“Direct Apply” Scholarships

The following awards do not require institutional endorsement or place a cap on the number of nominees, but the Office of National Fellowships & Academic Opportunities offers support and guidance to applicants. URI students have been successful in most of these competitions. 

CRITICAL LANGUAGE SCHOLARSHIP  Sponsored by the US Department of State, awarded to undergraduate and graduate students to attend an intensive summer immersion program overseas in one of 13 critical languages.

DEMERS FOREIGN LANGUAGE FELLOWSHIP  Awarded to Rhode Island residents and anyone who is a student at a Rhode Island college or university who wishes to pursue foreign language study (up to $25,000).

FORD PRE-DOCTORAL DISSERTATION FELLOWSHIP  For individuals enrolled in or planning to enroll in a research-based (dissertation-required) program in eligible fields of study leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D.  Candidates should demonstrate superior academic achievement, a commitment to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, and show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers.  Candidates should be interested and well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.  

FULBRIGHT UK SUMMER INSTITUTES  Administered by the US-UK Fulbright Commission, awarded to freshmen and sophomores (with preference to those who have never left the US) to attend a 3-6-week academic and cultural summer program at a UK partner institution.

GATES CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARSHIP Awarded for graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge, on the basis of the candidate’s academic excellence, fit with the University of Cambridge, evidence of leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others.

GERMAN ACADEMIC EXCHANGE SERVICE (DAAD) UNDERGRADUATE & GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS  The “German Fulbright,” awarded to support undergraduate and graduate level study abroad in Germany. The DAAD also offers the RISE program, which offers summer internship opportunities for STEM Students.

HERTZ FOUNDATION GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP AWARD  Provides up to five years of funding to college seniors wishing to pursue the PhD degree in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences or mathematics. Applicants must be “willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency.”  Strong applicants will demonstrate “exceptional intelligence and creativity, an excellent technical education orientation, extraordinary accomplishment in technical or related professional studies”, as well as the “features of temperament and character conducive to high attainment as a technical professional, appropriate moral and ethical values.”

HUMANITY IN ACTION FELLOWSHIP  Brings together international groups of university students and recent graduates for a one-month summer program to explore national histories of discrimination and resistance, as well as examples of issues affecting different minority groups today.

LUCE SCHOLARS PROGRAM  Provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia.

MADISON GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP  Awarded to outstanding college seniors and college graduates without teaching experience who intend to become secondary school teachers of American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7–12. Fellows are expected to complete graduate study within 2 academic years of full-time study. (Also consult with faculty representative Dr. David Byrd, Director of the URI School of Education)

METCALF FELLOWSHIP  Grants to college students to subsidize experiences intended to broaden their perspective and enhance personal growth. They may include travel in this country and abroad and a variety of internship and public service programs. The award does not reimburse students for unearned summer wages. Traditional programs and those that are a regular part of the student’s curriculum of his/her institution’s offerings — such as a sponsored junior year abroad or a departmentally sponsored summer research program — will not be funded.

NATIONAL DEFENSE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (NDSEG) Awarded to applicants who demonstrate ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science or engineering (i.e. a doctoral degree) in an area of interest to the Department of Defense.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES (NSF REU) Funded full-time summer research experiences in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM (NSF GRFP)  Recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH OXFORD-CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS PROGRAM (NIH OXCAM)  An accelerated, individualized doctoral training program for outstanding science students committed to biomedical research careers. The program is based on the British system, in which students perform doctoral research without required formal courses other than those students choose to take in relationship to their own interests. Students selected for admission to the program have already developed a passion for science through engagement in summer, job related, or undergraduate research programs.

NOAA HOLLINGS SCHOLARSHIP  Awarded to sophomores with interests in the ocean and environment, to provide academic assistance (up to $16,000 over two years) and a full-time, 10-week, paid summer internship at a NOAA facility.

PAYNE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIP  The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program seeks to attract outstanding young people who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  The fellowship provides up to $93,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships, and professional development activities, and provides a unique pathway to the USAID Foreign Service.

PHILLIPS SCHOLARSHIP A renewable, four-year scholarship for students with financial need who display academic achievement, a commitment to serving others (in school, in the community or at home), a strong work ethic, and leadership qualities.  Must be a resident of a New England state: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont.

PICKERING FOREIGN AFFAIRS FELLOWSHIP Provides undergraduate and graduate students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them academically and professionally for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.

PUBLIC POLICY & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS PROGRAM (PPIA)  Offers public service weekend seminars and a special summer institute for high achieving juniors and provides access to a consortium of public policy and international affairs graduate programs.  The PPIA’s mission is “to promote the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and to advance their leadership roles throughout civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs.”

RANGEL INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS PROGRAM  Promotes “a positive U.S. presence in the world that reflects and respects the strength and diversity of America” by preparing outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State.  The program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service and those with financial need. There are two major components to the Rangel Program: the Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program that provides support for graduate school, professional development, and entry into the U.S. Foreign Service and the Rangel Undergraduate International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program that provides undergraduates with the opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding about U.S. foreign policy during a six-week summer program at Howard University.

ROTARY SCHOLARSHIPS & FELLOWSHIPS  The Rotary offers a variety of scholarships, grants and fellowships at the local, national and international level. Most require a long lead time and are centered around their motto of “Service Above Self”. Contact your local Rotary Club to inquire about its opportunities.

SOROS FELLOWSHIP FOR NEW AMERICANS  Created to provide opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished New Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen fields and to partake of the American dream. Supports up to two years of graduate study in any field and in any advanced degree-granting program in the United States.

WOODROW WILSON TEACHING FELLOWSHIPS  Places talented, committed individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields into teaching in high-need secondary schools in Georgia and New Jersey. In return for a three year commitment fellows are funded to complete a master’s degree and teaching certification in a STEM field.

YENCHING SCHOLARS PROGRAM  The Yenching Academy of Peking University is a fully funded residential program that “builds bridges between China and the rest of the world” through an interdisciplinary master’s program in China Studies for outstanding graduates from all over the globe.


The following applications require institutional verification from the Office of International Education and Financial Aid (Enrollment Services).  Applicants are encouraged to seek supplemental guidance and feedback on essays from the ONF.

FREEMAN-ASIA SCHOLARSHIP  Provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

GILMAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP  The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.  Information on the URI verification process is available from the Office of International Education.

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