AFOSR - Funding Opportunities - Educational Programs

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The AF Scientist Visiting Scientist Program provides outstanding Air Force scientists and engineers the opportunity to conduct full-time, "hands-on" research-related work in a leading U.S. University or industry laboratory for a period of up to 179 days on a temporary duty status funded by AFOSR.

The university or industrial laboratory provides a letter of invitation, and makes facilities, equipment, and resources available. The host laboratory must be located in the United States.

Typically the researcher is an Air Force scientist or engineer, at least at the GS-13 level or its military equivalent. The applicant must be currently active in his or her field of expertise, be widely recognized as an expert, and have a strong publication record. The applicant must write a project proposal, preferably not to exceed ten pages, but of sufficient depth and scope for evaluation by scientists at participating organizations. Hands-on laboratory research-related work is an essential program element

At the completion of the TDY, the visiting researcher is required to submit a written report detailing his or her experiences and results of the project. In addition, the visiting researcher may be required to give a seminar presentation at the Air Force laboratory or at AFOSR and to provide feedback for purposes of program assessment. Upon completion of the assignment the researcher returns to his or her Air Force Laboratory.

VSP Qualification and Eligibility Requirements

Contact: Mrs. Leslie Peasant 
Tele: (703) 696-7316
DSN: 426-7316
FAX: (703) 696-8450




The ASSURE program supports undergraduate research in DoD relevant disciplines and is designed to increase the number of high-quality undergraduate science and engineering majors who ultimately decide to pursue advanced degrees in these fields. A strong U.S. science and engineering workforce is of clear interest to the DoD, as the capability of producing superior technology is essential for future national security.

The ASSURE program aims to provide valuable research opportunities for undergraduates, either through ongoing research programs or through projects specially designed for this purpose. Research projects should allow high quality interaction of students with faculty and/or other research mentors and access to appropriate facilities and professional development opportunities. Active research experience is considered one of the most effective ways to attract and retain talented undergraduates in science and engineering.

ASSURE projects must have a well-defined common focus that enables a research related experience for students. Projects may be based in a single discipline or academic department, or interdisciplinary or multi-department research opportunities with a strong intellectual focus. Each proposal should reflect the unique combination of the proposing institution's interests and capabilities. Applicants are encouraged to involve students in research who might not otherwise have the opportunity, particularly those from institutions where research programs are limited. Thus, a significant fraction of the student participants should come from outside the host institution. In addition, DoD is interested in strengthening institutions with limited research programs and especially encourages proposals that help to enhance the research infrastructure in predominantly undergraduate four-year institutions. Student participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.

The DoD ASSURE budget is $4.5 million annually. DoD expected ASSURE budget for new projects is approximately $1.5 million; this funding will be distributed among fifteen to twenty new ASSURE awards. DoD relevance will be considered in making funding decisions. Projects may be carried out during the summer months, during the academic year, or both. Sites may be proposed for durations of one to five years, with a three-year duration being typical.

DoD executes the ASSURE program collaboratively with the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites Program. DoD funded ASSURE sites will be selected by DoD scientists and engineers, but will be overseen by NSF as part of the NSF portfolio of REU Sites. There is no separate application for the ASSURE program; ASSURE funding is awarded through the NSF REU Sites Program.

Information about the NSF REU Program can be found at: NSF Program Solicitation NSF 05-592

Students apply directly to REU Sites and should consult the directory of active REU Sites 

Contact: Program Coordinator



The Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP) is a DoD effort to promote international cooperation in military research, development, and acquisition through the exchange of defense scientists and engineers.  It provides on-site working assignments for US military and civilian engineers and scientists in allied and friendly governments' organizations and the reciprocal assignment of foreign engineers and scientists in US defense establishments. A prerequisite for establishing the program is a formal international agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each participant nation.  Currently, DoD has signed agreements with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Primary goals of ESEP are:

  • Broaden perspectives in research and development techniques and methods
  • Form a cadre of internationally experienced professionals to enhance USAF research and development programs
  • Gain insight into foreign research and development expertise, methods, organizational structures, procedures, production, logistics, testing, and management systems
  • Cultivate future international cooperative endeavors
  • Avoid duplication of research efforts

Air Force personnel are selected on a competitive basis for a 2-year tour which may be preceded by 24-28 weeks of language training.  SAF/IA advertises the program to the USAF at large to recruit applicants, usually in October with an application due date in the following February.  Ad hoc placements (non-competitive) can be initiated by research sites; however these are funded solely by their initiators.  Foreign S&Es are usually assigned to DoD organization for 12 month periods.  AFOSR/ION is responsible for managing placement of ESEP exchanges within the Air Force.  SAF/IAPC (Armaments Cooperation Division, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs), the program Executive Agent, provides policy guidance.  AFOSR/ION implements all actions for USAF participants once their selection is approved, and for the placement of foreign ESEP participants in Air Force organizations.

