Boren Fellowships for Graduate Students

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Funded by the National Security Education Program, Boren Fellowships support graduate students pursuing the study of languages, cultures and world regions that are critical to U.S. interests. Boren Fellowships are intended to provide or add to the international component of U.S. graduate students' educations providing support for overseas study, domestic study, or a combination of both.

Signature of Program:

Program to enhance critical language skills among graduate students. Awards for one semester up to two years. In exchange for the fellowship funding, all Boren Fellows must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.

Eligibility Requirements:

U.S. citizen at the time of application. Non-citizen of destination country. Enrolled in or applying to a graduate program in the United States. Planning to study a foreign language intensively in an eligible world region (not Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand).  View list of preferred countries

Amount of Award:

Maximum awards are determined by duration abroad:

Up to $25,000 for 25-52 weeks (preferred)
Up to $12,500 for 12-24 weeks
+ Up to $12,000 for domestic language study (optional)

Application Deadline:

January 26, 2022, 5 P.M. EST


Boren Awards Program Overview Presentation (PPT)

Watch the video of our 2021 Boren Awards Info Session with Kyle Cox, co-hosted by the Duke Office of University Scholars and Fellows. 

Below are links to Boren webinars to use as you prepare your application. You can browse all of the Boren webinars here.

  • Introduction to the Boren Awards (6 min)
    Your Boren application should reflect your aspirations of becoming a federal government employee in a position related to national security. Understanding the national security implications of your study and the many career opportunities available to you is critical to a successful application.

  • The Flagship Language Initiatives (13 min)
    The structure of the Flagship Language Initiatives: African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI), the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI), the South Asian Flagship Language Initiative (SAFLI), and the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI).
  • Crafting Competitive Essays (27 min)
    A deep dive into the critically important Boren Awards application essays. It covers the concept of national security discussed in Essay # 1 and how to describe career plans with the federal government in Essay # 2. This info and links to U.S. government careers websites is available at
  • Understanding the NSEP Service Requirement
    An overview of the process for seeking federal employment after receiving a Boren award, and the numerous advantages that alumni have in that process.

Learn more about the Boren Scholarships for undergraduate students here