National Security Education Program David L. Boren Fellowships

(1) To equip Americans with an understanding of less commonly taught languages and cultures; (2) to build a critical base of future leaders both in the marketplace and in government service; (3) to develop a cadre of professionals with more than the traditional knowledge of language and culture; and
(4) to enhance institutional capacity and increase the number of faculty who can educate U.S.

citizens toward achieving these goals.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

A Ph.D.

candidate researching infectious diseases in Malaysia, while studying Malay; a Master's degree student learning Russian and studying Russian environmental policy and business developments; a Ph.D.

student researching nationalist movements in the former Soviet Union, studying both Turkish and Uzbek; a Master's degree student studying both Mandarin and Cantonese while researching U.S.

business firms hoping to establish competitive trade platforms in the Far East; and a Ph.D.

student reviewing Japan's foreign aid policy towards Africa, while studying Japanese.

Agency - Department Of Defense

The Department of Defense provides the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the United States through five major areas: peacekeeping and war-fighting efforts, Homeland Security, evacuation and humanitarian causes.

Program Accomplishments

Since 1996, NSEP has awarded over 1100 Boren Fellowships to U.S. citizens from all 50 States and the District of Columbia. These fellowships have enabled study of over 91 less-commonly taught languages in 105 less-commonly studied countries and world regions.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Fellowship awards are made to degree-seeking graduate-level U. S. citizens who are enrolled in academic and professional programs at a U. S. institution of higher education to study in critical world areas.

All Boren Fellowship recipients agree to seek employment with the U. S. federal government, and serve for a period of time equal to the length of the award but no less than one year.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any U.S.

citizen enrolled in an accredited public or private U.S.

institution of higher education (defined in Section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C.

1141(a)) is eligible to apply for a graduate fellowship.

Students enrolled in Federal government schools are not eligible.

Beneficiary Eligibility

U.S. students enrolled in public or private accredited U.S. institutions of higher education.


Proof of enrollment and proof of U.S. citizenship.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

All eligible, U.S. graduate students may apply for fellowships in response to the relevant agency announcement.

Award Procedures

Award decisions will be based on a competitive selection of proposals resulting from an independent merit review.


Specified in annual application, usually in January or February.


50 U.S.C. 1901-1910.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 70 to 90 days.




Boren Fellows who achieve an advanced level of language proficiency (ACTFL Advanced) in Arabic, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Russian other select languages are eligible to apply for a National Flagship Language Program Fellowship.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Eligible students may receive a fellowship from NSEP to study for no less than one academic semester and no more than 12 months overseas, and up to 4 semesters domestically. Domestic study is not a required application component to receive funding. Domestic study is limited to language or area studies that enhance a degree program. Total maximum duration is two years.

Post Assistance Requirements


Semi-annual progress reports are required while receiving funding followed by annual service agreement reports until service requirement is fulfilled.




Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 est $2,000,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Up to $24,000 for overseas study, and up to $12,000 for domestic study for a maximum of up to $30,000. Average awards are approximately $20,000 per fellow. If only requesting funding for overseas study, it must be at least two semesters in duration. If including a domestic study component, the overseas portion of the funding request must be higher.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

50 U.S.C. 1901-1911 (Chap. 37); Department of Defense Instructions 1025.02, "National Security Education Program," March 09, 2006; and Department of Defense Instruction 1025.6, "National Security Education Program Service Agreement," December 20, 1996.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Dr. Kevin Gormley, Department of Defense, National Security Education Program, Rosslyn P.O. Box 20010, 1101 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1210, Arlington, VA 22209-2248. Telephone: (703)696-1991, E-Mail Address: or Mr. Christopher Powers, Institute of International Education, NSEP David L. Boren Fellowship Program, 1400 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005-2403. Telephone: (800)618-6737, E-mail Address:

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Boren Fellowship recipients are selected based on merit including (1) academic record and potential to succeed in the proposed study, (2) commitment to federal service, (3) language interests and aptitude, and (4) quality and appropriateness of the proposed program and its relevance to the National Security Education Program.

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