA award, the advice and guidance that I received from administrators at the institutional and national levels ensured that the application I submitted had the highest possible odds of success.

My advice to anyone applying for research grants is to get as many eyes on your application materials as possible. Take advantage of all support offered by the grant administrators. Take the time to seriously consider the guidance and then revise your materials accordingly.  If you do that, then you will optimize your odds for garnering an award which can make all the difference to the success and quality of the research project you complete. I am grateful that I received so much support for the Fulbright-Hays DDRA, and I am glad I listened to the advice and guidance provided.


Many thanks to Brittany for her contribution! If you're interested in the Fulbright-Hays, please reach out to us at the Graduate Center Office of Fellowships: