“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.”