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Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA)

Awards Listings

Awards Specifically Targeted for Women and Students Interested in the Study of Women and Gender

Contact ONCA to ask questions about an award or to schedule an appointment with the ONCA director, who advises WU students interested in applying for competitive awards. Click on a link or scroll down to view award information:


Undergraduate Study


Graduate Study


AAUW Educational Foundation Awards for Women Scholars

Description: One of the world's largest sources of funding exclusively for graduate women, the AAUW Educational Foundation supports aspiring scholars around the globe, teachers and activists in local communities, women at critical stages of their careers, and those pursuing professions where women are underrepresented. Fellowships and grants are available in a variety of programs, including post-doc, dissertation preparation, and short-term research publication grants; career development grants supporting master's degree, second bachelor's degree, and other training; fellowships for study in the professions; community action grants; graduate study for U.S. citizens; and the Eleanor Roosevelt award promoting education programs promoting equity for women and girls.

Eligibility: AAUW programs are for women at various stages of their careers. See specific programs for details.
Deadline: Deadlines vary but range between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15


ANSWER Scholarship

Description: ANSWER is a nonprofit that provides scholarships to mothers in the Charlotte region who are earning college degrees.

Eligibility: Mothers of K-12 children who reside in local NC and SC counties and are enrolled as full-time degree-seeking students at an accredited college or university in the Charlotte region. Must be 25+ years old to apply.
ONCA Deadline: Jan.15

BHW Women in STEM Scholarship

Description: Awards of $3,000 for women who are pursuing undergraduate or master's degrees in science, technology, engineering or math. Recipients must be admitted or enrolled in a an accredited four-year college or university based in the U.S.

Eligibility: Women majoring in a STEM subject at U.S.-based colleges and universities.
ONCA Deadline: Apr. 15

Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

Description: Google Anita Borg Scholarship recipients will each receive a $10,000 award for the academic year; Finalists will each receive a $1,000 award. A group of female undergraduate and graduate students will be chosen from the applicant pool, and scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of each candidate's academic background and demonstrated leadership. All scholarship recipients and finalists will be invited to attend the annual summer Google Scholars' Retreat in Mountain View, California.

Eligibility: The applicant must be a female student entering her senior year of undergraduate study or be enrolled in a graduate program in the coming academic year at a university in the United States; be enrolled in Computer Science or Computer Engineering program, or a closely related technical field as a full-time student for the coming academic year; maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Citizens, permanent residents, and international students are eligible to apply.
ONCA Deadline: February 1

Institute for Women's Policy Research/George Washington University Fellowships

Description: Provides a stipend of $10,000 and 18 hours of tuition credit at The George Washington University. Fellows participate in research at the IWPR during the fellowship year while enrolled as a full-time graduate student at The George Washington University.

Students enrolled in or applying to any of the graduate programs at GWU are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to advanced graduate students, particularly to Ph.D. students in the Gender and Social Policy concentration.
Approximate ONCA Deadline: February 15

National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC) Graduate Fellowships in the Physical Sciences

Description: NPSC offers a unique graduate fellowship in the physical sciences and related engineering fields. It is open to all U. S. Citizens, but with emphasis on recruitment of applications from historically underrepresented minorities and women. An NPSC Fellowship covers the first two or three years of graduate school, depending on the employer who sponsors the fellowship, with the possibility of continuation for several more years providing all the conditions of the fellowship continue to be met. The maximum duration is six years, in which case the overall value (stipend, tuition, fees, summer salary for two summers) of an NPSC fellowship typically well exceeds $200,000.

Eligibility: NPSC welcomes applications from any qualified U.S. citizen who has the ability to pursue graduate work at an NPSC member institution. NPSC attempts to recruit a broad pool of applicants with special emphasis on underrepresented minorities and women. Applicants should be in one of the following categories: Be in your senior year with at least a 3.0/4.0 GPA; Be in your first year of a graduate program; Be in a terminal master's program (your university offers no Ph.D. in your discipline); Be returning from the workforce with no more than a master's degree
Application Information:
Application Materials:
Approximate Deadline:
October 15
Dr. Leslie Bickford, Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, University College, Winthrop University,

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Description: The SWE Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to women admitted to accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs, in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science. SWE Scholarships are only open to women pursuing baccalaureate or graduate degrees in engineering or computer science. Awards range from $1000-10,000.

Eligibility: The Society of Women Engineers Scholarship is only open to women. The applicant must be enrolled in or have graduated from a baccalaureate ABET/CSAB accredited engineering or computer science degree program, or the applicant is accepted for enrollment in a baccalaureate computer science program at an ABET approved school. Please go to for more information. The minimum GPA is 3.0/4.0 for upper class applicants. The applicant is not the current recipient of a renewable SWE Scholarship. The applicant must be a full time student, except for reentry applicants. In some cases, the applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident of the US. The applicant is not receiving full funding for education from another organization.
ONCA Deadline:
February 15
Dr. Leslie Bickford, Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, University College, Winthrop University,

Sunbelt Rentals Scholarship

Description: In the fall of 2008, Sunbelt Rentals, in partnership with the Big South Conference, established the Sunbelt Rentals Scholarship as a means of recognizing the work done in the classroom, campus, and the community by students within the Big South Conference. Two (2) scholarships will be awarded in January at a value between $2,000 and $4,000 each.  A committee made up of Big South Conference administrators, Sunbelt Rental executives, and institutional representatives from the Big South Conference institutions will be responsible for determining the award.

Eligibility: Applicants must be one or more of the following: (a) female, (b) member of a minority group (African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Native Alaskan, or other Ethnic or Immigrant Groups), (c) currently or formerly active in the U.S. Military, and/or (d) disabled as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Beyond this, the applicant must also have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be a student entering his/her final semester in the Spring and enrolled full time in a Bachelor's degree program (ideally the student is interested in construction or sales). The applicant must not be an employee of Sunbelt Rentals or the Big South Conference or the children of employees of these organizations, and he or she must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. Finally, the applicant must have evidenced good character and superior leadership.
December 1
Dr. Leslie Bickford, Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, University College, Winthrop University,

Women's Research and Education Institute Congressional Fellowships

Description: The Women's Research & Education Institute (WREI) offers a fellowship program that places current or recent graduate students in the Washington, D.C. offices of Members of Congress and on House and Senate staffs from January through August. WREI Fellows work a minimum of 35 hours per week as legislative aides on policy issues.  Fellows meet once a week in issue seminars arranged by WREI with activists, Congressional staff, researchers, and lobbyists.  WREI expects to award at least six Fellowships annually, depending on funding. WREI Fellows receive a stipend of approximately $1,300 per month.  An additional sum of up to $500 is provided for the purchase of health insurance with submission of a bill from a provider.  WREI will also reimburse Fellows up to a maximum of $1,500 ($750 per semester) for the cost of tuition at their home institutions (please note that WREI will not cover student fees, books, or non-tuition expenses).  WREI is not responsible for funding transportation to and from Washington or for finding lodgings for students. It is up to the Fellow to make all arrangements for satisfying her institution's academic requirements.

Eligibility: Students currently enrolled in master's or doctoral program in US or have completed such a program within the past 18 months. WREI strongly recommends that applicants have completed at least nine hours of graduate coursework before applying, and have a demonstrated interest in research or political activity relevant to women's social and political status.
Application Information:
ONCA Deadline: May 1.

















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