National deadline: January 28, 2016, 5:00 p.m. EST (Application will be available late August 2015)

Eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen at the time of application.
  • Enrolled in or applying to a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university in the United States.
  • Evidence of admission and enrollment in such a program at the time of award.

Award summary and conditions:  Boren Fellowships provide support for overseas or domestic study, or a combination of both. The minimum period of support is one academic semester. The maximum level of support for a combined overseas and domestic program is $30,000 over 24 months. Actual support levels will be determined by each individual project budget and the length of the project. No fellowship, whether overseas only, domestic only, or combined, may exceed a total of two academic years.

Boren Fellows must remain enrolled in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship. Funding from other sources may be combined with the fellowship, but Fellows must inform IIE of any additional funding they receive. Budget line items cannot be duplicated.

Boren Fellowships are awarded with preference for countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security. Preference is also given to students who will study abroad for longer periods of time, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government. For a list of the countries, languages and fields of study, please go to:

Applicants design their own programs and may combine domestic language and cultural study with overseas study or research. Study of a foreign language appropriate to the identified country or region must be an integral part of each application proposal. (Note: Boren Fellowship support may not be used for study of French or Spanish unless such language instruction is at an advanced level or at an intermediate level, if combined with the study of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.)

Electronic application materials:  Before starting the online application, remember to read the application instructions in the "How to Apply" section of the website:

  • Three mandatory essays
  • A detailed budget section
  • Three online reference forms
  • Transcripts – The applicant must upload transcripts for all colleges and universities where a degree was obtained or pursued. For more information on uploading transcripts click here. (See note below regarding transcripts.)
  • Optional online language proficiency form
  • Letter of overseas affiliation - If possible, applicants should provide a letter from an academic institution, research institute, non-governmental organization, and/or an individual who is aware that the applicant is planning study and/or research in that country and is willing to assist the applicant in coordinating his or her plans. Applicants should remember that the letter of affiliation is not required at the time of application, and the lack of this letter should not stop one from applying.

---If you are recommended for a Boren Fellowship, IIE will require original, sealed, and official transcripts at that time. Additional information will be provided to recommended candidates.

Faculty Representative: Keith Raether

Selection process:  Fellowship award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit with consideration for:
1. Boren Awards preferences:

  • Commitment to government service
  • Preferred countries
  • Preferred languages
  • Preferred fields of study
  • Study abroad for a full academic year

2. Clear explanation of the relevance of the applicant’s country, language, and proposed program of study to U.S. national security, broadly defined;
3. Demonstrated academic excellence;
4. Clear plan to develop and/or advance foreign language competency while overseas and upon return home;
5. Comprehensive, clear, and feasible study proposal;
6. Evidence of cultural adaptability, flexibility, and maturity required to succeed abroad.

  • Selection panels will also seek wide geographic and diverse institutional representation among candidates, as well as ethnic and gender diversity and distribution among academic disciplines related to national security interests.

These qualities will be evaluated by IIE-organized regional review panels and the national nominating panel. The regional panels will make initial recommendations, and the national nominating panel will designate scholarship finalists to the National Security Education Program Office.

Announcement date: All applicants are notified of their status by email. 

Contact information: