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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!

The UR internal deadline for nominations and application components is Friday, February 23, 2018.  Letters of recommendation in support of nominated students will be accepted until Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

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 on the ASF Scholarship Program Details page.

Nominee Requirements/Eligibility:

  • Be a U.S. citizen (birth certificate, U.S. passport or naturalization papers required).
  • Be a junior or senior at the time the scholarship begins (i.e., be a sophomore or junior at time of application).
  • Have completed two years of full-time study at the ASF-supported/nominating school.
  • Major in Natural or Applied Science, Engineering, Technology or Mathematics (biomedical research students are eligible, however, pre-med are not).
  • Maintain full-time student status during both terms of the ASF-supported academic year.
  • Have conducted a considerable amount of research in their specific field.

Submission Requirements:

  1. The nominating faculty member should complete the scholarship nomination form with assistance from the nominee.  The filled PDF should be emailed to no later than February 23, 2018.
  2. Two nomination letters from faculty members or research professors (one from the nominating professor at the student’s institution) must be submitted to emailed to no later than February 28, 2018.  Letters should include details on research achievements/endeavors.
  3. The student must submit the following supplemental application materials, all to be emailed to no later than February 23, 2018:
  • A short 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

Nominations will be screened by U of R’s regularly sitting scholarship committee. Two nominations will be submitted to the Foundation by March 2, 2018. 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.


  • February 23 - nomination and student application components due to the Office of Undergraduate Research (
  • February 28 - supplemental letters of recommendation due to the Office of Undergraduate Research
  • March 2 – Rochester submits institutional nomination to ASF
  • End of March – ASF scholarship committee meets to make its selections
  • April 20 – Annual ASF Board Meeting where the Scholarship Committee’s recommended award recipients are reviewed and approved
  • May – Students and schools are notified of selection
  • Late August – First half of scholarship check disbursed to schools
  • November – Request for student progress report
  • Mid-December – Second half of scholarship check disbursed to schools

Before initiating the application process, please make sure that you have all the following documents ready to be uploaded:

  • Nominee Statement
  • Nominee Resume
  • Nominee’s Most Recent Official Transcript
  • Nominee’s Financial Summary
  • Copy of Nominee’s Proof of Citizenship (Birth Certificate, US Passport or Naturalization Papers)
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (One from nominating professor)

2018 Astronaut Scholar Nomination Form - Please email filled PDF and all supplemental materials to by February 23, 2018.