NSEP David L. Boren Graduate Fellowship


Description: NSEP Boren Fellowships support students pursuing the study of languages, cultures, and world regions that are critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). Study of the countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is excluded. NSEP Boren Fellowships are intended to provide or add to the international component of U.S. graduate students' educations. NSEP Boren Fellowships provides support for overseas study, domestic study, or a combination of both. Although study outside the United States is not required, successful applications generally include a significant overseas component.
NSEP Boren Fellowship awards are made for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of two academic years. Fellowships provide support for overseas or domestic study, or a combination of both. NSEP funding can begin no earlier than summer 2008 and must begin no later than spring 2009.
Dollar Value: NSEP Boren Fellowships are merit based. The maximum level of support for a combined overseas and domestic program is $30,000. A maximum of $ 12,000 per semester for up to two semesters ($24,000 total) is available for overseas study. A maximum of $12,000 is available fora program of domestic only study. Support for domestic study is limited to language or area studies that enhance a degree program. Funding from other sources may be combined with the fellowship, but Fellows must inform IIE/NSEP of any additional funding they receive for their program. Funding benefits cannot be duplicated.
Number of Scholarships: Varies
Eligibility: U.S. graduate students are eligible to apply for an NSEP Boren Fellowship if they are:
  • A U.S. citizen at the time of application.
  • Either enrolled in or applying to a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university located within the United States. To receive the award students must provide evidence of admission and enrollment in such a program. Boren Fellows must remain enrolled in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship.
  • Including a plan for language study in a modem language other than English in the application.
Application Procedures: All applications must be submitted online through the NSEP website. Applicants design their own programs and may combine domestic language and cultural study with overseas study. Study of a foreign language appropriate to the identified country or region must be an integral part of each application proposal.
Deadline: January 31, 2013
National Security Education Program
David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships, Institute of International Education
1400 K Street, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-2403
Telephone: 1-800-618-NSEP Fax: 202-326-7672
Frequently Asked Questions
Must a candidate be an enrolled graduate student to receive an NSEP Boren Graduate Fellowship?
Yes. Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education located within the United States and be in the process of pursuing a graduate degree at the time the award is made. Boren Fellows must remain enrolled in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship. Universities will usually allow students to maintain enrollment while they are abroad pursuing curricula outside the standard requirements. The option of registering for independent study or directed reading credits during the semester(s) of absence from the home institution is available. Please consult with the campus representative or academic advisor for more detailed information on the specific requirements of your university
Can a candidate apply for an NSEP Boren Fellowship, if they have applied to graduate school but have not yet been accepted?
Yes. If not currently enrolled but are applying to graduate school, an applicant may apply for an NSEP Boren Fellowship. Candidates are eligible for the program if they are a graduating senior and applying to graduate school. The application must indicate the graduate school programs to which they have applied. If selected for a fellowship, the award will be contingent upon acceptance into a graduate program, and Fellows will be required to provide FIE/NSEP with proof of the intent to enroll in that program. Complete proof of actual enrollment must be provided before any NSEP funds are disbursed. Examples of evidence of intent to enroll include copies of the acceptance response to the graduate program or evidence of the enrollment deposit. Proof of actual enrollment may be established by providing an updated transcript from the university or official correspondence from the registrar's office, the academic department, or the graduate school in which they are enrolled.
If the proposed country, language, and/or field of study is not on the preferred list, should the candidate still apply?
Yes. NSEP is interested in encouraging applications for study in non-preferred countries, languages, and fields of study when the applicant can make a compelling argument that increased understanding and appreciation of that particular country, language, and/or field of study through international study represents an important contribution to U.S. national security and the goals of NSEP.
What level of language proficiency is required?
NSEP is committed to both new language acquisition and improvement of language competence for advanced language students. Thus, there are no minimum levels of language proficiency required for NSEP Boren Fellowships, except in the study of French or Spanish. Fellowship funds cannot be used for the study of French or Spanish unless such language instruction is at an advanced level or is combined with the study applied science or engineering. IIE/NSEP will verify the self-assessed competency level of these grant recipients through a commonly used testing instrument.
What is the NSEP service requirement?
The NSEP service requirement stipulates that an award recipient work in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or the Intelligence Community. If, after making a full and good faith effort (according to conditions and rules established by NSEP), an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, he or she may work in any U.S. federal department or agency. There is also an expectation that NSEP Scholars and Fellows will use the language or regional expertise acquired as a result of the award in their work for the U.S. government.