Bulletin of Information for the 2014–2015 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.

General Guidelines

The Foundation will award undergraduate scholarships to outstanding students, to be known as Barry Goldwater Scholars, in the spring of 2014 for use during the 2014–2015 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 2014–2015 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 2013–2014 academic year. Two-year institutions may nominate up to two students who are sophomores during the 2013–2014 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 of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support. Scholars may opt to study abroad, but their Goldwater funding will be based on their U.S. institution's budget. 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 300 Goldwater Scholarships. The number of scholarships to be awarded per state will depend on the number and qualifications of the nominees 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 a candidate. This status might be indicated by parents' place of residence. If that criterion of residence is not relevant, the candidate'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 nominee'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.

Nominees 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 medical doctor in a private practice.

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 2013–2014 academic year, and intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. "Sophomore" is defined as a student who plans two more years of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2014. Sophomore nominees can expect to receive a maximum of two years 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 plans one more year of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2014. Junior nominees can expect to receive a maximum of one year 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 nominees from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, a United States national. Nominations from permanent residents must include a letter of the nominee's intent to obtain U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the Alien Registration Card).

Nomination Procedures

The Institution of Higher Education

All candidates for scholarships are nominated by their college or university. The Foundation will not solicit or accept applications directly from candidates but will advise applicants as to the appropriate procedures.

The Foundation invites eligible accredited U.S. institutions (or branches of those institutions) to nominate students for the 2014–2015 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 nominees 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 candidates to be nominated.
  • Helps nominees 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 2013. 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 nominee'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 nominee's application by the appointed Goldwater Faculty Representative of the nominee's institution. If this form is not submitted online, the student's application will not be considered.
  • Nominee Application (Student)—affirms the nominee's wish to be considered for the scholarship; provides biographical information about the nominee's background, interests, and plans; and provides a statement that describes the nominee'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 and their email address in their application. The system will then generate an email to each recommender giving them instructions on completing their online recommendation. The recommendations should be from a faculty member who can discuss the nominee's potential for a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering; a faculty member in the nominee's field of study; and another individual/faculty member who can attest to the nominee's potential.

Supporting Documents

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

Nomination Deadline

Institution's designated Goldwater Faculty Representative must electronically submit their completed online application(s) for the Goldwater Scholarship by January 31, 2014, 5:00 p.m. central time. Faculty representatives may establish an internal deadline prior to January 28 for all students to have their application completed. Nominations not electronically submitted online by 5:00 p.m. central time on January 31, 2014, will not be considered. Institutions must mail all supporting documents to the Coralville address by the receipt deadline of February 3, 2014. 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 Foundation will evaluate all valid nominations and recommend the most outstanding nominees from each state for consideration by the Foundation Board of Trustees.

Nominees are evaluated on:

  • Demonstrated potential for and commitment to a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.
  • Outstanding academic performance.

Final Selection
From among the candidates recommended by the independent review committee, the Board of Trustees will name up to 300 Barry Goldwater Scholars. The number of scholarships to be awarded per state will depend on the number and qualifications of the nominees 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.

Based on the scholar's yearly costs, payment will be made to the scholar's account by electronic funds transfer. Payment will be made near the end of July 2014, for payment requests received by that time. All payment requests for the year must be received by September 21, 2014.

Payments from the 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 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 2014–2015 academic year.

Duration of Awards

It is the intent of the Foundation to support junior-level scholarships for a maximum of two academic years and senior-level scholarships for a maximum of one academic year. 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 President 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 2013
Goldwater Scholarship online application and materials available from the Foundation's website.
September 2013
Goldwater Faculty Representatives emailed with instructions for submitting nominations for the 2014–2015 competition.
January 28, 2014, 5:00 p.m. CT
Deadline for online submission of student application(s) for the 2014–2015 competition.
January 30, 2014
Deadline for online submission of student's recommendations
January 31, 2014
Deadline for online submission of student's Faculty Representative's nomination
February 3, 2014
Mail receipt deadline for all supporting documents.
February 2014
Scholarship Review Committee meets to recommend finalists to the Foundation Board of Trustees.
Mid-March 2014
The 2014 Goldwater Scholars and Honorable Mentions approved by the Board of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.
Late March 2014
All nominees and their faculty representatives are notified of their final status in the competition.

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

Goldwater Scholarship Program
327 2nd St., Suite 103
Coralville, IA 52241
email: goldwater@scholarshipamerica.org