Boren Fellowship

National Security Education Program

Grant amount: Up to US $30,000

Deadline: Jan 30, 2019 2:00pm PST

Applicant type: Graduate Student

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Europe Expand 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 Fellowship Basics

Boren Fellowships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

Boren Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Award Amounts

Boren Fellowships provide up to $24,000 for overseas study.

In addition, Boren Fellowships can provide limited funding for domestic language study that will supplement the overseas component. The maximum award for a combined overseas and domestic program is $30,000. Please review the budget guidelines for more information.

Length of Study

Boren Fellowships are made for a minimum of 12 weeks overseas and a maximum of one year overseas. Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1, 2018 and no later than March 1, 2019. 

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.

National Security

The 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.

Government Service

In exchange for fellowship funding, all Boren Fellows must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.

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


  • Boren Fellowships are for graduate students.
  • All applicants must be:
    • A U.S. citizen at the time of application
    • Planning an overseas program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
      • Boren Fellowships are not for study in the United States.
  • Boren Fellowship applicants must be:
    • Either matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program at a U.S. college or university located within the United States and accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • Boren Fellows must remain matriculated in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship and may not graduate until the fellowship is complete.
  • All Boren Fellows must study a foreign language appropriate to the country in which they are studying abroad. 


  • The program will give preference to applicants studying one of the following emphasized languages.
  • Preference is also given to students who will study abroad for longer periods of time, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government.
    • As we cannot list all countries, languages, and fields that are critical to U.S. national security, we are interested in applications that fall outside the preferences, if the candidate can make a compelling case that such study can contribute significantly to U.S. national security and the goals of the program.


  • The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.
  • Boren Fellowships are not for study in the United States.
  • The cost of obtaining a passport and visa is not covered by the Boren Fellowship.
  • The cost of medications, vaccinations, expenses for dependents, and personal travel expenses are also not covered by the Fellowship.
  • Domestic funding for tutors, commercial services, and/or self-study guides will not be provided.
  • The Boren Fellowship does not cover travel or relocation expenses associated with domestic funding.
  • The Boren Fellowship will not fund other academic coursework, internships, or research conducted in the U.S.