Goldwater Scholarship

Is it for you?

The Goldwater Scholarship was established to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics in the U.S. Awards are made annually, with each scholarship providing a maximum of $7,500 per year for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Sophomore applicants are eligible for two years of support; junior applicants are eligible for one year of support. JHU can nominate four applicants each year.

What are the key dates?

The application cycle for 2023-24 has closed. Please check back in fall 2024 for updates on the next cycle. 

Information sessions: TBD for 2024 (normally late October/early November)

Pre-application deadline: TBD for 2024 (normally early November)

By this date, prospective applicants should be enrolled on our Canvas course for Goldwater applicants, submit a research-oriented C.V. via Canvas, and complete the brief pre-application form on the Goldwater website (more details on Canvas). The Canvas course is offline between application cycles, but will reopen in fall 2024.

JHU campus deadline: TBD for 2025 (normally early January)

By this date, applicants who have been working with the NFP will submit their completed Goldwater campus application to the Canvas site (more details on Canvas) to be considered for nomination.

Official national deadline: TBD for 2025 (normally late January – for nominees only)

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Goldwater Scholarship must:

  • be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • be sophomores or juniors in an eligible field of study (natural sciences, mathematics, engineering).
  • be intent on pursuing a Ph.D. and a career in research. Students interested in an M.D./Ph.D. may apply but must be intent on a research career. The competition is not appropriate for students intending to go to medical school or to stop their education at the master’s level.
  • have significant lab research experience and a strong academic record.

How do you work with the NFP?

JHU nomination is required through a campus selection process (JHU may nominate up to four candidates). Goldwater applicants work closely with NFP, meeting the various deadlines below, for the duration of the application process.

The timeline gives an overview of the application process and when to reach out to us. In preparation, see “have a closer look” below for more resources about the Goldwater.

late October-early NovemberAttend an info session
mid-NovemberSubmit pre-application form; have an individual advising meeting with NFP adviser
November – DecemberWork on research essay and other application materials
early JanuaryMeet campus JHU deadline
mid-JanuaryRevise applications (for nominees)
late JanuaryMeet official Goldwater deadline

Are you competitive?

About 400-450 scholarships are awarded each year. Applicants first submit their materials to a campus committee for review. JHU chooses four students as nominees to the national Goldwater Scholarship competition. The campus committee and NFP staff offer the four nominees advice on how to improve their materials for final submission and nominees submit the final version of their applications shortly before the official deadline, the last Friday in January.

Selection decisions (both on-campus and at the national level) are based on the following criteria:

  • Academic record: A high GPA, evidence of intellectual intensity as shown by early participation in graduate courses, and accomplishments outside the classroom make a strong record. Selection committees also look for the applicant’s potential to make significant future contributions in his/her chosen field.
  • Research essay: The essay, written as if it were an article to be published in a scientific periodical and read by a professional audience, is not a research proposal. Typically, a strong, focused essay refers to past and future work. It describes a past research experience and your contribution to/involvement in that project, and then uses the experience either: 1) to describe research you might do to finish the project, for unfinished research projects; or 2) to use the experience, and the respective skills developed, to propose an entirely new project that builds on the previously developed research skills.
  • Commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering: Internships, research, and related employment strengthen a student’s application. Students should also have shown involvement in math/science/engineering student or professional organizations.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Evaluations should be from STEM-field faculty members who can discuss your potential for a career in math, science, or engineering based on supervising your research and/or your academic performance. At least one of these must be in your immediate field of study, and at least one letter must be from someone who has supervised your lab research.

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article about 2024 Goldwater Scholars Kyra Bowden and Grace Luettgen

HUB article about 2023 Goldwater Scholars Sheila Iyer, Sumasri Kotha, Erick Rocher, and Nathan Wang

HUB article about 2022 Goldwater Scholars Christopher Anchan, Sarah Syed, and Sai Chandan Reddy

HUB article about 2021 Goldwater Scholars Bruce Enzmann, Min Jae Kim, Shiker Nair, and Aaditya Rau

HUB article about 2020 Goldwater Scholars Annie Liang, Mickey Sloat, and Turner Woody

HUB article about 2019 Goldwater Scholars Vinay Ayyappan, Julia Costacurta, and Kathy Le

HUB article about 2018 Goldwater Scholars Alaleh Azhir, Aditya Mohan, and Wenzer Qin

HUB article about 2017 Goldwater Scholars Alfred Chin, Duy Phan, and Fernando Vicente