Goldwater Scholarship

This award requires a campus nomination.

The Goldwater Scholarship was created to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers and to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research. This award can be used at any accredited institution for a maximum of two years.


Sophomores and juniors with at least a 3.0 GPA majoring in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Psychology also counts.

Application Process

The University of Missouri may nominate up to five students for the Goldwater Scholarship each year. For this reason, the Fellowships Office facilitates a campus-level competition for Goldwater Scholarship nominations.

To learn more about the award, watch our Goldwater Scholarship Info Session_default.mp4.

Students should work with a research advisor to complete the Goldwater Scholarship Campus Application if they wish to be considered for a campus nomination in the 2023–24 competition.

The campus application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2023.

The campus application includes the following components:

  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Resume or CV
  • Career Goals Essay
    • What are your career goals and professional aspirations? Indicate which area(s) of mathematics, science, or engineering you are considering pursuing in your research career and specify how your current academic program and your overall educational plans will assist you in achieving your career goals and professional aspirations (3,000-character limit including spaces).
  • Research Essay
    • The Research Essay provides reviewers with particularly important insights into an applicant’s background, experience, skills, and interest in pursuing a research career.
    • The strongest Research Essays are typically based on prior or current research experience. The Research Essay should include 1) description of the issue or problem, 2) discussion of the research methodology, and 3) discussion of the student’s findings. It is very important that the essay details the student’s specific contributions to the project and indicate the specific skills/expertise the student developed as a result of participation in the project. To demonstrate that the applicant “thinks like a scientist,” the essay might, as an example, describe future work the experimental data suggests or describe an entirely new work that is based on the skills and insights the student learned from the experience.
    • A student who has had research experience may, of course, choose to write about something other than work he/she has previously done. In this case, if applicable, the student might discuss how the previous work has influenced the proposed work and/or provided the student with applicable skills.
    • If a student has not been involved in a research project, the student can develop a Research Essay on a “proposed” research project that might, for example, be based on an independent investigation of theory or on a topic of interest in the student’s field. In such cases, a research problem should be put forward. Include an idea for a research protocol that would address the problem, a discussion of methodology, and anticipated results. Linking the project to the skills the student has acquired through coursework or other work would be helpful to the reviewers.
    • The Research Essay should include appropriate bibliographic information and references.
    • Research Essay Formatting Guidelines:
      1. Research Essays should be single spaced and use 12 point Arial font. Margins should be 1 inch on all sides. Page length, including bibliographic information and references, must not exceed 3 pages. The essay must include your name and the name of your academic institution in the header at the top of each page. The Research Essay may be formatted in either one or two columns on a page. As appropriate, utilize graphs, tables, and figures in the essay to explain or clarify results. Figure and caption options may use 10 point Arial font.
      2. If mathematical equations are used in your Research Essay, LaTeX or other document preparation software may be used to properly format the equations.
  • Letter of recommendation from a research advisor. Letter writers should email their letter of recommendation to by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2023, and refer to the Goldwater Scholarship Letter Writing Guidance when drafting the letter.

Award Benefits

$7,500; can be used at any accredited institution for a maximum of two years.