National Security Education Program David L. Boren Fellowships


(1) To provide the necessary resources, accountability and flexibility to meet the national security education needs of the United States, especially as such needs change over time; (2) To increase the quantity, diversity, and quality of the teaching and learning of subjects in the fields of foreign language, area studies, counterproliferation studies, and other international fields that are critical to the Nations interest; (3) To produce an increased pool of applicants for work in the departments and agencies of the United States Government with national security responsibilities; and (4) To expand, in conjunction with other Federal programs, the international experience, knowledge base, and perspectives on which the United States citizenry, Government employees and leaders rely.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Department of Defense
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2023 Boren Fellowship and Scholarship
David L. Boren National Security Education Act, Public Law 102-183, 50 U.S.C 1901-1912., Public Law 102-183, 50 U.S.C. 1901-1912
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The award for this program is made to a nonprofit organization that administers this assistance program on behalf of DoD. The award is typically a cooperative agreement to administer this CFDA program as well as CFDA # 12.550 (The Language Flagship Grants to Institutions of Higher Education) and CFDA # 12.551 (National Security Education Program David L. Boren Scholarships). The award is reported to under CFDA 12.550, which has the most funding between the three programs.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Any U.S. citizen enrolled in an accredited public or private U.S. institution of higher education (defined in 20 U.S.C. 1001 of the Higher Education Act of 1965) is eligible to apply for a graduate fellowship. Students enrolled in Federal government schools are not eligible.
Award to applicant is subject to: 1) receipt of applicable/acceptable certifications and representations; 2) having a current registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) (; 3), the applicant, its principals, proposed subrecipients/subrecipient principals not appearing in SAM Exclusions as currently debarred, suspended, or otherwise ineligible; and 4) meeting other proposal requirements specified by the awarding office. For beneficiaries, proof of enrollment and proof of U.S. citizenship is required.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. All eligible, U.S. graduate students may apply for fellowships in response to the relevant announcement.
Award Procedure
Award decisions will be based on a competitive selection of proposals resulting from an independent merit review.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
From 60 to 90 days.
Boren Fellowship recipients are eligible to apply for a Boren Scholarship if they subsequently enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
How are proposals selected?
The selection criteria is outlined in each announcement
How may assistance be used?
Fellowship awards are made to degree-seeking graduate-level U.S. citizens and provide funding for individuals to study a critical language and culture overseas during the course of their degree-seeking studies. 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.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Each award recipient (beneficiary) receives an oral proficiency interview (OPI) before traveling abroad in the langauge for which they received funding, and then again after returning to the U.S. Those who have no proficiency before traveling are waived the pre-test. Also, in some rare languages, there are no OPIs available.
Not applicable.
Record keeping requirements are in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award, which will include appropriate provisions related to recipient records that are required by the DoD Grant and Agreement Regulations (DoDGARs).
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Boren Fellowship awards are made for a minimum of 12 weeks and maximum of 24 months. All overseas study must be a minimum of 12 weeks, and preference will be given to applicants proposing overseas programs of 6 months or longer. However, applicants proposing overseas programs of 3-6 months, especially those in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields are encouraged to apply. Those who receive funding for six months or longer receive a front end payment equal to 50% of their award, the another 30% a third of the way into their funded period, then about 20% another third into their funded period, and finally $500 after returning to the U.S. and completing a language proficiency test. Those who receive funding f twelve weeks to just under six months receive a front end payment equal to 60% of their award, the about 40% half way into their funded period, and finally $500 after returning to the U.S. and completing a language proficiency test.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Alison Patz
Suite 08 G 08
4800 Mark Center Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22350 US
Phone: 571.256.0771
Fax: 703.696.5667
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Fellowships)) FY 22$20,000,000.00; FY 23 est $0.00; FY 24 est $0.00; FY 21$20,000,000.00; FY 20$2,000,000.00; FY 18$2,330,000.00; FY 19 est $1,500,000.00; FY 17$3,430,000.00; FY 16$2,330,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Assistance to beneficiaries range: $0 - $30,000 Average: $23,000
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. The DoDGARS (as updated through DoD's interim implementation of 2 CFR part 200 which can be found at 2 CFR part 1103) applies to DoD grants and cooperative agreements.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2023 Boren Fellowship and Scholarship