Boren Fellowship

National Security Education Program

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Grant amount: Up to US $24,000

Deadline: Jan 29, 2020 2:00pm PST

Applicant type: Graduate Student

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Europe Show all

Location of residency: United States

Location of citizenship: United States

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Note: The Boren Fellowship national application deadline is indicated by the 'full proposal' deadline above. Contact your Boren campus representative for your on-campus deadline.


Boren Scholars and Fellows study a wide range of critical languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Swahili. Boren Awards are available to students of all proficiency levels who are committed to enhancing their skills.


Boren Scholars and Fellows from diverse fields of study immerse themselves in the cultures in world regions underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.


Boren Awards alumni are committed to public service, working in positions critical to U.S. national security throughout the Federal Government, including the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, and USAID.


Fund research and language study proposals by U.S. graduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Maximum awards are determined by duration abroad:

  • Up to $24,000 for 37-52 weeks abroad (preferred)
  • Up to $20,000 for 25-36 weeks abroad (preferred)
  • Up to $12,000 for 12-24 weeks
  • + Up to $12,000 for domestic language study (optional)

The Boren Awards fund the intensive study of language and culture abroad by U.S. graduate students. All eligible applicants have the option to either

  • Apply for a Regional Language Initiative
    • Boren Awards Regional Language Initiatives offer undergraduate Boren Scholars and graduate Boren Fellows carefully-selected, credit-bearing language courses during the summer (domestic) and fall (overseas), with the option to continue overseas study into the spring. In 2020, the Regional Language Initiatives include:
      • The African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) for the study of French, Portuguese, Swahili, Akan/Twi, Wolof, or Zulu
      • The Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) for the study of Indonesian
      • The South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) for the study of Hindi or Urdu
      • New in 2020! The Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) for the study of Turkish
  • -OR-
  • Select/Design Their Own Study Program

Boren Fellows have additional guidelines for self-designed research, internship, and study programs. They are also eligible to receive funding for domestic summer language programs immediately prior to their overseas study.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • All applicants must be:
    • U.S. citizens at the time of the national application deadline
    • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
    • Planning an overseas program in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
    • Planning to study in a country of which they are not a citizen
    • Matriculated for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program in a graduate degree program located within the United States and accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
    • (For ROTC cadets and midshipmen and members of the military Reserves or National Guard) In inactive, non-drilling status for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program


  • In addition to these basic eligibility criteria, the Boren Awards give preference to programs based on their duration, focus on intensive study of a preferred language in a preferred country, and the applicant’s field of study.


  • The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (colored grey in the map here) are always ineligible for Boren Awards funding.