Bulletin of Information for the 2016–2017 Competition


The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The creation of this program pays tribute to the leadership, courage, and vision of Senator Goldwater and establishes in his name an endowed recognition program to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics.

The purpose of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, as stated in the enabling legislation, is to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. A more realistic statement of the purpose, in today's terms, is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research.

The Foundation is supported by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Fund, which has been established in the Treasury of the United States. Funding for awards and administrative expenses derives from interest on the Trust Fund, invested in U.S. securities and from donations to Barry Goldwater Educational Support Fund, Inc., a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation.

General Guidelines

The Foundation will award undergraduate scholarships to outstanding students, to be known as Barry Goldwater Scholars, in the spring of 2016 for use during the 2016–2017 academic year. The awards will be made on the basis of merit to two groups of students—those who will be college juniors and those who will be college seniors in the 2016–2017 academic year—who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Four-year institutions are eligible to nominate up to four students who are in the sophomore or junior class during the 2015–2016 academic year. Two-year institutions may nominate up to two students who are sophomores during the 2015–2016 academic year. To be considered, a student must be nominated by his or her college or university using the official online nomination process on the Foundation's website. The Goldwater Scholarship is an honor bestowed only once. A Goldwater Scholarship is valid only for the terms stipulated as eligible above, regardless of circumstances.

Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not transferable to the succeeding academic year. Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years (4 semesters) of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year (2 semesters) of scholarship support. Scholars may opt to study abroad, but their Goldwater funding will be based on their U.S. institution's educational expenses. Scholars must consult with the Foundation prior to signing up for an overseas program, as there may be some costs associated with being overseas that are prohibited from being covered by this scholarship.

The Trustees intend to award up to 260 Goldwater Scholarships. The number of scholarships to be awarded per state will depend on the number and qualifications of the students nominated from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The word "resident" as used in this context refers to a person who has legal residence in the state from which he or she is nominated. This status might be indicated by parents' place of residence. If that criterion of residence is not relevant, the student's legal residence will be determined by his or her eligibility for in-state tuition rates (where applicable) and place of voter registration.

Research Career in Mathematics, the Natural Sciences, or Engineering

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Program was created to encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields.

In awarding scholarships, the Foundation Board of Trustees will consider the nominated student's field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field.

Student's nominated for Goldwater Scholarships must include in their online application a statement of interest in a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering, detailing how their academic program and their overall educational plans will prepare them for their chosen career goal. It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees.

Students who plan to study medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship only if they plan a research career rather than a career as a practicing physician with emphasis on the clinical practice of medicine and patient care.

Examples of the educational plans of some former Goldwater Scholars are listed below (this list is not inclusive):

Undergraduate Major Career Objectives
Aerospace Engineering Advanced propulsion systems
Aquatic/Natural Resources Management Aquatic biology/environmental resources
Astrophysics Astronomy
Applied Science Medical research
Biochemistry/Microbiology Clinical research in infectious diseases
Biology Agricultural/environmental science
Biology Genetic engineering
Biology Immunology
Biology Molecular biology
Biology/Chemistry Biomedical technology
Botany Research in plant physiology
Chemical Engineering Research in chemical kinetics
Chemistry Research in environmental chemistry
Chemistry Nutritional chemistry
Chemistry Environmental chemistry
Chemistry Biotechnology/biochemistry
Computer Science Artificial intelligence research
Electrical Engineering Solid states research
Engineering Physics Research in mathematical physics
Entomology Research in ecology or entomology
Environmental Engineering Research in hazardous waste treatment
Environmental Science Conservation ecology
Geology Planetary geology
Geology/Biology Paleontology
Mathematics Applied math in operations research
Mathematics Math analysis or topology
Mathematics Research in pure mathematics
Mathematics Statistical population research
Mathematics Robotics
Mathematics Research in theoretical mathematics
Mathematics/Chemistry Research chemistry
Mathematics/Computer Science Computer applications in pure mathematical research
Mathematics/Physics Research in theoretical physics
Mathematics/Physics Experimental physics
Mathematics/Physics High energy physics
Mechanical Engineering Development of micro and nano technologies
Microbiology Microbial genetics
Molecular Genetics Antiviral chemotherapy
Neurobiology Field biology
Nuclear Engineering Research in nuclear engineering
Physics Physical oceanography
Physics Alternate energy sources
Physics Nuclear physics
Physics Theoretical physics
Physics Environmental physics
Physics/Astronomy Astrophysics and nonlinear dynamics
Quantum Mechanics Neurological research
Zoology Zoologist/medical research
Zoology Organism physiology

Conditions of Eligibility

To be considered for nomination as a Goldwater Scholar, a student must:

  • Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education during the 2015–2016 academic year, and intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. "Sophomore" is defined as a student who has two more years (4 semesters) of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2016. Sophomore Scholars can expect to receive a maximum of two years (4 semesters) of support. Students in two-year colleges who plan to transfer to a baccalaureate program at another institution may be nominated. "Junior" is defined as a student who has one more year (2 semesters) of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2016. Junior Scholars can expect to receive a maximum of one year (2 semesters) of support.
  • Have a college grade-point average of at least "B" (or the equivalent) and be in the upper fourth of his or her class
  • Be a United States citizen, a permanent resident, or, in the case of students nominated from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, a United States national. Nominations from permanent residents must include a letter of the nominated student's intent to obtain U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the Permanent Resident Card (also known as the Alien Registration Card or Green Card).

Nomination Procedures

The Institution of Higher Education

All students must be nominated by their institution-designated Goldwater Faculty Representative to advance in the competition. The Foundation will not solicit or accept applications directly from students, but will advise students as to the appropriate procedures for their application to be nominated by their school's designated Goldwater Faculty Representative.

The Foundation invites eligible accredited U.S. institutions (or branches of those institutions) to nominate students for the 2016–2017 competition. Two-year institutions may nominate up to two current sophomores. Four-year institutions may nominate up to four current sophomores or juniors.

If an institution chooses to nominate more than one student, these students may reside in the same state or district or they may be from different states or districts.

The Nominating Official (Faculty Representative)

Each participating institution must appoint a faculty representative to serve as liaison between the institution and the Foundation.

The faculty representative:

  • Publicizes the Goldwater Scholarship Program on campus.
  • Solicits faculty recommendations of outstanding students who demonstrate commitment to pursue a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.
  • Establishes the process to select the best qualified students to be nominated.
  • Helps students prepare for the competition.
  • Ensures that the institution's nominations are complete and submitted online by the stated deadline.

Nomination Materials

The Foundation's online application will be available by September 2015. Nominations must be submitted electronically from the Foundation's website at https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org.

Online Application will consist of the following:

  • Institution Nomination (FacRep)—verifies the student's eligibility and academic status, and formally transmits the nomination to the review committee. The Institution Nomination online survey must be completed and submitted online with the student's application by the appointed Goldwater Faculty Representative of the nominated student's institution. If this form is not submitted online, the student's application will not be considered.
  • Application (Student)—affirms the student's wish to be considered for the scholarship; provides biographical information about the student's background, interests, and plans; and provides a statement that describes the student's intent to enter an appropriate research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and specifies how the student's educational plans will provide preparation for that career.
  • Recommendations (3)—student lists three recommenders' email addresses in their application. As soon as the student has completed and submitted their application, the system will immediately generate an email to each of the three recommenders listed in the student's application which will include instructions on completing their online recommendation. The recommendations should be from:
    1. Two faculty members who can discuss your potential for a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. At least one of these must be a faculty member in your field of study; and
    2. Another individual or faculty member who can attest to the student's potential. If you have been involved in research, one of your recommendations must come from the individual who supervised your work. The best evaluations are those that come from faculty in your field of study or from individuals who have supervised your work in a research facility. Evaluations from former high school teachers, coaches, or family friends are generally of little value.

Required Supporting Documents (to be mailed by the receipt deadline of February 1, 2016)

  • Student essay—written by the student and relates to the student's chosen career.
  • Transcript from student's current institution, including fall semester if available.
  • Transcript(s) from other institutions, that student attended with grades for courses taken.
  • Copy of the student's Permanent Resident card and letter of intent to become U.S. citizen, if student's citizenship status is permanent resident.

Nomination Deadline

Note: The Faculty Representative cannot nominate a student until the student has completed and submitted their application, and all three recommendations have been completed and submitted online.

