Boren Fellowship

Information Sessions: NISO Week Sept 18-21, 2023

Campus Deadline: January 2, 2024

Fields of Study: Open

Funding for: Study abroad to countries with languages critical to U.S. national security

Begin Application: any time during graduate studies, senior undergraduate year (if going abroad first semester of graduate studies)

Program Website: 


The Boren Fellowship provides up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students from any field to study/conduct research abroad for 12 weeks to 12 months. Boren Fellowships focus on geographic areas, languages deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants identify how their study/research abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security. National security is broadly defined to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting American well-being, but also areas such as sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

Recipients of the fellowship agree to work in the federal government and serve national security interests for a time equal to the duration of assistance provided under the program, but in no case less than one year.

The Boren Awards program also includes the Boren Scholarship for undergraduate students, also supported by NISO.


Eligibility Requirements

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of application
  • Either matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program at a U.S. college or university located within the United States and accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Boren Fellows must remain matriculated in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship and may not graduate until the fellowship is complete.
  • Planning an overseas program in an eligible country (full list of eligible countries available here) including study of a language deemed critical to U.S. national security (full list of eligibile languages available here).

Candidate Profile

  • Commitment to national security (broadly defined) and a desire to work in government service in an area pertaining to national security after graduation
  • Academic background and preparation commensurate with future career goals (e.g., independent projects or other study abroad experience, language learning, internships, volunteer experience, etc.)
  • Clear connections among one's chosen study abroad program, desire to pursue language learning, and future goals in relation to national security
  • Cultural knowledge and adaptability, flexibility, and maturity

Application Components

  • Online application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Two essays (800 and 1000 words)as detailed here
  • Certified transcript(s)
  • Research Abstract (300 words) and Research Methodology description (300 words)
  • Language self-assessment form
  • Language proficiency form (optional)

Application Procedure

All applicants MUST be reviewed and certified by their college or university. As such, Purdue applicants are reviewed by an internal committee. We encourage interested students to attend the information session in September as that is the kick-off to the application process.

Detailed campus application information is provided directly to applicants once they declare their intention to apply.