I encourage graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines to apply for SMART scholarships from the Department of Defense. SMART stands for “Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation.” The goal is “to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories.” This is exactly what we wish to accomplish here.
In addition to tuition and fees, this program provides “books, internship opportunities, a living stipend, and meaningful employment upon graduation,” according to an August 2nd press release from the Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs Office out of Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. The press release further states that 19 of the 24 Air Force SMART scholars are still employed with the Air Force.
Applications for 2012 school year are due by 5pm eastern standard time on December 1, 2011. Award notifications are expected to go out in March of 2012. The SMART scholarship is considered a “degree for service” scholarship. In exchange for the Department of Defense paying your tuition and fees, you agree to full-time employment after you graduate. Length of service is dependent on the time spent in school on the government’s scholarship.
Smart Scholarships target people who want to conduct theoretical and applied research in the following areas:
- Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
- Computer and Computational Sciences
- Electrical Engineering
- Industrial and Systems Engineering (technical tracks only)
- Information Sciences
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Operations Research (technical tracks only)
SMART Scholars is part of the National Defense Education Program.