Scholarships for Investigative Studies

Getting a degree is very rewarding and a great achievement, but the cost of schooling can be daunting. Luckily, there are scholarships available to those who look, and many of them are targeted towards specific niches. There are many scholarships available for those interested in investigative studies and they can assist in paying for school while getting a degree that will lead to future career success. Some states and schools offer their own investigative scholarships, so it is important to look if specific schools offer some sort of assistance, but below are some of the nationwide and regional investigative studies scholarships available to students.

The Ellis R. Kerley Scholarship

Description: Ellis R. Kerley was a pioneer in anthropology and devised the so-called Kerley method that aids in identifying and dating skeletal remains and is often used in identifying deceased soldiers. This scholarship is geared towards students seeking a fulfilling career in the specialized niche of forensic anthropology.

Amount: $2,500 a year

Deadline: May 30 of each year

Requirements: Graduate students are eligible for this scholarship and must be working towards a career in either biological anthropology or forensic anthropology. Students must hold a degree from an accredited undergraduate program, be members of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and be studying at a university that has an AAFS-affiliated faculty member.

The Floyd E. McDonald Scholarship

Description: The Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (SWAFS) is a nonprofit organization that connects forensic science professionals and allows them to share knowledge and expertise with one another. The SWAFS Floyd E. McDonald scholarship aims to “prompt and encourage students to pursue careers in forensic science.”

Amount: $2,000 a year

Deadline: April 1 each year

Requirements: College students entering their junior or senior years should apply if they are seeking a degree in chemistry, biology, forensics, or another natural science. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Program

Description: One of the most well-known scholarships in the nation is the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, which has been in existence since 1986. Forensic science or investigations are not specifically laid out as pathways for this scholarship; instead, it is for college students studying natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering and therefore covers multiple aspects of forensic sciences. The foundation gives out around 450 of these a year.

Amount: $7,500 a year

Deadline: January 30th annually

Requirements: Eligible students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and must be nominated by a Goldwater campus representative. Students should check the foundation’s website to make sure their schools have a campus representative.

The Staff Sgt. Richard Eaton Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Description: The Staff Sgt. Richard Eaton Jr. Memorial Scholarship was created in honor of a counterintelligence special agent who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during the Iraq war. This scholarship is geared towards students looking to do investigative work in national security and counterintelligence matters. Scholarship winners are also provided with a mentor through the Lint Center for National Security Studies.

Amount: $1,000 a year

Deadline: January 31st and July 31st

Requirements: Eligible students include undergraduate and graduate students who are studying in fields related to counterintelligence, alliances, political/cultural science and relationships, and national security.

The ACS Scholars Program

Description: The American Chemical Society (ACS) prides itself on being the largest global science-study society. It is also chartered by the U.S. Congress and focuses on chemistry and related studies. The organization awards around $1 million to minority students every single year.

Amount: Up to $5,000 a year

Deadline: March 1st of every year

Requirements: This scholarship is offered to minority groups who desire to work in chemistry or a similar field, which would include forensic science and investigations. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply and must have a 3.0 GPA or better. The amount awarded normally depends on students’ personal financial situations.

AFTE Scholarship Program

Description: The Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE) is the global organization for forensic professionals working with toolmarks and firearms. It holds workshops, training seminars, and networking opportunities as well as publishes a respected peer-reviewed journal. Students who are seeking careers in forensics should apply for this program.

Amount: $2,000 a year

Deadline: Applications must be submitted before April 1st.

Requirements: Students must be in their third year or higher of a Bachelor’s program or any year of a post-baccalaureate degree program. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is also required, and students who are currently working on toolmark or firearms analysis projects are preferred.

The George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship

Description: The George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship is offered through the Chesapeake Bay Division of the International Association for Identification (CBD-IAI), which is part of the oldest forensic organization in the world. This scholarship is geared towards criminal justice and forensic science students.

Amount: $1,000 a year

Deadline: Varies by year, but awards are given at the association’s spring conference.

Requirements: Undergraduates (sophomore or higher) and graduate students studying criminal justice or forensic science and have a GPA of 2.5 or above are eligible.

The ASCLD Scholarship Program

Description: The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) has been around since the early 1970’s and is located in Quantico, Virginia, which is best known for its FBI headquarters. The ASCLD is focused more on laboratory processes and professionals as well as advancing technologies and communications.

Amount: $1,000 a year

Deadline: February 15th each year

Requirements: Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply. Undergraduates must be in their third year of studies to be eligible. All applicants must be working towards a forensic science, forensic chemistry, or other science degree. Students who are completing programs accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) are normally given priority consideration.

The NJAFS Scholarship

Description: Aside from offering a scholarship to students, the New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists (NJAFS) is also a great resource in general for seminars and informative trainings in the forensic field.

Amount: $1,000 a year

Deadline: Normally October 31

Requirements: Eligible students must either be a member of NJAFS, studying at a school in New Jersey, or a resident of New Jersey studying in another state. Applicants must be working towards a degree in a science-related program and have stand-out credentials compared to their peers.

The George W. Neighbor, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Description: The George W. Neighbor, Jr. Memorial Scholarship is offered by the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS), which is a professional forensic science society in the Northeastern United States. George Neighbor was known for his successes in microscopic trace evidence examinations and this scholarship is geared towards students hoping for a career in a forensic laboratory.

Amount: $1,750 a year

Deadline: Normally April 30th

Requirements: Undergraduate students (junior year or higher) and graduate students are eligible if they are studying in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Vermont. Applicants are required to submit a very good letter outlining their achievements to date as well as their future goals.

The George W. Chin Memorial Scholarship

Description: NEAFS also offers the George W. Chin scholarship, which honors another trace evidence guru. Chin focused on mentorship and advances in the field of evidence processing.

Amount: $2,000 and a one-year NEAFS membership

Deadline: Normally April 30th

Requirements: The requirements are the same as those of the George W. Neighbor, Jr. Memorial Scholarship outlined above.