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Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

The Office of Undergraduate Research is now accepting nominations from faculty members for students to be considered for a prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award. Nominated students could be eligible to win a $10,000 scholarship!

Foundation History

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was created from the Mercury Seven Foundation that was formed in 1984 by the original class of American astronauts. Just as they were pioneers in space, the founders wished to encourage and nurture potential pioneers in all aspects of science and technology. The Mercury Seven have been joined in this endeavor by the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Shuttle astronauts to make the foundation a true legacy of America’s space pioneers.

Scholarship Application Process

Students cannot apply directly for an Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award. Students must be nominated by a faculty member who knows the student well enough to identify a special drive or talent that foreshadows a creative career leading to advancement of scientific knowledge and technology. Accordingly, nominees must have proven themselves by both their academic and research achievements as full time undergraduate students at the nominating institution. Actual research accomplishments should be highlighted in student applications.

Read more about the Astronaut Scholarship Program.

Nominee Requirements/Eligibility:

  • Must be nominated for consideration by a professor or faculty member who knows the student well enough to identify a special drive or talent that foreshadows a creative career leading to the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology
  • Must be a STEM major going into junior or senior year (See approved STEM Designated Degrees) Note: Special consideration is NOT given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen (verified by birth certificate, US passport, or naturalization papers)
  • Must have completed two years of full-time study at an ASF affiliated university or institution and demonstrated exemplary academic performance, as noted in transcripts (Note: Students may be nominated during their second year of full-time study, for a scholarship that will begin in the third year.)
  • Should be a full-time student during both semesters of the ASF supported academic year to receive the full scholarship, which is up to $10,000
  • Must have conducted a considerable amount of work outside the classroom in their chosen field of study. This may include laboratory research, cooperative education, internships, relevant military experience, entrepreneurial endeavors, and/or documented independent work resulting in technical papers, patents, or similar work product.

Submission Requirements:

  • The nominating faculty member should complete the scholarship nomination form with assistance from the nominee and submit to the Office of Undergraduate Research by March 1, 2019
  • Two nomination letters from faculty members or research professors (one from the nominating professor at the student’s institution), submitted directly to undergradresearch@rochester.edu by March 8, 2019. Letters should include details on research achievements and endeavors.
  • The student must submit a statement of personal interests, activities, hobbies and goals, not to exceed one page of 12-point type. The narrative letter should give examples of the involvement and commitment of the student to their studies beyond the formal classroom setting as shown on the transcript. Creativity is an important attribute, and should be documented.
  • A current official transcript
  • A personal resume or C.V.
Application Process

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation only accepts nominations for the Astronaut Scholarship from its affiliated and participating universities. If a student is interested in being nominated, they should contact a member of their university’s faculty regarding consideration. Students may also contact the university liaison for more details regarding the internal process.

Timeline:

The UR internal deadline for nominations and application components is March 1, 2019.  Letters of recommendation in support of nominated students will be accepted until March 8, 2019. Nominations will be screened by UR scholarship committee. Two nominations will be submitted to the Foundation by March 25, 2019. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation retains the right to reject any and all nominees at its sole discretion. ASF’s Scholarship Committee will make the final selection to be approved by ASF’s Board of Directors. Questions may be directed to the Astronaut Scholarship liaison at the applying school.

Award:

If a student is awarded the Astronaut Scholarship the recipient will receive:

  • A scholarship up to $10,000 (full amount awarded unless scholar is “over-awarded” based on federal guidelines),
  • A paid trip to ASF’s Innovators Weekend in the Fall,
  • Life-long engagement with the astronauts, Astronaut Scholar alumni, and the Foundation.

Note: The ASF Scholarship Selection Committee reserves the right to not award a scholarship at every university if it is deemed that the submitted candidates have not met the criteria or standard.