The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program

Thank you for your interest in applying for campus nomination from the University of Iowa to the 2017-18 Goldwater Scholarship competition.

The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.

In awarding scholarships, selectors consider the nominee's field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field as a researcher.  It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees in their chosen discipline(s).  

CAMPUS NOMINATION REQUIRED: Interested students must complete the campus nomination process and be chosen to represent the University of Iowa as an institutional nominee. The University of Iowa’s Undergraduate Scholar Development Committee may nominate up to four students for the national competition each year. 

What is the campus nomination committee looking for in prospective applicants?

To meet the basic requirements for nomination, a student must:

  • have a GPA of 3.7 or higher;
  • be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior during the academic year in which they apply;
  • be pursuing coursework in math, science, engineering, computer science, or research psychology (not clinical);
  • have substantial undergraduate research experience (typically a minimum of one year is expected) and be a U.S. citizen, a resident alien, or, in the case of nominees from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, a U.S. national.

Please note: Applications from resident aliens must include a letter of the nominee's intent to obtain U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the Alien Registration Card.

The characteristics the Foundation seeks in a Goldwater Scholar include:

  • strong commitment to a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering,
  • effective display of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, and
  • potential for a significant future contribution to research in his/her chosen field.

Campus and national selectors are also looking for evidence of the following criteria in campus applicants:

  • Evidence of extraordinary academic and intellectual achievement – UI Applicants should have at least a 3.7 GPA
  • Substantial experience conducting research at the undergraduate level
  • Demonstrated vision and leadership within their chosen fields of study
  • Clearly articulated plans to pursue graduate work in the STEM fields 
  • Prospective MD/PHDs are only acceptable candidates if the medical degree is pursued in service of the research and when patient care is not the intended focus of the applicant.  

Important Dates  |  2018-19 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Competition

  • Electronic Application Opens: September 2018 - Click here to access the application
  • Pre-application Deadline: By 5:00 PM October 22, 2018
  • UI Campus Nomination Deadline: 12 NOON, October 29, 2018
  • Notification of 2018 UI Nominees: November 15, 2018
  • Submission Deadline for Campus Nominees: January 25, 2019
  • Faculty Recommendation Deadline: January 23, 2019

Establishing an early connection to the scholar development resources, workshop opportunities and tailored fellowship advising we are able to offer prospective applicants serves everyone involved in this challenging, but extraordinarily rewarding process. I look forward to your questions and to your applications.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to schedule a conference with Kelly Thornburg, Honors' Director of Scholar Development, as soon as they are aware of their interest in this and any other fellowship opportunity. 

Key Resources

Instructions for Applying for Campus Nomination: PDF iconApplying for Campus Nomination - 2018 GW.pdf

PDF iconApplying for Campus Nomination - 2018 GW.pdf

For more information about our recent Goldwater awardees and this national fellowship for STEM researchers, go to