Institution's designated Goldwater Faculty Representative must electronically submit their completed online nomination(s) for the Goldwater Scholarship by January 29, 2016, 5:00  p.m. central time. Faculty representatives may establish an internal deadline prior to January 22 for all students to have their application and recommendations completed and submitted. Nominations not electronically submitted by 5:00 p.m. central time on January 29, 2016, by the designated Goldwater Faculty Representative, will not be considered. Institutions must mail all supporting documents to the address below by the receipt deadline of February 1, 2016. Customer support will only be available from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. central time, Monday–Friday.

Selection Procedures

Initial Evaluation
An independent review committee appointed by the Goldwater Scholarship Program will evaluate all valid nominations and recommend the most outstanding nominated students from each state for consideration by the Goldwater Foundation Board of Trustees as Scholars and Honorable Mentions.

Students are evaluated on:

  • Demonstrated potential for and commitment to a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. (The most compelling way to demonstrate commitment to and potential for a research career is to have research experience.)
  • Outstanding academic performance.

Final Selection
From among the list of Scholars recommended by the independent review committee, the Goldwater Board of Trustees will name up to 260 Barry Goldwater Scholars. The number of scholarships to be awarded per state will depend on the number and qualifications of the nominated students from the 53 jurisdictions.

Payment of Scholarship Awards

To be eligible to receive payments, a Goldwater Scholar must submit in writing:

  • An acceptance of the scholarship award and a direct deposit form, used to open a scholar account for electronic funds transfer of scholarship payments.
  • At the beginning of each academic year, a single statement of eligible expenses, certified by the authorized financial officer of the enrolling institution, including those for tuition, fees, books, and room and board; plus an additional certification regarding the scholar's academic program; and other certifications as required by law or regulation. Scholars eligible for a second year of funding should download the payment request form from the website under "Scholars Materials".

Based on the scholar's yearly costs, payment will be made to the scholar's account by electronic funds transfer. Payment will be made July 31, 2016, for payment requests received by July 8, 2016. All payment requests for the year must be received by September 2, 2016.

Payments from the Goldwater Foundation may supplement, but not duplicate, benefits from another foundation, institution, or organization. In other words, the benefits from all sources combined may not exceed the costs of tuition, fees, books, and room and board for the academic year. The scholar must notify the Goldwater Foundation promptly of any changes that occur during the year in his or her academic status or to the yearly payment request form information. NOTE:  Funding will not begin until the fall term of the 2016–2017 academic year which for uniformity is indicated as September 1, 2016 by the Foundation.

Duration of Awards

It is the intent of the Foundation to support junior-level scholarships for a maximum of two academic years (4 semesters) and senior-level scholarships for a maximum of one academic year (2 semesters). Renewal for junior-level scholars will be in accordance with the regulations established by the Foundation Board of Trustees and will be subject to an annual review by an authorized official of the institution that certifies:

  • The scholar is a full-time student and is taking a course of study, training, or other educational activities to prepare for a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.
  • The scholar is not engaged in gainful employment that interferes with the scholar's studies.
  • The scholar is in good academic standing.

A scholar may seek postponement of his or her award because of ill health or other mitigating circumstances, upon application to the Foundation at:

Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
6225 Brandon Ave., Suite 315
Springfield, VA 22150-2519
Telephone: 703.756.6012
Fax: 703.756.6015

Important Dates

September 2015
Goldwater Scholarship online application and materials available from the Foundation's website.
September 2015
Goldwater Faculty Representatives emailed with instructions for submitting nominations for the 2016–2017 competition.
January 22, 2016, 5:00 p.m. CT
Deadline for electronic submission of student's application for the 2016–2017 competition.
January 26, 2016, 5:00 p.m. CT
Deadline for electronic submission of all three recommendations
January 29, 2016, 5:00 p.m. CT
Deadline for electronic submission of Faculty Representative's nomination
February 1, 2016
Mail receipt deadline for all supporting documents.
February 2016
Scholarship Review Committee meets to recommend Scholars and Honorable Mentions to the Goldwater Foundation Board of Trustees.
Mid-March 2016
The 2016 Goldwater Scholars and Honorable Mentions approved by the Board of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.
Late March 2016
All nominated students are notified of their final status in the competition. A list of Honorable Mentions and Scholars will be posted on the Goldwater Foundation website.

For further information concerning the scholarship nomination and selection process, contact:

Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program
Scholarship America
One Scholarship Way
Saint Peter, MN 56082
email: goldwater@scholarshipamerica.org