Physical and Life Sciences Scholarships and Grants

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." ~ Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White, 1977.

The environment has become a top priority in every single aspect of life, politics, education and the future. Nothing is developed or undertaken any more without consideration to environmental sustainability. For students wishing to embark on a career in physical and life sciences this is positive because in the past students would have struggled to find funding for such ‘interesting but purely academic pursuits.’ That is certainly not true today.

Couple this phenomenon with the resurging interest in space exploration and life sciences and you have some pretty big support for education and research in the areas of physical and life sciences.

Some of the interesting, lucrative and/or versatile scholarships around today are listed.

Goldwater Science

Approximately 300 scholarships with a maximum value of $7,500 are awarded annually to undergraduate students in math and science. The one and two year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Homeland Security DHS

This one has a lot of information to digest but it is worth it, 52 scholarships with a stipend of $27,600 are awarded annually. That is big scholarship money so read on…

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) realizes that the country’s strong science and technology community provides a critical advantage in the development and implementation of counter-terrorist measures and other DHS objectives.” The DHS Scholarship and Fellowship Program is intended for students interested in pursuing the basic science and technology innovations that can be applied to the DHS mission. This education program is intended to ensure a highly talented science and technology community to achieve the DHS mission and objectives. Eligible students must be studying in a homeland security related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (HS-STEM) field with an interest, major, or concentration directly related to one of the homeland security research areas listed below:

  • Advanced Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Biological Threats and Countermeasures
  • Border Security
  • Chemical Threats and Countermeasures
  • Communications and Interoperability
  • Community, Commerce and Infrastructure Resilience
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response
  • Food and Agriculture Security
  • Human Factors
  • Immigration Studies
  • Infrastructure Protection
  • Maritime and Port Security
  • Natural Disasters and Related Geophysical Studies
  • Risk, Economics, and Decision Sciences
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Transportation Security

Tribal Lands Environmental Science or for more info. (303) 939-0023

This program enables Native Americans to work for the environmental protection of tribal lands by assisting them in their pursuit of environmental science degrees. Full-time junior, senior, and graduate students majoring in an environmental discipline are eligible to compete for the scholarships. Students compete based on their grade-point average, knowledge of Indian culture, commitment to environmental protection, character and leadership ability, level of study, and work experience.

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate

Awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the Ernest F. Hollings (Hollings) scholarship program is designed to increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities;

The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance up to a maximum of $8,000 per year for full-time study. As well students are offered a full-time internship position ($650/week) during the summer at a NOAA facility. If successful, the award recipient may be granted a second year scholarship with the same benefits again.

NASA Aeronautics

Approximately 25 scholarships with a value up to $35,000 are awarded annually. Each year approximately 5 graduate students and 20 undergraduate students are selected as awardees for the NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program. The scholarships awards up to $35,000 for graduates and up to $15,000 for undergraduates to be used for tuition, room and board, and other expenses related to the awardees’ education.

Each awardee is also given the opportunity to enrol in a summer internship program, lasting eight to ten weeks. The internships provide a stipend up to $10,000. Eligible applicants must have their baccalaureate degree and be enrolled in a graduate program by the time the award is to be received. Applicants must also be studying aeronautical engineering or a related science or engineering field of study.

Hertz Fellowship

15 fellowships with a value of $31,000 are awarded per academic year. This award offers an annual stipend of $31,000 (up to 5 years) or $36,000 (up to 2 years). The fellowship is awarded to approximately 15 individuals per academic year, to students in the physical, biological, and engineering sciences.

National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC) Fellowship

The number of recipients varies from year to year; awards with a value of $21,000 are awarded annually. $21,000 if given per year, on average, for two to three years, though it can be extended up to six years; $16,000 for student stipend, $5,000 to support NPSC operations. The eligible fields of study include astronomy, chemistry, computer science, geology, materials science, mathematical sciences, physics, and related engineering fields.

As you can see from this very small sample of what is available in physical and life sciences, the options and range available is impressive and so are the awards. As with all other scholarships the criteria is varied but the process is similar. Good rules of thumb are to prepare early, research a lot and prepare paperwork and references before you begin the process.

That means looking at all of the different scholarship offers that may apply to your situation or abilities. Getting the criteria and application guidelines for each and compiling these in some sort of priority order. Financially these are the biggest scholarship awards available in any field of study so the effort is really worth it.