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Goldwater Scholarship

Overview and Introduction

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor the former Arizona Senator.

The purpose of the Foundation is to provide support for highly qualified STEM students who plan to pursue a PhD and research career in these fields.  The scholarship provides $7500 in support for the junior and/or senior year of undergraduate study.

Goldwater Scholars usually go on to top PhD programs that are highly competitive for graduate funding such as NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.  The scholarship is for students planning research careers.  

Students planning to pursue an MD only and conduct clinical research are not eligible, but those planning to pursue an MD-PhD and career in biomedical science research are eligible.


  • 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: U.S. Citizenship
  • Degree-Level: Sophomore or junior standing with full-time enrollment. 

Application Deadlines

  • Campus Deadline: The first Monday in December. 
  • Endorsement:  The Goldwater Scholarship does not accept direct applications. 
    Students must be nominated by the U-M STEM Scholarship Committee. See STEM RCA page for application details. 


Goldwater Scholarship Selection Criteria:

  •  Scholarship nominees must intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering. 
  • The characteristics the Goldwater Foundation seeks in a Goldwater Scholar include:
    • strong commitment to a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering,
    • effective display of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, and 
    • potential for a significant future contribution to research in their chosen field. 

Prospective Applicants 

Prospective applicants should complete the U-M STEM Research Career Award application process. All interested students 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

U-M STEM Research Career Award: All students who apply for U-M nomination to the U-M STEM Reseach Career Award will also be considered for nomination for the Goldwater Scholarship.  Students interested in the Goldwater Scholarship should follow the directions for the U-M STEM Research Career Award.  No additional application is required. 

U-M nominees for the Goldwater Scholarship will be announced in early January. The nominees will work with Henry Dyson to complete the final nomination package before the national application deadline.