Contact: Phil Gibber
(703) 696-7323
DSN 426-7323
FAX: (703) 696-8450




The NDSEG Fellowship Program is a Department of Defense (DoD) fellowship program sponsored by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Army Research Office (ARO), Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP). The DoD is committed to increasing the number and quality of our Nation's scientists and engineers. The actual number of awards varies from year to year, depending upon the available funding. The NDSEG Fellows do not incur any military or other service obligations. NDSEG Fellowships are highly competitive and will be awarded for fulltime study and research.

An awardee must be enrolled in a graduate program by Fall 2013; the graduate program must lead towards a Ph.D. Preference will be given to applicants in one, or closely related to one, of the following specialties:

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering;
  • Biosciences;
  • Chemical Engineering;
  • Chemistry;
  • Civil Engineering;
  • Cognitive, Neural and Behavioral Sciences;
  • Computer and Computational Sciences;
  • Electrical Engineering;
  • Geosciences;
  • Materials Science and Engineering;
  • Mathematics;
  • Mechanical Engineering;
  • Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering;
  • Oceanography; and
  • Physics

The NDSEG Fellowship Program is open only to applicants who are citizens or nationals of the United States. Persons who hold permanent resident status are not eligible to apply. NDSEG Fellowships are intended for students at or near the beginning of their graduate study in science or engineering. Applications are encouraged from women, persons with disabilities, and members of ethnic and racial minority groups historically underrepresented in science and engineering fields, including African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and Hispanic persons.

The duration of an NDSEG Fellowship is thirty-six months cumulative starting in the fall. NDSEG Fellows may choose as their fellowship institution any accredited U.S. institution of higher education offering doctoral degrees in science or engineering. The availability of funds for the second and third years of each three-year award is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress.

Tuition, Stipends and Allowances
NDSEG fellows will receive stipends of $30,500, $31,000 and $31,500 in the first, second, and third years, respectively. Additionally, the NDSEG fellowship will pay the fellow's full tuition, required fees (not to include room and board) and minimum health insurance coverage offered through the institution, up to a total value of $1,000. Any excess insurance costs will be the responsibility of the fellow and can be paid using the stipend. The stipends will be prorated monthly based on a twelve-month academic year. If the fellow is not enrolled in an institutionally approved academic study and/or research during the summer months, financial support will not be provided. There are no dependency allowances. Persons with disabilities will be considered for additional allowances to offset special educational expenses.

An on-line application is available at:

This program is currently administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE):

NDSEG Fellowship Program
c/o American Society for Engineering Education
1818 N Street, N. W.
Suite 600
Washington, D. C., 20036
Phone: (202) 331-3516
Fax: (202) 265-8504

AFOSR Contact:
Ellen D. Montgomery
(703) 588-8527
DSN 425-8527
FAX: (703) 696-8450



Submission Dates:  November 1, February 1, May 1, and August 1 

Program Description:  The NRC/RRA Program offers postdoctoral and senior scientists and engineers opportunities to perform research at sponsoring Air Force laboratory sites. The objectives of this program are:

  1. to provide researchers of unusual promise and ability opportunities to solve problems, largely of their own choice, that are compatible with the interests of the hosting laboratories; and
  2. to contribute to the overall efforts of the Air Force laboratories.

Postdoctoral Research Associateships are awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have held doctorates for less than five years at the time of application. The awards are made initially for one year and may be renewed for a second year, and in some cases, a third year. A small number of associateships may be available for foreign citizens if laboratory funds are available.

