Science, Mathematics, And Research For Transformation (SMART) Defense Scholarship Program

The Science, Mathematics, And Research For Transformation (SMART) Defense Scholarship Program was tested as a program in 2005 under the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. SMART was fully established by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2006, and was assigned to the Navy Postgraduate School (NPS) as the managing agency in late 2005-early 2006.

The SMART scholarship program is a Department of Defense (DoD) workforce development program created to address the growing gap between America and the rest of the world in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. SMART facilitates this goal by recruiting and retaining some of the best and brightest STEM candidates in the nation.

SMART is a DoD civilian scholarship-for-service program which is a part of the National Defense Education Program (NDEP). Like other NDEP programs, SMART is funded through the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The program is open to current and prospective students, including current DoD employees who meet the following requirements:

* U.S. citizen
* Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
* Pursuing a degree in on the STEM disciplines
* Able to participate in paid summer internships
* Willing to accept post-graduation employment within the DoD
* Able to attain a SECRET clearance

While these are the minimum requirements, the average GPA is well over 3.0, with the current 2009 cohort year averaging 3.73 on a 4.0 scale. Students who are accepted receive the following benefits:

* Full tuition at any accredited college or university within the U.S.
* Annual living allowance of $25,000 (Undergraduate) – 41,000 (Doctorate)
* Paid summer internship (Part of your living allowance, not extra money on top of Annual Living Allowance)
* Health insurance stipend
* Book allowance of $1,000 per academic year
* $1200/week during Summer Internship ONLY if your sponsoring facility is more than 50 miles away from your School's address
* Mentoring by a DoD sponsoring facility
* Post-graduation employment placement within the DoD

Students are required to pay back the scholarship by working with the Department of Defense in a 1-1 year ratio. This work is a paid position within a specific DoD agency.

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