Boren Fellowships for Graduate Students

Deadline & Application

Some important dates to remember for the 2022 Boren Fellowship Competition:

Program Details

In exchange for fellowship funding, all Boren Fellows must agree to the National Security Education Program (NSEP) Service Requirement as detailed in the required essays.

Boren Fellowship awards are made for a minimum of 12 weeks and maximum of one year overseas. Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1 and no later than March 1. See the website for specifics.

Boren Fellowships promote long-term linguistic and cultural immersion. Therefore, preference will be given to applicants proposing overseas programs of 6 months or longer.  However, applicants proposing overseas programs of 3-6 months, especially those in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields are encouraged to apply.

You are eligible to apply for a Boren Fellowship if you 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 you 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.
  • Able to demonstrate how your study program and future goals are connected to Boren’s broad understanding of national security. The Boren program focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. It draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

Eligible Countries

Boren World Map

  • Countries in green are unrestricted. Applicants need only select eligible program(s) based in those countries, unless they are planning to study Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, or Russian. Applicants for those languages, regardless of preferred destination, must select a backup country not marked with an asterisk (*) in case their primary country of study is not approved.
  • Countries in blue or marked with an asterisk (*) are destinations that will likely not be approved for Boren Awards travel in 2023. Applicants to these countries must include a viable alternate program in another, unrestricted country appropriate for immersive study of the same language.

Information Session

October 4th, 2022, 10AM PT

This event is available in-person as well as via Zoom:

  • Bunche Hall, Room 10383
  • Zoom: must RSVP here by October 3rd to receive the link

Recent Awardee(s):

Samantha T. Mensah (2022-23)

Samantha T. Mensah
UCLA Department: Chemistry

Boren Country & Language: Ghana, studying Twi

Regional Flagship Language Initiative: Yes, AFLI

Samantha Theresa Mensah is a 5th year PhD candidate in Materials Chemistry at UCLA. Samantha’s academic passions include introducing others to the excitement of scientific discovery, dismantling obstacles that discourage diversity in STEM fields, and advocating for students struggling with mental illness. Samantha has a long track record of community and policy leadership and served as co-President of UCLA’s Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science, a division-wide coalition advocating for increasing diversity and inclusion efforts in the sciences. Samantha also previously served as Governmental Relations co-chair for the UCLA Science Policy Group. She is the President of BlackInChem, a minority-serving 501(c)(3) organization.

Boren Fellowship Advisor at UCLA

Fellowships & Financial Services
1228 Murphy Hall

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