Purpose: To sustain and enhance the capacity for teaching and research in areas of national need by providing, through academic departments and programs at institutions of higher education, fellowships to assist graduate students of superior ability who demonstrate financial need.
Fellowships must be in an academic area designated by the Secretary as an area of national need. In the program's first year of operation, FY 1988, the Department determined that the areas of national need were chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics. The areas of national need were unchanged in FYs 1989 and 1990. In FY 1991, the less commonly foreign languages was added to the four previously designated areas of national need. The "less commonly taught languages," are languages other than French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
In FY 1993, due to changes in the program enacted under the 1992 Higher Education Amendments, only noncompeting continuation awards were made. There were 144 such awards.
Through FY 1992, approximately 5,185 fellowships have been granted from a cumulative funding of $89,181,000. The average fellowship increased from $12,323 in FY 1988 to $14,187 in FY 1992. The cumulative number of fellowships in various academic areas since FY 1988 are as follows: biology, 49; chemistry, 1,472; engineering, 1,140; foreign languages, 84; mathematics, 1,196; physics, 1,244.
Fellowships awarded under these grants include a stipend that may not exceed $14,000 per calendar year, and an amount to the institution not to exceed $9,000 per calendar year to cover tuition, fees, and other educational costs. Institutions receiving grants must match Federal funds with a 25 percent contribution to be used for additional fellowships that meet the authorizing legislation.
The 1992 Amendments raised the maximum award to $750,000. The minimum award is still $100,000. In FY 1993, noncompeting awards ranged from $100,000 to $400,000.