The multitude of forensic science scholarships available to students is a testament to the viability of this academic profession, demonstrating promise within the field.There are a variety of ways to help fund an education in forensics, and scholarships are a great avenue for all kinds of students. Whether they study forensic nursing or aspire to become a dna analyst, there are a variety of scholarships available to all undergraduate and graduate students to help fund further research and innovation in their field of forensic science. In the list below, we have compiled 15 forensic science scholarships that are available to forensic studies students, ordered by monetary amount from lowest to highest (scholarships with an unspecified amount begin at the top). All of the forensic scholarships listed below have differing eligibility requirements and instructions for the application process so be sure to read through them carefully.
1. Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists : Students applying for the scholarship (amount not stated) for the scholarship available through the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists should be in their junior or senior year of a forensic science program or working toward a graduate degree in the field. Applicants need to be in good academic standing, have two letters of recommendation from forensic science instructors, and write a 250 to 500 word letter outlining their goals. As well, they must be attending college in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania.
2. The Emily R. Murphy Graduate Scholarship : The Emily R. Murphy Graduate Scholarship (amount not stated) is available to graduate students in forensic science attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. The scholarship is in memory of a 22-year-old student who herself received a scholarship to pursue forensic science studies, but then died in a car accident in 2002 on the way to visit the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. The scholarship is given every spring to a current first-year student in the school’s Forensic Science graduate program. Criteria for selection includes recent school or community service, academic achievement, and leadership experience or potential.
3. Ellis R. Kerley Forensic Sciences Foundation Scholarship : One scholarship (amount not stated) is awarded every year by the Ellis R. Kerley Forensic Sciences Foundation to a graduate student studying in the field of forensic anthropology. Applicants must be enrolled in a program that leads either to a master’s or doctoral degree as well be a student member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Additionally, they must be sponsored by and have a written recommendation from a member of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. Scholarship decision will be based on merit, which includes academic achievement, involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership, and dedication to succeed.
4. The Sandy Jeffers Memorial Scholarship : The Sandy Jeffers Memorial Scholarship provides one semester’s in-state tuition for an undergraduate student studying forensic anthropology or historical anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Students must provide a transcript of their courses and their grades received, submit the names of three persons who can act as academic references, write a letter detailing their interest and achievements in the field, and provide an explanation of how they are paying for the academic studies. The scholarship is awarded based on merit and financial need.
5. James and Harriet Tong Forensic Chemistry Scholarship : The James and Harriet Tong Forensic Chemistry Scholarship (amount not specified) is given to students attending Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and who show aptitude in their forensic chemistry program. An award is given each year to a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior student. The forensic chemistry program at the school was established by James Tong in 1976 and graduated its first student in 1978.
6. The Radford University Forensic Science Institute Boyd Forensic and Anthropological Science Scholarship : Scholarships (amount unstated) are available to students attending Radford University in Radford, Va. through monies set aside by the school’s Radford University Foundation. Students must have obtained superb outstanding achievement in the field and be assisting faculty in research in forensic science or anthropological science. They also need to write a 500-word essay describing their work and include two letters of recommendation from faculty members.
7. The George H. Robertson Scholarship : The George H. Robertson Scholarship is made available from the Chesapeake Bay Division of the International Association for Identification to full-time students in at least their sophomore year of an undergraduate degree focused on forensic science work. Students needs to have at least a 2.5 GPA. The amount given and number of recipients chosen will vary depending on the organization’s fund. Recipients will be announced during the organization’s fall meeting. The scholarship was started in memory of George H. Robinson, who was the first president of the Chesapeake Bay Division of the International Association for Identification.
8. The William R. Maples Memorial Scholarship : The Williams R. Maples Memorial Scholarship is available to students who want to pursue graduate studies in forensic anthropology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Up to four $500 scholarships are awarded each spring in honor of William Maples, who was a Distinguished Professor at the school and served there in some capacity from 1968 to 1997. Maples also served for a year as the program director of the school’s C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, which provides consultation services to coroners and medical examiners. The scholarship was established in his name in 1997 after he died from a brain tumor.
