Sens. Kelly, Collins Introduce the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Modernization Act

Bipartisan bill would deepen the bench of STEM talent with scholarships, create paid internships

U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Modernization Act, a bill to deepen the bench of talent in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by modernizing the highly competitive undergraduate scholarship named after former Senator Barry Goldwater, an Air Force veteran and five-term Senator from Arizona. The scholarship was established in the 1986 National Defense Authorization Act and has helped nearly 10,000 students pursue careers in these critical fields. 

The highly selective Barry Goldwater Scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors across the country who intend to pursue research careers in math, engineering, and natural sciences. It has consistently benefited students from across the nation, including over 140 recipients from Arizona. 

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen just how crucial the contributions of researchers and scientists are to our global community,” said Senator Kelly. “In order to outcompete China and other adversaries, we need to continue educating the best scientists and engineers in the world. This bill I am introducing today with Senator Collins will help support the next generation of young innovators, researchers, and engineers in Arizona and across the country who will go on to be leaders in innovation.”

“The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is one of the most prestigious academic awards in the country, giving undergraduate students the chance to pursue challenging careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan bill would update and strengthen this program, ensuring that bright young people can continue their studies and prepare them for the jobs of the future that will keep our nation on the cutting edge.”

Over the prestigious scholarship’s 35-year history, the Goldwater Scholarship has become the premier undergraduate scholarship for STEM majors. The bill would bring the scholarship into the 21st century by:

  • Offering research internship stipends, in addition to academic scholarships, ensuring that students have additional opportunities to participate in research as undergraduate students – a critical foundation for a career in the sciences. The Foundation would work to place students in internships at national labs, companies, and other research organizations and provide a stipend to cover the students’ living and travel expenses during the course of the internship. 
  • Creating a pipeline for STEM careers for students of all backgrounds by expanding eligibility to undergraduate students who are U.S citizens and non-U.S. citizens. 
  • Investing in the professional development of Goldwater Alumni to continue the cultivation and support of Goldwater scholars after graduation. 

Read the full text of the legislation HERE