NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program

Individual scholarship providing $5,000 per year for up to four years for academically talented and low-income students pursuing degrees in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or environmental sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) is an initiative through the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education that aims to support academically talented and low-income students pursue degrees in STEM fields.

Award Details

Up to $5,000 annually for 4 years for freshmen ($20,000 total) and up to $5,000 annually for 2.5 years for transfer students ($12,500 total), depending on financial need.

Scholar Benefits

  • A customized freshman and transfer orientation
  • Cohort membership and support
  • A faculty mentoring program
  • Increased support in general chemistry
  • Specialized instruction in scientific writing
  • Access to industry internships
  • Stipends to attend scientific conferences
  • Research experience in the area of environmental genomics or environmental chemistry, which includes designing a project, training on research-grade instrumentation, and a research budget

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, national, or refugee
  • Demonstrate financial need, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education rules for federal financial aid, and have filed a FAFSA form with the UVA Wise Financial Aid Office
  • Accepted to UVA Wise as a full-time freshman or transfer B.S. student in the Department of Natural Sciences majoring in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or environmental sciences (clinical fields are not eligible)

Desired Qualifications

  • Minimum 3.0 high school GPA or top 25% of graduating class for freshmen
  • Associate’s degree with 2.5 GPA for transfers

Application Requirements

  • A personal statement articulating STEM interests and accomplishments as well as motivations to pursue a STEM education
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a high school guidance counselor or science teacher or community college professor) describing science aptitude, potential, talent, motivation, resilience, ability to manage time and resources, and communication skills
  • Interviews for finalists to ascertain maturity, motivation, leadership, determination, and persistence

2022 AAAS S-STEM Symposium, Washington, D.C.

Poster: National Science Foundation: Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) Track 1: DUE 1833781: $650,000 (7/1/19-6/30/24)
Download poster

Funding source
The NSF S-STEM Program at UVA Wise is supported by NSF DUE 1833781 “Bridging the Natural Sciences and Liberal Arts to Increase Retention, Graduation, and Career Preparedness”

2023 Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) Annual Meeting, Asheville, N.C.
Rodriguez, J., G. Sedo, T. Makal, I. Maggard, and B. Cahoon. "The Successful Implementation of the Institutional Capacity Building National Science Foundation S-STEM Program at UVA Wise" at the 2023 COPLAC Annual Meeting, UNC Asheville

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Views expressed here are do not necessarily reflect views of the National Science Foundation

Josephine Rodriguez


Associate Professor of Biology
Bruce Cahoon

A. Bruce

Buchanan Endowed Chair of Biology