Astronaut Scholarship

Provides $15,000 award to undergraduate researchers in math, science, and engineering

Astronaut Scholars at a glance:


  • U.S. citizens
  • Engineering or natural or applied science or mathematics students with intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees. Students intending to pursue a practice in professional medicine are not eligible for the scholarship; however, those intending to perform biomedical research are eligible
  • Minimum GPA of 3.7
  • Considerable record of undergraduate research in field of interest
  • Second- and third-year students, enrolled full-time and remaining in good standing during the ASF-supported academic year

Selection Criteria:

  • This scholarship is fully merit based; nominees are selected based on their:
    • creativity and ability to venture into unknown territory
    • potential, capacity, and drive to do research, develop new ideas, and pursue inventions and innovative technologies
    • motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in their field of academics and research
    • intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world, from within the classroom and/or in their community
    • leadership in activities on-campus or in the community

Candidates for the Astronaut Scholars Program can affirm the following statements: 

  • I am committed to a research-focused career in science or engineering
  • I can secure two letters of recommendation from a faculty member or research mentor in STEM (one of these letters must come from a University of Chicago faculty member or research PI)
  • I have engaged in undergraduate research and can describe my intellectual and research trajectory, how this impacts my future plans for further study, and how my work exhibits academic excellence, imagination, leadership, and a vision for the future. 
  • I will benefit from and contribute to the community of Astronaut Scholars and program alumni.

Extensive Description

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was created to ensure that the United States would maintain its leadership in science and technology by supporting some of the very best science and engineering college students. Through the garnered support of former astronauts, industry leaders, educational institutions, and patrons, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to the best and brightest university students who excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Candidates for the scholarship must be nominated by their university and must exhibit leadership, imagination and exceptional performance in STEM fields. The accomplishments of the Astronaut Scholar alumni have profoundly impacted our nation through technological innovations in health care, energy, defense, aerospace, homeland security, and so much more.

Deadline Information

University Nomination Deadline: Monday, March 11, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

An applicant for the Astronaut Scholarship must be:

  • a citizen of the United States, either native born or naturalized
  • at least a second-year applying for funding in their third year, or a third applying to receive a scholarship for their fourth year
  • enrolled in one of the participating universities in the Scholarship Program
  • enrolled as a full-time student for the ASF-supported academic year
  • seeking a STEM degree with intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees
  • pursuing a considerable amount of work outside of the classroom in their chosen field of study. This may include laboratory research, cooperative education, internships, relevant military experience, entrepreneurial endeavors, and/or documented independent work resulting in technical papers, patents, or similar work product
For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Jenna Sarchio