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.


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.”

“Because students are nominated in the fall of their sophomore or junior years of college for a Goldwater scholarship, the Goldwater scholarship encourages colleges and universities to provide their students with faculty mentored research experiences as early as their freshman year of college,” said John Mateja, President of BGSF and principal investigator on the grant. “This is a particularly important decision point in a student’s undergraduate education, a time when a student decides to pursue a research career or select another career path,” he went on to say. “The funds from NDEP will enable BGSF to encourage 1200 additional students over the FY 2024 to FY 2028 award period to stay the course and seek STEM research careers.”

Yopp went on to say, “An important new program associated with the award is its veterans’ initiative.  Institutions will, instead of being limited to nominating 4 students, be able to nominate a 5th student if one of the nominees is a veteran. This provides our colleges and universities with an incentive to identify veterans on their campuses and encourage them to pursue a STEM research career. BGSF will also be working with college and university ROTC programs to help identify veterans and other students interested in conducting research while in the military.”


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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