Cosmos Club Foundation
Cosmos Club Foundation HomeJohn P. McGovern Award and RecipientsCosmos Club Award and RecipientYoung Scholars Award and RecipientsAnnual Report Extracts

A Grant Program of
The Cosmos Club Foundation
In Support of Graduate Students
At Washington Area Universities


The program provides grants to meet specific research needs not covered by other supporting funds, including, but not limited to, special supplies, travel, and unanticipated expenses that would enhance the work. Specifically excluded are general financial support, tuition, and living expenses (except in connection with supported travel.)

Scope of Program

There is no restriction as to academic field, but the project should be focused on objective scholarly research rather than commercial or political activity, social activism, or other non-academic goals. The number of grants to be awarded is not rigidly fixed, but is expected to be at least fifteen. Amounts of awards will be determined individually and will not exceed $5,000.


Applicants must be enrolled, on a full-time or part-time basis, in a program leading to a graduate degree (Masters or Doctoral) at one of the local institutions listed below. United States citizenship is not required.


The major criterion for selection is the excellence of the research proposal. No specific format or organization is required. The proposal should include a research question (hypothesis) and clearly explain how it will be tested or investigated. It is important to describe how and when the research will be performed, and why the results will be important or useful. Our preference is for topics not anticipated when the overall research program was proposed and therefore not covered by support originally planned.

It is essential to make the project description understandable to scholars in other fields, while retaining enough detail to satisfy a specialist in the field of the proposal. Please also explain how the research plan will be adjusted depending on the coronavirus and its impact on laboratory work, travel, access to archives, or other aspects of the application.

  • The proposal narrative must not exceed one page.
  • The CV is to be limited to one page.
  • The budget should be presented in the online application form, not in the narrative.
  • Do not include requests for support for work to be conducted prior to the announced date of awards.
  • Funding requests for general financial support, tuition, living expenses, or personal professional education will not be granted.
  • Funds will not be provided to support remuneration to participants in studies or stipends for research assistants.
  • If the research project is a team effort, the proposer's role and level of individual participation must be clearly described.
  • Grants are made directly to individual students, not to the students’ institutions.


Grants will not exceed $5,000. Every research proposal must include (in the space provided on the application form) a brief budget statement that lists clearly the funds requested and explains how the money will be allocated. The budget must also state what other support has been sought or received for the work proposed.

Items of equipment and special supplies are eligible, but the equipment should be expendable. Items that the institution ought to provide or that graduate students can be expected to own are not eligible. Items and services that will outlive the project are not considered expendable and are generally not eligible.

Travel for field research or to research facilities to consult documents or to study artifacts in situ or to conduct cultural exploration is generally eligible. Travel to consult with an expert practitioner may be considered.


The application process for 2022-23 has closed.

Questions and other messages may be sent by email to

Evaluation and Selection

Successful proposals will be selected by the Cosmos Club Foundation after evaluation and recommendation by panels chosen by the Foundation. Proposals will be judged on both substance and clarity. Failure to conform to the guidelines and budget requirements will disqualify the proposal; please review the proposal carefully before submitting. The Foundation may make awards in amounts different from those requested. Decisions of the Foundation are final and not subject to review. Awardees’ names will be posted below no later than the 1st of February, 2023. Recipients of grants will also receive a letter requiring a reply to the Foundation before funds will be disbursed.

The process is very selective; only about 10% of the proposals submitted are funded. Recipients, who are designated 'Cosmos Scholars', receive recognition and support at a critical stage of their careers. The program thus has a two-fold public benefit - graduate-student assistance and an increase in knowledge.

Conditions of Award

Cosmos Scholars are expected to provide a summary report of the results of the project in support of which they have received awards, and to indicate how the award contributed to the project. This report is expected within one year of the date of the award, and the Foundation may post the report on its web site. Approximately one year after receipt of their grant, grantees are invited to present the results of their research at an event hosted at the Club by the Foundation. Publications resulting from supported research must acknowledge the Cosmos Club Foundation's support.

Eligible Institutions

American University
The Catholic University of America
Gallaudet University
George Mason University
The George Washington University*
     *The former Corcoran College of Art & Design is now part of The George Washington University
Georgetown University
Howard University
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
Marymount University
Trinity University
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
University of the District of Columbia
University of Maryland, College Park

Cosmos Scholars

The Cosmos Club Foundation has presented Cosmos Scholars awards (originally called Young Scholars Awards) annually* since 1998, with the invaluable assistance of the Consortium of Universities of the Metropolitan Washington Area for the years 1998-2007. Over the years, the program, now named the Cosmos Scholars Grant Program, has provided over 300 grants to graduate students at local Washington-area universities.

* The absence of a list labeled "2000" reflects a change of the month of the award from December to January.

Cosmos Scholars Award Recipients

2023 2015 2007
2022 2014 2006
2021 2013 2005
2020 2012 2004
2019 2011 2003
2018 2010 2002
2017 2009 2001
2016 2008 1999