Northeastern Deadline: 11/30/2016

Fellowship Deadline: 01/20/2017

Award Details

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based award for outstanding students in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering who are interested in pursuing a career in research. Sophomores and juniors who have excellent academic records (a GPA of at least 3.7) and outstanding letters of recommendation and a demonstrated interest in and potential for careers in these fields are invited to apply. Northeastern can nominate up to 4 students each year.

The core of the Goldwater application is the presentation of a compelling research project, clearly and concisely communicated to fellow scientists in two pages. This requires faculty input and multiple revisions.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Northeastern’s candidates should have a GPA of 3.7 or better.
  • Outstanding letters of recommendation from respected faculty members.
  • A compelling research project, clearly and concisely communicated to fellow scientists in two pages. This usually requires faculty input and multiple revisions–so get started ASAP!
  • Students must be interested in a research career. Students who plan to study medicine are eligible, but these applicants need to demonstrate an interest in medical research rather than careers in private medical practice.
  • U.S. citizens, resident aliens or U.S. nationals.
  • Full-time students who are at least sophomores and not seniors.
  • Applicants must be nominated by their undergraduate institutions using the official forms of the Goldwater Foundation.

Selection Criteria

The awards will be made on the basis of merit to those who have outstanding potential (demonstrated by a history of academic achievement) and intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. To be considered, a student must be nominated by Northeastern University.

Application Procedures

Interested students should contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships for a Goldwater Scholarship Application Booklet and Request for Reference forms.

Applicants for the Goldwater Scholarship must be endorsed by Northeastern. In order to apply for a Goldwater, therefore, please submit the following documents by the end of day on November 30th:

  1. A pre-application form. Register on the Goldwater application, indicating your GPA, area of study, and those faculty members from whom you would like to solicit letters of reference. Once our office has reviewed your pre-application form, you can then begin the application and the solicitation of references.
  2. A complete application form. The application becomes available when you register on the Goldwater web site. DO NOT submit applications through the Goldwater site electronically for the internal deadline.
  3. The main part of the application is an essay describing a scientific issue or problem of interest to the applicant. Your essay may be single or double spaced and use 12 point or larger Arial or Times New Roman font. Margins should be 1 inch on all sides. Page length should not exceed 3 pages. Your essay must include your name and the name of your academic institution at the top of each page. The research essay can focus on research already conducted (the best option) or propose a new area of inquiry. All essays should include:
    • a description of an issue or problem in the field
    • a methodological discussion of an idea for research that would have significant impact on the issue or problem
    • a description of the student’s contribution to the work an aspect of the research in which the student would be involved
    • a discussion of research outcomes, including future research borne of this investigation, as well as the relevance of the issue or problem to the student as a mathematician, scientist, or engineer.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from faculty.  Please do not solicit letters of reference until your pre-application form has been approved by our Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowship. Please be sure to use our Request for Reference form. Two letters should be from tenured or tenure-track faculty members who can discuss your potential for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. At least one of these must be a faculty member in your field of
    study. A third letter should be from another individual/faculty member who can attest your potential as a researcher. If you have been involved in research, one recommendation must be from the individual who supervised your work. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships ( for a Request for Reference form.
  5. An official Northeastern University Transcript and any transcripts from other institutions you have attended.  Northeastern transcripts can be ordered through the Office of Registrar or through the myNEU Web Portal. These materials should be forwarded by mail directly to the Office of Undergraduate Research and
    Fellowships in 411 Richards Hall or by email to

After the internal evaluation, selected candidates finalize their applications. These applications are then forwarded to the national competition.

Award Benefits

Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not transferable to the succeeding academic year. Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support. Scholars may opt to study abroad, but their Goldwater funding will be based on their U.S. institution’s budget. Scholars must consult with the Foundation prior to signing up for an overseas program, as there may be some costs associated with being overseas that are prohibited from being covered by this scholarship.

On Campus Contact Information

If you meet the eligibility criteria above and are interested in applying for the Goldwater, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire on the Contact Us page. You can then email the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at
Phone: 617.373.3202

Applicants in the process of crafting their applications should also avail themselves of the expertise of their faculty mentors.