Fellowships & Scholarships

The Navy and Marine Corps offer fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty members to conduct basic research on topics of interest to DON. In addition to supporting quality research, these programs also aim to foster long-term relationships between the fellows and naval researchers.

These programs include:

Science, Mathematics and Research (SMART) Scholarship for Service

The SMART Scholarship for Service Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion.

SMART Scholars Benefits

  • Full tuition and education related fees (does not include items such as meal plans, housing, or parking)
  • Stipend paid at a rate of $25,000 – $38,000 depending on degree pursuing (may be prorated depending on award length)
  • Summer research internships
  • Health Insurance allowance up to $1,200 per calendar year
  • Miscellaneous Supplies Allowance of $1,000 per academic year
  • Mentoring
  • Employment placement after graduation


All awardees must be:

  • A citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom at time of application
  • 18 years of age or older as of August 1, 2017
  • Able to participate in summer internships at DoD laboratories
  • Willing to accept post-graduate employment with the DoD
  • A student in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at the time of award
  • Pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the disciplines listed on the About SMART page

Undergraduate applicants must be currently enrolled in a regionally accredited U.S. college or university and have a high school diploma/GED. Current high school students are not eligible to apply.

Graduate applicants can be either currently enrolled in a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or awaiting notification of admission to such.

Students who are currently Freshman or enrolled in a First Year Associate’s Program applicants must report an ACT or SAT Reasoning Test Score. Subject tests are not required. In addition, individuals who apply during their Freshman/First Year must obtain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale during the fall academic term of their Freshman/First Year. Freshman/First Year Associate’s Program applicants will be required to submit an official transcript reflecting their fall academic term grades to establish compliance with this requirement.

Graduate applicants must have taken the GRE and test scores must be reportable by ETS. Subject tests are not required




For deadlines and additional information please visit:


National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship is a highly competitive, portable fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of fifteen supported disciplines. NDSEG confers high honors upon its recipients, and allows them to attend whichever U.S. institution they choose. NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance (this excludes dental and vision insurance).


There are four eligibility requirements: citizenship, discipline, academic status, and the ability to accept the full benefit. You must meet all four requirements in order to be eligible.

Citizenship – The NDSEG Fellowship Program is open only to applicants who are citizens or nationals of the United States. The term “nationals” refers to native residents of a possession of the United States such as American Samoa. It does not refer to a citizen of another country who has applied for U.S. citizenship. Persons who hold permanent resident status are not eligible. Proof of citizenship will be required upon formal offer.
Discipline – Your field of study must fit under one of the supported disciplines:

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biosciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
  • Computer and Computational Sciences
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geosciences
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
  • Oceanography
  • Physics

Academic Status – NDSEG Fellowships are intended for students at or near the beginning of their doctoral studies in science or engineering. Applicants who have received a medical degree or Ph.D. in science or engineering are not eligible for the NDSEG fellowship.

Ability to accept – You must intend to pursue a doctoral degree in order to be eligible for NDSEG Fellowship support.

NDSEG Fellows must be enrolled full-time and must be pursuing graduate study at a U.S. institution; the NDSEG Fellowship does not pay for tuition at any non-U.S. institution.

A fellow may not accept simultaneous remuneration from another major fellowship. Fellows must be eligible to accept both the tuition benefit and the full stipend amount.


The DoD will pay the fellow’s full tuition and required fees (not to include room and board). Stipends are prorated monthly based on a 12-month academic year.




For deadlines and additional information please visit:


National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF)

The National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) program is sponsored by the Basic Research Office, Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD (R&E)). NSSEFF supports basic research that may lead to extraordinary outcomes such as: revolutionizing entire disciplines, creating entirely new fields, or disrupting accepted theories and perspectives. It is the Defense Department’s largest single-investigator program.

NSSEFF provides extensive, long-term financial support to distinguished university faculty and staff scientists and engineers to conduct basic research. As defined by the DoD, basic research is “systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted high payoff research that provides the basis for technological progress.” (http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/Volume_02b.pdf) The DoD’s basic research program invests broadly in many scientific fields to ensure that it has early cognizance of new scientific knowledge.


Tenured professors, staff scientists and engineers from accredited U.S. doctoral degree-granting academic institutions may apply for NSSEFF.

How to Apply

All applicants are required to submit a scientific white paper package. Selected finalists may submit full proposals. Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicant’s achievements will be required for the finalists.

Full proposals will be reviewed by technical experts internal and external to the DoD. Full details of application and submission information for the most recent FOA for the NSSEFF Competition can be found at: http://www.grants.gov. Search for NSSEFF.

If there are any discrepancies between the information on this website and that contained in the FOA, the FOA will be followed. It is recommended that you check for amendments to the FOA before submitting your proposal.


Dr. Ellen Livingston


For deadlines and additional information please visit: