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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, unanticipated expenses that would enhance the work, and the like. 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 are contemplated to be in the range of $500 to $4,000.


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 under "Eligible Institutions".


Grants will not exceed $4,000. 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 (a field for this is on the application form). Such requests will not affect your eligibility for a Cosmos Scholar grant, but please indicate specific uses intended for other support, if received.

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. Travel to attend professional meetings to present an accepted paper or poster exhibit may also be considered. Travel to a conference simply for networking or job-hunting is not eligible. Applicants should keep in mind the virtues of economically modest travel requests.


The major criterion for selection is the excellence of the research proposal. No specific format or organization is required, but the proposal should state clearly what work is proposed, how and when it would be performed, and why the results would be important or useful. Our preference is for specific 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.

Be sure to remove (not just hide) editing remarks and comments from the final draft before submission. Pay attention to the stated limits on length. The CV must be limited to one page. The proposal statement must not exceed one page, including citations if applicable; space for the required brief budget statement is provided on the application form.

Do not request support for work which will be conducted prior to the announced date of awards, or so soon thereafter that the funds, if awarded, could not be applied to it.

Funds for tuition or related expenses for personal professional education will not be provided.

Generally funds will not be provided to support remuneration to participants in studies or stipends for research assistants. If the proposal is for part of a group or team effort, the proposer's role and level of individual participation must be clearly described. All Cosmos Scholar grants are made directly to individual graduate students, not to their host or sponsoring institution. Any restrictions or conditions the institution mayimpose on the Scholar's use of granted funds must be clearly described.


Please note: The Application Procedures change slightly from year to year, but the entire application must be submitted online at The deadline for submissions is November 2, 2014.

More details, and a link to the application form, may be found here.

Questions and other messages may be sent by email to

Evaluation and Selection

Successful proposals will be selected by the Cosmos Club Foundation Trustees after evaluation and recommendation by panels chosen by the Foundation. Proposals will be judged on both substance and clarity. The Foundation may make awards in amounts different from those requested. Decisions of the Foundation are final and are not subject to review. Winners' names will be posted on the Foundation web site no later than Tuesday, February 3, 2015. Recipients of grants will also receive a letter requiring a reply to the Foundation before funds will be disbursed.

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. Cosmos Scholars may also be invited to present their results at a special Cosmos Club Foundation function organized to recognize them and their accomplishments. Publications resulting from supported research must acknowledge the Cosmos Club Foundation's support.

Eligible Institutions

American University
The Catholic University of America
Corcoran College of Art + Design
Gallaudet University
George Mason University
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

2014 2010 2006 2002
2013 2009 2005 2001
2012 2008 2004 1999
2011 2007 2003 1998

Named Awards in the Cosmos Scholars Program

The Foundation may recognize major contributions of effort or support by naming designated Scholar Awards after individuals with significant interests in the arts, humanities and sciences. These awards carry no additional stipend or responsibility for the recipient. The named awards may not be given every year but are conferred when, in the judgement of the Trustees, successful proposals are of unusual and outstanding merit in fields related to the named awards.

At this time, the named awards are as follows:

  • The Henry H. Work Award in Science, named for Henry H. Work, M.D., distinguished psychiatrist, longtime Trustee of the Foundation and intellectual guide of its programs
  • The Max and Vera Britton Award in Environmental Studies, named for generous supporters of the Foundation. Dr. Britton was a distinguished naturalist and environmental scientist with a speciual focus on the Arctic
  • The J. K. McLaughlin Award in Biomedical Science, named for Joseph McLaughlin, Ph.D. distinguished biomedical researcher, Foundation Trustee, and generous benefactor of its programs
  • The Gerson Nordlinger Award in the Arts, named for Gerson Nordlinger, Jr., longtime member of the Cosmos Club, supporter of the arts and generous benefactor of the Foundation

The Foundation will consider possible additional Named Awards to recognize major contributions to the Cosmos Scholars program.