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U-M STEM Research Career Award

Overview and Introduction

The purpose of the U-M STEM Research Career Award is to support highly qualified sophomores and juniors who plan to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD and research career in a STEM field.  The scholarship provides up to $10,000.

The scholarship does not require US citizenship; it is open to students from all nationalities and backgrounds.  The U-M STEM Research Career Award application and letters of recommendation will also be used to select U-M’s nominees for the Goldwater and Astronaut Scholarships from among eligible applicants. Once selected, nominees will be notified and asked to complete the additional application process. 

Funding for this scholarship is partially provided by the Mitya.

Gifts to the STEM Research Career Fund sustain this important part of our advising for STEM research opportunities.


  • Academics: Most successful applicants have at least a 3.8 GPA and at least one year of sustained involvement in one or more research projects. 
  • Citizenship: There is no citizenship requirement for this award.  Students from all nationalities and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  • Degree-Level: Sophomore or junior standing with full-time enrollment. 

Application Deadlines

  • Campus Deadline: Second Friday in January by 12:00pm.
  • Endorsement: This scholarship requires U-M endorsement. Applications are submitted directly to ONSF. Refer to Canvas site for more details. 
  • Selection Notification: mid-January.
  • Please Note: Nominees to the Goldwater or Astronaut Scholarships will need to complete additional application components. 


U-M STEM RCA Selection Criteria:

  • Academic Achievement: Academic excellence is demonstrated through overall GPA, particularly GPA in STEM major(s), and grades in upper-level STEM courses as well as awards and scholarships that mark the applicant as superlative within the peer group. 
  • Progress Towards Research Goals: The applicant has well formulated and realistic career goals; preparation is demonstrated by the number and quality of research activities, sustained commitment and original contributions to at least one research project, and/or research courses specifically related to the applicant's goals. 
  • Quality of Research Essay: The essay demonstrates mastery of technical content, significant contributions to the research design and/or analysis of data, understanding of the future directions for the research. The essay has an appropriate bibliography and organization/grammar. 
  • Broader Impacts: The applicant has demonstrated commitment to diversity in STEM through outreach, tutoring, mentoring, or science communication activities. 

Prospective Applicants 

Prospective applicants are encouraged to join the U-M Nominated Scholarships Canvas site for an overview of the application, program requirements, additional advising information, and more. 

Application Summary

STEM RCA applicants should refer to the ONSF Canvas site for detailed instructions.