Luce Scholars Program

Is it for you?

The award provides for a year-long internship in Asia, arranged for each Scholar on the basis of their specific interests, background, qualifications, and experience. The program was designed as a cultural experience for young leaders who have had no prior exposure to Asia or at least to their intended host region, and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia or their Asian counterparts and contemporaries. The program seeks to broaden their professional perspective and to sharpen their perceptions of Asia, of America, and of themselves.

What are the key dates?

Please check here for updates on the 2023 application timetable in the summer of 2023.

NFP deadline for draft review: TBD for 2023 (usually early October)

Official deadline: TBD for 2023 (usually mid-October)

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Luce Scholarship must:

  • be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who hold at least a bachelor’s degree (in any field).
  • be under the age of 32 or no more than three years out from receiving bachelor’s degree.
  • not have majored in Asian Studies.

Candidates who have spent a significant amount of time (an accumulated total of 24 weeks since beginning college) in one of the countries where  Luce Scholars are placed are now eligible to apply to be placed in a country where they do not have significant experience.

How do you work with the NFP?

As of 2022, no institutional endorsement is required for applicants to complete the Luce Scholars application and for this reason there is also no internal campus deadline at JHU. Applicants simply submit their complete application to the online portal by the official deadline. You can find the website below in the “Have a closer look” section. The NFP can provide feedback on your application materials (if submitted to NFP by the deadline noted above) and works with Luce finalists to help prepare them for interviews.

The timeline gives an overview of the application process. Your first step is to contact NFP by emailing or attending office hours. In preparation, explore the resources below to learn about the Luce.

Summer/early Fall
Contact NFP to learn more; begin working on application materials
October 15
Meet Luce official deadline

Are you competitive?

About 18 scholarships are awarded each year. By the official deadline, applicants must complete and submit the Luce online application, which includes:

  • Biographical information questions
  • 1 to 2 short answer questions
  • Personal statement: This carefully crafted essay should convey a sense of who you are and reflect on your personal journey, your long-range profession interests and how they have developed, how you have embodied your own kind of leadership, and how a year in Asia with Luce might be transformative.
  • An informal 1-3 minute video response
  • A 400-word bio written in third person
  • 2 Letters of recommendation: Recommenders must upload their letters (in PDF, signed, and on letterhead) to the Luce online application.
  • Academic Transcript(s)
  • Optional supplemental portfolio, additional writing sample or other submission

(Please note: the Luce is making significant changes to the application with the fall 2022 competition; more details will be added as they become available.)

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

The Luce Foundation

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article about Nihaal Rahman, 2021 Luce Scholar

HUB article about Maya Foster, 2020 Luce Scholar

HUB article about Seheri Swint, 2018 Luce Scholar

Peer testimonial from Seheri Swint (2018 Luce Scholar)

Start Your Application

Luce Scholars Program Application Portal