Undergraduate Fellowships and Awards

This page has information about university and external awards of interest to department undergraduate students, listed in order of deadlines. There is a list at the end of previous winners. We will endeavor to keep this page up to date, but updates are welcome and can be sent to the department webmaster.

Other award listings of possible interest are maintained by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), by the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), and by the University of Maryland (both UMD scholarships and national scholarships). You may also be interested in our webpage for research and internship opportunities.

Rolling or Unknown Deadlines

  • LSAMP Program
    The LSAMP program aims to support underrepresented minority groups in the STEM field and provides multiple opportunities which offer bridge classes, advising, workshops, undergraduate research, student stipends up to $32,000 annually, and much more for during the semester and the summer. Applications are accepted until resources are exhausted.
  • January

    • Ronald E. McNair - Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program
      For students finishing their undergrad degrees and planning on grad school, who are traditionally under-represented students and who attend UMCP, Frostburg, or Saint Mary's College. The program includes a paid summer research internship, tutoring, mentoring, test preparation, workshops etc. Priority deadline is in early Jan. (e.g 1/8/18), Regular deadline early-mid Feb. (e.g 1/12/18).
    • APS/AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows Program
      For college seniors, grad students, and 1st-yr postdocs (any citizenship). 10 week summer session working as a reporter, researcher, and/or production assistant in mass media organizations nationwide. Stipend c. $4.5k + travel. Deadline mid-Jan. (e.g. 1/15/18).
    • Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Programs
      For undergrads and grad students (U.S. citizens). 8-12 week summer internships at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sample topics include solar flares, instrumentation, and tracking/identification of satellites. Stipend $450-650/wk. Deadline mid Jan.(e.g. 1/16/18).
    • DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF)
      For college seniors and 1st year grad students; U.S. citizen or perm. resident; science/engineering research using high-performance computation. Includes 12-week practicum at a DOE lab. Four years, $36k annual stipend plus tuition and an annual allowance for research expenses. Deadline mid Jan. (e.g. 1/17/18).
    • Goldwater Scholarship
      Very selective national award for sophomores & juniors in STEM fields who are planning research careers; U.S. citizen or perm. resident. 1-2 years at up to $7500/yr. Due late Jan. (e.g. 1/29/18).


    • Walraven Scholarship for MSc Students in Astronomy & Instrumentation
      For international (non-Dutch) MSc students, students who have a BSc degree (or equivalent) in astronomy or physics and wish to obtain their MSc in Astronomy, specializing in instrumentation at Leiden University. One year, 11,000EUR ($14,838.34) per year for living costs, possible partial scholarship. Deadline early Feb. to early Mar. (e.g. 2/1/18).
    • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF)
      For college seniors and grad students; preference to U.S. citizens or perm. residents in case of tie. Three years, $35k stipend plus up to $10k toward tuition, fees, insurance, travel, and other expenses (2018). If information is not yet available at the above link (search for 'NESSF'), try the links on the page under 'View Solicitations'. Deadline early Feb. (e.g. 2/1/18).
    • UMD Adele's Circle of Women Scholarship
      For students who advance the role of women and girls in their academic studies, extracurricular activities, and/or hope to do such in their professional lives. For full-time UMD students. One student in each year will receive a $500 award. Deadline early Feb. (e.g. 2/3/17).
    • CMNS Undergraduate Summer Research, Travel, and Educational Enrichment Award
      For CMNS majors who will be returning next fall to defray costs related to conducting research, traveling to field courses or conferences, or other summer activities that enhance or expand the student’s educational and professional development. Several awards granted, up to $2k (2017). Deadline mid-Jan. to early Feb. (e.g. 2/9/18).
    • Maryland Summer Scholars
      University scholarship for ~30 undergrads (rising juniors/seniors) to do summer research. $3k award (2018). Deadline early Feb. (e.g. 2/14/18).
    • Library Award for Undergraduate Research
      University Libraries' $1000 award given for a paper or project completed the previous year with sophisticated use of information resources and library services. Up to 3 awards given, deadline mid-Feb. (e.g. 2/15/18).
    • SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship
      For SPIE members ($20 student membership cost) studying in optics, photonics or a related field. Awards range from $2,500 to $11,000 and typically support tuition, books, research activities, and other education-related expenses. Deadline mid-Feb. (e.g. 2/15/18).
    • UMD Phillip Merrill Presidential Scholars
      Award honoring the University of Maryland’s most successful seniors. No application - nominations are made by the departments/colleges. Contact your undergraduate adviser for more information. Nominations typically made in late Feb.


    • Maryland Senatorial Scholarship
      For undergrads and grad students; Maryland state residents only. Award up to $11,530 per year for up to four years (2017). Deadline early Mar. (e.g. 3/1/17).
    • AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy Raynor L. Duncombe Prize for Student Research
      For undergrads and grad students doing research in the area of dynamical astronomy who wish to attend and present at the annual AAS/DDA meeting. (Formerly called the DDA Student Stipend Award.) $600 award plus waiver of registration fees (2018). Up to 3 awards given, deadline Feb.-Mar. (e.g. 3/15/18).
    • Sigma Xi's Grants-in-Aid of Research Program
      For undergrads and grad students; any citizenship; membership in Sigma Xi helpful. Award up to $5k per year for the purchase of non-standard equipment, travel to a research site, and institutional equipment use fees (2018). Deadline annually mid-Mar. (e.g. 3/15/18) and mid-Oct. (e.g. 10/15/18).
    • NSF S-STEM Program
      Supports talented students with financial need who want to go into the STEM workforce or grad school. S-STEM awards are up to $5,000 per semester and can be renewed every semester for up to 2 years. Applications are due mid-to-late Mar. (e.g 3/18/18).
    • Noyce Scholarship
      For UMD rising juniors and seniors interested in teaching mathematics or science. $14k a year for up to 2 years (2017). Deadline Feb.-Mar. (e.g. 3/15/17).
    • NASA Fellowship Activity
      For grad-school-bound seniors and grad students who are 3+ years away from Ph.D.; U.S. citizen or perm. resident. Work with a NASA Technical Adviser on advertised projects, including 10 weeks on-site each summer. Three years, $30k stipend plus up to $20.5k toward tuition, fees, insurance, travel, and other expenses (2017). If information is not yet available at the above link (search for 'Fellowship Activity'), try the links on the page under 'View Solicitations'. Deadline mid-Mar. (e.g. 3/20/18).
    • Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Award
      $1000 award from UMD's Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research, given to up to 6 UMD undergrads for distinguishment in research. Nominations from faculty due by late Mar./early Apr. (e.g. 3/23/17).
    • Dorfman Prize for Undergraduate Research
      $1000 CMNS award given for research projects. Project does not need to be completed at time of application. Deadline annually late Mar. (e.g. 3/30/18).


    • Maryland Alumni Association Scholarships
      Maryland Alumni Association Scholarships: $2000 (2014) to undergrads w/ 3.0 GPA, preferably who volunteer in their communities or on campus, participate in extracurricular activities and write a compelling essay on building Terrapin spirit among the student body. Deadline early April.
    • SSPI Scholarship Program
      Must be a member to apply, but membership is free for students. This program provides scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 to high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students from locations around the world who are studying in disciplines related to space and satellites. Applications due mid April (e.g 4/14/17).


    • Maryland Space Grant Consortium Scholarship
      Awarded to current (or incoming) full-time STEM majors who are U.S. citizens and are potentially interested in aerospace careers such as with NASA. Awards are typically in the $2k-$5k range and must be used for educational expenses (tuition, books, fees, and room and board). 1 year, renewable annually. Deadline mid-May (e.g. 5/15/17).
    • UMD Veterans Initiative Scholarships
      Support for students who are veterans of US military service. Deadline May (e.g. 5/22/17).




    • USRA Scholarship Awards
      The USRA Scholarship Awards provide college scholarship awards to students who have shown a career interest in science or engineering with an emphasis on space research or space science education. Up to 4 Scholarship Awards are available in amounts of $4k annually. Awards are made to rising junior and seniors. Deadline late July to mid-Aug. (e.g. 8/9/17).
    • Shoemaker Impact Cratering Award
      For undergrads studying impact craters either on Earth or in the solar system working in any country, in the disciplines of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, astronomy, or biology. $2500 Award amount. Open for submission on 5/1/18. Application due date late Aug. (e.g 8/25/18).


    • Fulbright Fellowship
      For college seniors and grad students (U.S. citizens). Conduct research abroad, usually for 1 year. Includes living costs, insurance, transportation, etc. University deadline Sept.-Oct. (e.g. 9/1/16).


    • Sigma Xi's Grants-in-Aid of Research Program
      For undergrads and grad students; any citizenship; membership in Sigma Xi helpful. Award up to $5k per year for the purchase of non-standard equipment, travel to a research site, and institutional equipment use fees (2017). Deadline mid-Mar. (e.g. 3/15/17) and early-mid Oct. (e.g. 10/1/17).
    • AAS FAMOUS Travel Grants
      For AAS members to attend a AAS meeting to present their research. Priority given to historically underrepresented groups, including minorities, non-traditional students, and veterans. Up to $1k for travel, meals, and lodging (but not registration). Deadline early Oct. (e.g. 10/5/16).
    • Dr. Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Fund Travel Grant
      For undergrads and grad students in aerospace-related sciences or engineering fields (incl. astronomy) to attend a meeting at which they will present their research. Any citizenship. $500 awards (2016). Deadline early Apr. (e.g. 4/1/17) and mid-Oct (e.g. 10/15/17).
    • Hertz Graduate Fellowship
      For college seniors and 1st year grad students pursuing a Ph.D. in applied sciences (incl. astrophysics); U.S. citizen or perm. resident. Up to five years, $32k stipend plus tuition plus support for dependent children (2017). Deadline late Oct.(e.g. 10/27/17).
    • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
      For college seniors and 1st/2nd year grad students; U.S. citizen or perm. resident. Three years, $34k stipend plus $12,000 for tuition and fees (2017). Deadline late Oct.-mid Nov. (e.g. 10/28/17).


    • Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
      For college seniors and and 1st-2nd year grad students who are immigrants (U.S. citizen or perm. res.) or the children of immigrants. 1-2 years, $25k stipend plus 1/2 tuition & fees (2017). Deadline early Nov. (e.g. 11/1/17).
    • NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF)
      For college seniors and 1st-3rd year grad students; U.S. citizen or perm. resident. Work at a NASA Center, with a focus on space technology. Four years, total annual award up to $46k plus funds for tuition and insurance (2017). Deadline early Nov. (e.g. 11/3/17).
    • GEM Fellowship Program
      For minority students who are college seniors planning to enroll in grad school or 1st/2nd year grad students; U.S. citizen or perm. resident. $4,000 living stipend per full-time semester up to 4 semesters plus tuition, fees, and up to two paid summer internships (2017). Deadline mid-Nov. (e.g. 11/13/17).


    • DoD Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship
      For undergrads and grad students; U.S. citizens only. Up to five years, $25-38k annual stipend plus tuition, fees, books, and insurance (2017). Summer internships and post-graduation work at Department of Defense (DoD) facilities. Deadline early-mid Dec. (e.g. 12/1/17).
    • Brooke Owens Fellowship Program
      For undergrad women seeking a career in space exploration (or aviation); some citizenship restrictions. 10-12 week paid summer internship at an aerospace company or organization. Deadline early-mid Dec. (e.g. 12/5/17).
    • Ford Foundation Fellowship
      For seniors planning to enroll in grad school, grad students, and postdocs who are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level; U.S. citizens only. 1-3 years; $24-25k stipend (2017). Deadline mid-Dec. (e.g. 12/14/17 for predoctoral fellowship and 12/6/17 for dissertation fellowship).
    • DoD National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship
      For college seniors and 1st/2nd year grad students; U.S. citizens only; research in fields of interest to the Department of Defense (DoD). Astronomy students are eligible and have had competitive applications. Up to 4 years annual stipend plus tuition, fees, and insurance (2017). Deadline late-Dec. (e.g. 12/31/17).

Previous Department Winners

The following is a partial list of external and university awards which department undergraduate students have won. Please send additions to the Webmaster.

  • Goldwater Scholarship - Mia Bovill (2003), Harley Katz (2012), Mark Moretto (2016), Christopher Bambic (2017).
  • Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship - Lauren Woolsey (2011).
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship - Phillip Cowperthwaite (2013), Harley Katz (2013), Emily Garhart (2017).
  • AAS Chambliss Award - Kathleen Hamilton, hon. mention (2018), Steffi Yen, hon. mention (2013).
  • MD Space Grant Consortium Scholarship - Lenore Koenig (2014), Patrick Tamburo (2014-15), Kyle Elliott (2015), Molly Grabill (2015-16), Emily Garhart (2016), Anjali Mittu (2016), Catherine Cassell (2017), Jordan Corbett-Frank (2017), Anna Engle (2017), Michael Greklek-McKeon (2017), Andrew Leisner (2017), Alyssa Mills (2017), Chris Rhinehart (2017), Ryan Skoletsky (2017), Logan Wood (2017)
  • USRA Scholarship Award - Emily Garhart (2016).
  • NASA/Goddard Star Award for Science - Austin Kim & Lucas Tax (2016).
  • UMD Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar - Alexandra Lockwood (2006), Ashley King (2009), Bryan Holler (2011), Allison Bostrom (2014).
  • CMNS Dorfman Prize for Undergraduate Research - Ashley King (2008), Phillip Cowperthwaite (2013), Allison Bostrom (2014).
  • CMNS Mary and Tom Snitch Undergraduate Scholarship - Lenore Koenig (2013)
  • CMPS/CMNS Outstanding Undergraduate - Curran Muhlberger (2008).
  • CMPS/CMNS Commencement Speaker - Curran Muhlberger (2008).
  • CPS Shapiro Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award - James Keane (2008), Valerie Klavans (2009), and Steffi Yen (2011).
  • UMD Honors College Research Grant - Shreya Anand (2017), Christopher Bambic (2017).
  • UMD Astronomy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award