9. The Gary Boccia Memorial Scholarship : The Gary Boccia Memorial Scholarship is given to a forensic science major at John Jay College in New York who has achieved at least a 3.0 GPA and taken at least 60 credits of class work. Students also must have completed an internship in a forensic science laboratory or be currently enrolled in one, write a 500-word essay about experiences and future hopes, and submit two letters of recommendation. The award amount of $500 can be given to a full-time or part-time student.
10. William A. Snare Memorial Scholarship : The William A. Snare Memorial Scholarship makes scholarships of up to $500 each available to students pursuing a forensic identification program or public safety program at a college or university in California or Nevada. They must be either a junior or senior in school or pursuing an advanced degree. They need to explain how the scholarship would benefit them, and must have obtained at least a 2.5 GPA. As well, applicants can be part-time students who have completed at least 60 credit hours of coursework but are employed in a law-enforcement field. The 2.5 minimum GPA applies as well to the part-time student applicant.
11. The Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Scholarship : The $1,000 scholarship available through the Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists can by sought by students who are in their junior or senior year of a bachelor’s degree program and who intend to pursue a career in the forensic sciences. They need to have a minimum of at least a 3.0 GPA, include three letters of recommendation, and provide information about their career goals and the forensic classes they have taken or plan to intend. The scholarship deadline is April 1 of each year and selected winners will have a photo and short biography posted on the SWAFS website.
12. New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists Scholarship : A $1,000 one-time scholarship is available from the New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists to students attending school in New Jersey or who are residents of the state but attending school out of state in pursuit of a science program, such as forensic science, biology or chemistry. Students can also be a member of the NJAFS if they don’t meet either of those requirements. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, at least one from a professor, and explain why they want to pursue a career in forensic science. This year’s scholarship deadline is October 31, and the winner will be announced at NJAFS’ fourth-quarter meeting.
13. The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors : The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors awards a scholarship of $1,000 annually to students who are juniors or seniors in a bachelor’s degree program or pursuing a graduate field of study in forensic science, forensic chemistry, or a natural of physical science. Selection is based on overall academic achievement and GPA with the forensic science field, recommendations by faculty or advisors, a personal statement, and motivation to work toward a career. The application deadline for each year is April 15. Those selected to receive scholarship will have their photo and information run in the organization’s fall newsletter.
14. The Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners : The Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (ATFE) offers a $2,000 scholarship on an annual basis to students pursuing a career in forensic science and who are in their junior or senior year of a bachelor’s degree program or in an advanced degree program. The scholarship is granted on a merit basis, but letters of recommendation, contributions to the field, and the applicant’s narrative statement are also considered. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Scholarships are granted at the beginning of each new school year, but applications are due by April 1 of the preceding spring. Scholarship recipients will have their photo and biography posted on the AFTE website as well as be announced at the organization’s annual training conference.
15. J. Edgar Hoover Foundation Scientific Scholarship : The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation awards a $25,000 scholarship to a deserving student who is pursuing forensic science and plans to launch a law enforcement career. To apply, students must be a junior or senior in school or a graduate student and pursuing study in a field like analytical chemistry, clinical lab science, forensic technologies, pathology and so on. A transcript, two letters of recommendation, and a narrative letter of up to three pages in length that details career aspirations, community involvement, and meaning of the scholarship are needed as part of the application process. The $25,000 award has been available since 2001, and more than $250,000 has been distributed to students to date.
This list represents some of the forensic science scholarships that can be found online and that are offered by reputable schools and organizations. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to act as a sampling of what is available it terms of programming and funding. Criminal justice departments at a college or university will have much more information about available scholarships (some which way not be degree specific, but still may be applicable to forensic science students). Also regional police departments, law enforcement agencies and criminal justice associations may know of other scholarship opportunities.
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Before co-founding Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, Barry Franklin was a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. He is an investor and advisor for DataSimply and Impellia. Barry believes that education and lifelong learning are paramount. Barry met his wife at Carnegie Mellon University and they have two beautiful daughters. He also volunteers for various committees at his kids’ high school.