Boren Fellowships Essay Guidelines

The essays are the most important part of the application. Essay one has a maximum length of 800 words and essay two has a maximum length of 1,000 words. Essays should be single spaced, except when spaces separate paragraphs.

Essay One

Please discuss the following points in one integrated essay, giving equal attention to each point.

  • Explain the significance of your proposed country, region, and language to U.S. national security. The Boren Awards recognize a broad definition of national security, but you should make a specific, detailed, and focused argument.
  • Describe how the country, language, and overseas program you selected will help you achieve your career goals, including your plans to fulfill the federal service requirement. If appropriate, you may also include relevant past academic, extracurricular, volunteer, internship, and professional experiences. Be specific.

Essay Two 

  • Describe your proposed study plan in detail. Boren Fellowships support language and other classroom study, overseas research, overseas academic internships, or any combination of these elements. Explain all significant features of your plan, including institutional or other affiliations, if known.
  • Describe your specific goals for language study, including the proficiency level you hope to attain and how you plan to develop your language skills to that level. Describe your past experience in studying or speaking the language (or another language if relevant), as well as your plans for continuing to study and/or speak the language following your Boren Fellowships.
  • To demonstrate feasibility, applicants who are not currently enrolled in graduate school should also explain how the Boren Fellowships would fit into the first year of the anticipated graduate program. All Boren Fellows must be matriculated in a U.S. graduate school at the time of funding.

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