Goldwater Application Tips

  • Your essay should be typed a 2‐column format and confined to two pages (one side only). Font size may not be smaller than 12 characters per inch or 11 point.
  • Your essay should discuss a significant issue or problem in your field of study that is of particular interest to you. Your essay must include a description of the issue or problem, discuss an idea for research that could have significant impact on the issue or problem, describe an aspect of the research in which you would be involved, and explain the relevance of the issue or problem to you as a mathematician, scientist, or engineer.
  • The content and style of your essay will be important to the success of your scholarship application. Assume that your reader is knowledgeable in mathematics, science, and engineering, and will have the expertise to read, review, and understand the complexities of your field of specialty. If your essay involves research in which you are or were involved, please indicate if you are or were the sole researcher or if you collaborated with another individual
  • Include a bibliography, references, or illustrations, when appropriate, as part of the essay, which will be included in your two pages.
  • Your essay must include the following identifying information at the top of each page: Student’s Name & Name of student’s college or university

Writing your research proposal for Goldwater Scholarship (by Rochester Institute of Technology)
Keep the following suggestions in mind when writing your essay:

  • Most winning Proposals for the Goldwater have essays that centered around the applicant’s current research. You may want to consider starting by discussing your current research.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the project by making the case for its importance, its potential applications, and future breakthroughs. Go from there to develop a research proposal of future work.
  • The challenge facing all writers is to get the good ideas out of their heads and into the heads of their readers. To achieve this, effective writers must: Be clear. Be concrete. Be concise.
  • Think of your application essay as a part of a larger whole (including the letters of reference and the application form).
  • No essay can be successful without a clear focus. An effective thesis sentence announces clearly the central idea to be developed in the rest of the essay.
  • You must have a passionate interest in what you propose to do. The best essays are written about something the author truly cares about.
  • Your essay must go through many drafts, so start early! Show your work to a number of readers whose comments you respect. Consult especially your research advisor and ask your readers to
    tell you what questions your essays raise that you might not have considered.
  • Revise until you feel that you have made your application into effective reflections of who you are and what you want to do.
  • Keep to word limits and all other guidelines and remember to proofread the entire application.