What is the Goldwater Scholarship?

Internal Deadline:

January 10, 2024 at 12:00 PM 

Contact the Office of Fellowships for support at least one month before this deadline.

The Foundation is supported by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Fund, which has been established in the Treasury of the United States. Funding for awards and administrative expenses derives from interest on the Trust Fund, invested in U.S. securities. Strong candidates will have:

  • have had the opportunity to participate in research, have independently investigated theory, or an issue related to their field of interest
  • typically have been awarded internships in research facilities or worked as lab assistants
  • have been involved in mathematics/science/engineering related student organizations or employment; have participated early in graduate courses; or have other related accomplishments outside the classroom
  • typically be planning to pursue doctoral degrees; those interested in medicine are only eligible if planning to do research; students planning a career in teaching science/math are not strong candidates.

COVID-19 Note: The Goldwater Foundation has made these provisions for changes to students' GPAs and research opportunities due to COVID-19.

Award Details

A woman writing on paper in front of a computer

How do I apply and what do I need?

Please visit the Goldwater application page for more information on how to apply for this fellowship, including information on application components, documents you’ll need to upload and documents that you’ll need to request from your recommenders.

Information for Recommenders

The mission of the Goldwater Foundation and its scholarship program is to help develop the nation’s next generation of researchers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Your letter should discuss the candidate's overall potential and, in particular, his potential to become a successful research scientist, mathematician or engineer. It is important, of course, for you to describe the context in which you know the student and for how long you have known the student. Do you see in this student the motivation, creative thought, stamina and the ability to collaborate that are characteristics of those successfully practicing in these areas? Particularly helpful to the reviewers are your comparisons of the nominee to other students you have known and worked with who have successfully pursued doctoral degrees and/or have previously won Goldwater Scholarships or other nationally competitive awards. If there are any special circumstances or challenges the student has had to face that have negatively affected the student’s performance or that the student has faced and has successfully addressed and performed well in spite of these challenges, please discuss these in your letter. See IMPORTANT ADVICE for RECOMMENDERS from the GOLDWATER FOUNDATION.

Format and submission: Goldwater letters are REQUIRED (by the Foundation) to be no more than TWO pages, have one-inch margins on all sides, be single spaced, use 12 pt font (typeface is unspecified), and be printed on letterhead. Please save your signed letter as a PDF file and send it via email attachment to Christine Overstreet (coverstreet@amherst.edu) by January 10, 2024. Our office will upload your letter to the Goldwater portal.

Have questions? Please contact us.

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall


Physical address: 100 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002

Mailing Address: AC #2214, PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002