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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! See the astronaut scholarship page for more information.

The deadline for nominations is midnight on March 1.

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. In the beginning, the Mercury Seven Foundation depended largely on direct contributions resulting from the activities of the founders. The astronauts remain strongly committed to the foundation and participate actively in building the best possible program dedicated to encouragement of outstanding young Americans to pursue careers in science and engineering, especially in fields with strong research and applied components.

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. Many of the astronauts elected to the Hall of Fame participate in the foundation—all are invited to do so.

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.

Qualified undergraduates who have completed two years of full time study on the designated campus may receive scholarships for their junior and/or senior year. However, since the scholarship application must be submitted during the second semester of the year prior to the start of the scholarship, sophomores nominated to receive the scholarship as juniors must demonstrate truly exceptional accomplishments during their first three semesters to be considered. An awarded scholarship cannot be transferred to another degree program or institution. We require that all nominees be United States citizens.

All candidates must be juniors or seniors at the time their scholarships begin. Although need is given consideration if both nominees are deemed equal, it is not a driving force in the selection process. It is the desire of the foundation to encourage the most creative and innovative candidates who have the drive and ability to move into unknown territory.

Please note that emphasis is placed upon demonstrated potential or ability and a drive to do research and to develop new ideas, inventions, and innovative technology. Astronaut Scholarships are not awarded for pre-medical studies, so clinical medical research is not considered in the research selection criteria. However, biomedical research is definitely included.

Please NOTE:

  • The nominating faculty member is expected to complete the nomination form (with the help of the nominee) and letter of support ONLY.
  • Other required materials (transcript, financial report, etc.) are to be requested and/or completed by the student in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • All materials should be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Research by midnight on March 1.

Application Forms: