Boren Scholarships Selection Process

Award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit. Review panels will consider the following questions.

  1. In exchange for scholarship and fellowship funding, Boren Awards recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate a longer term commitment to government service. Does the applicant describe how he or she might fulfill the service requirement, and does the applicant demonstrate a longer term commitment to the federal government?
  2. Does the applicant meet the following Boren Awards preferences? If not, does the applicant make a compelling case that such study can contribute to U.S. national security and his or her future government career? If the applicant cannot study abroad for at least 6 months, does he or she make a compelling case for shorter study abroad?
    1. Country
    2. Language
    3. Fields of Study
    4. Long term [over 6 months] overseas study
  3. Does the applicant provide a clear and compelling explanation of the relevance of his or her country, language, field of study, and overseas study to U.S. national security, broadly defined?
  4. Does the applicant demonstrate a serious commitment to language study, before, during, and after his or her overseas study? Does the applicant have realistic expectations for the proficiency level that can be obtained abroad, and is the applicant in the right overseas program to support these expectations?
  5. Does the applicant possess the appropriate academic preparation, cultural adaptability, flexibility, and maturity required to succeed abroad? Consider a proven or steadily improving academic record, on or off campus evidence of cultural adaptability and maturity, and other factors that warrant comment.

These qualities will be evaluated by IIE-organized regional review panels and the national nominating panel. The panels consist of faculty members and administrators representing diverse fields of study from colleges and universities from across the United States. The regional panels will make initial recommendations, and the national nominating panel will designate scholarship finalists to the National Security Education Program office.

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.

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