The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly-qualified professionals the Nation needs in these critical fields. Over its 30-year history, Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have gone on to win other prestigious awards like the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship that support our Scholars’ graduate school work. Today, Goldwater alumni can be found conducting research that is helping defend the Nation, finding cures for catastrophic diseases and teaching future generations of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.


The Honorable Glen Grothman is appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Foundation for Scholarship and Excellence in Education

I am pleased, and honored, to welcome, on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Foundation for Scholarship and Excellence in Education, the Honorable Glen Grothman, as the newest member of the Board.

Congressman Grothman was appointed to the Goldwater Board by Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, and Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, because of his reputation for, and advocacy of, higher education reform and workforce development during his five terms in Congress. He represents Wisconsin’s Sixth Congressional District. This experience aligns well with the values, goals, and advocacy programs of the Goldwater Foundation.

Representative Grothman currently serves on three committees in the House of Representatives: 1) Committee on Education and the Workforce; 2) Committee on Oversight and Accountability, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs; and 3) Committee on the Budget. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. His committee expertise and educational background will provide welcome support to the Foundation’s annual budget preparation and evaluation as well as the Board response to the annual reports of the Independent and Internal Audit Committees. Like Representative Grothman’s commitment to national security, the Goldwater Foundation’s principal foundational goal is to provide scholarships to students in the nation’s colleges and universities interested in pursuing research careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to help ensure the Nation’s defense and economic competitiveness.

Finally, the Foundation and its Congressional Task Force works closely and frequently with Congress to obtain additional funding, in addition to the Trust Fund appropriated by Congress to honor Senator Goldwater’s exceptional service to the nation, to increase the number of scholarships awarded through its competitive and nationally recognized program. Congressman Grothman will be a much-appreciated Board member to enhance that continuous task.

Prior to his election to Congress, Representative Grothman served as the Assistant Majority Leader of the Wisconsin State Senate after serving ten-years as a Representative in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

John H. Yopp, Chair,
Board of Trustees,
Barry Goldwater Foundation for Scholarship and Excellence in Education


Shellby Padgett Joins the Goldwater Scholarship Foundation Staff

The Goldwater Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce that Shellby Padgett is joining the national office staff.

Shellby brings twelve years of nonprofit and government administrative experience to the Foundation. She was previously the Executive Administrative Officer at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research where she supported the Director, Deputy Director, and Chief Scientist Office. Before her government career began, she was in Denver, CO working at a variety of nonprofit organizations including Education Public Policy, Social Services, and a 527 Advocacy organization.

Shellby received her Master's in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and attended Colorado Christian University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with Elementary Education Licensure.


Goldwater Scholarship Foundation Receives $9M Grant from the Department of Defense’s National Defense Education Program

“The Members of the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence Foundation (BGSF) were extremely pleased to learn on September 27, 2023, that the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) of the Department of Defense (DoD) had selected BGSF’s proposal ‘Identifying, Encouraging, and Financially Supporting the Next Generation of the STEM Research Workforce’ for a $9-million-dollar award,” said John Yopp, Chair of the Goldwater Board of Trustees. Yopp went on to say, “This grant, one of only 13 awarded by NDEP in this competition cycle, will enable BGSF to double the number of scholarships it would otherwise be able to award from 240 to 480 each year over the 5-year funding period from FY 2024 to FY 2028.” Yopp added, “BGSF was established by Congress in 1986 with the mission to provide the United States with a continuing supply of highly qualified career researchers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to enhance the Nation’s defense and economic competitiveness.” Read more


The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation Announces a Partnership with UWorld to Empower the Next Generation of STEM Research Leaders

"The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is pleased to welcome UWorld as its first private partner in support of the Nation's next generation of research leaders in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics," said Dr. John Yopp, chair for the board of trustees of the Foundation. "A leader in developing test preparation materials for those interested in pursuing research careers in medicine, UWorld’s support will help ensure that additional students can pursue their MD/PhD research career dreams.”

UWorld, a leading provider of learning tools for high-stakes exams, is donating over $70,000 in grants and product scholarships to the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Education Foundation through its philanthropic arm, UWorld Cares. In addition to supporting six scholarships, UWorld's donation provides best-in-class resources for the 2024 cohort of Goldwater Scholars. As part of the partnership, UWorld will also provide all 2024 Goldwater Scholars pursuing a MD/PhD access to their premier MCAT QBank. Additionally, the six UWorld supported Goldwater Scholars will receive access to UWorld's trusted USMLE Step 1 QBank. These resources will assist scholars as they prepare for their graduate school entrance and professional licensure exams that serve as crucial checkpoints for their future success. Read more


Important Dates

FIRST TUESDAY IN SEPTEMBER: Online Application Opens
EARLY SEPTEMBER TO LATE JANUARY: Individual internal campus deadlines
LAST FRIDAY IN JANUARY: Nomination deadline (5:00 PM CT)
LATE FEBRUARY: Nomination packets reviewed
MID-MARCH: Board of Trustees vote on Scholars
LAST FRIDAY IN MARCH: Scholars/Honorable Mentions Announced (11:00 AM Central Time)

College Matters. Alma Matters. June 3rd Podcast

Episode: John Mateja on The Barry Goldwater Scholarship: Identify, Encourage and Support Students doing Undergraduate Research.

Episode summary introduction: Set up in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater’s distinguished public service, the Scholarship promotes undergraduate research by awarding scholarships to students. In this podcast, John gives us an overview of The Barry Goldwater Scholarship, How Students can Apply, What they look for in their Scholars, and Advice for High Schoolers.

Linking Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Applications

For more videos on helpful topics ranging from applying for fellowships to life in graduate school, visit the Webinar Archives.

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