Senior Research Associateships are awarded to individuals who have held doctorates for more than five years, have significant research experience, and are recognized internationally as experts in their specialized fields, as evidenced by numerous refereed journal publications, invited presentations, authorship of books or book chapters, and professional society awards of international stature. Although awards to senior associates are usually for one year, awards for periods of three months or longer may be considered. Renewals for a second and third year are possible. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement. Senior associates must be eligible for access to unclassified government information systems; eligibility is also subject to a successful background review and visit authorization that includes approved access to the Air Force base and its laboratory facilities. Associates are considered independent contractors, and receive a stipend from the NRC while carrying out their proposed research. Annual stipends increase with additional years past the Ph.D. An appropriately higher stipend is offered to senior associates. Awardees also receive a relocation reimbursement and may be supported with limited funds for professional travel.

Fill out the online application to apply.

Contact:  The program is currently administered by The National Research Council (NRC):

Research Associateship Programs (Keck 568)
National Research Council
500 Fifth St, NW, Washington DC 20001

(202) 334-2760


POC: Ellen D. Montgomery
(703) 588-8527
DSN 425-8527FAX: (703) 696-8450



The SFFP offers fellowships to university faculty to conduct research at one of the Air Force research facilities in the summer. The objectives of the Summer Faculty Fellowship Program are to:

  1. stimulate professional relationships among SFFP fellows and the scientists and engineers in AFRL Technical Directorates and other Air Force research facilities;
  2. elevate the awareness in the U.S. academic community of Air Force research needs and foster continued research at SFFP fellows' institutions; and
  3. provide the faculty opportunities to perform high-quality research at AFRL Technical Directorates and other Air Force research facilities.

SFFP fellows conduct research in collaboration with Air Force researchers for a continuous summer period of eight to twelve weeks at the Technical Directorates of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the US Air Force Academy, or the Air Force Institute of Technology.

A final report is required at the completion of the summer appointment. 

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have an earned Ph.D. in science or engineering. Fellows must be eligible for access to unclassified government information systems; the fellowship award is subject to a successful background review and visit authorization that includes approved access to an Air Force installation and its laboratory facilities. 

Fellows are awarded in different categories including both early career investigator and senior investigator. The stipend is based on the category. Each SFFP award is for one summer. The SFFP fellow may reapply for up to two additional summers, for a maximum of three summer awards. Starting in Fiscal Year 2010, selected fellows may bring a graduate student with them to assist in research on their assignment. 

An on-line application is available at:

The program is currently administered by Systems Plus, Inc:

Systems Plus, Inc.
One Research Court Suite 360
Rockville, MD  20850

Contact:  Mr. Raheem Lawal
(703) 696-7313
DSN 696-7313, FAX (703) 696-8450



Submission Date: ongoing 

The Window on Science (WOS) program facilitates technical interactions on fundamental research via direct contact between distinguished foreign researchers and Air Force Research Laboratory scientists and engineers. 

The WOS program sponsors foreign scientists and engineers to visit Air Force scientists and engineers at USAF sites typically within the U.S., but may also include other domestic or overseas locations. Although WOS visits are designed to be short-term in nature, visits to multiple sites are encouraged. 

In order to present their research to a greater audience, and to further Air Force interests, WOS visitors may also combine visits to Air Force R&D organizations with visits to Army, Navy, other government, university, or industrial facilities. 

The European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (EOARD), London, United Kingdom, manages this program for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and countries of the former Soviet Union. 

The Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD), Tokyo, Japan manages this program for the remainder of Asia and the Pacific Rim. 

The Southern Office of Aerospace Research and Development (SOARD), located in Santiago, Chile manages the WOS program for the Americas, but administers the program from AFOSR/ION located in Arlington, Virginia. 

Participants in the WOS program will be foreign non-government researchers identified as subject matter experts by AFRL program officers, and whose visit benefits Air Force scientists and engineers. Travelers may be eligible to receive payment for their services; however, base clearance requests for unpaid non-government visitors can also be handled under the WOS program. Visitors will normally present seminars to discuss their work, which may or may not have been funded by the Air Force.

The WOS program is not intended as a substitute for research programs, internships, associateships, or personnel exchange programs. The lead-time necessary to arrange a WOS visit is generally three months. A letter report from the traveler is required on completion of the visit. The following offices manage the program. 




Submission Date: ongoing 

Description: The Windows on the World program provides outstanding Air Force scientists and engineers the opportunity to conduct full-time research at a foreign (non-government) host laboratory, or to perform full-time science and technology assessment activities for a period up to 179 days on temporary duty (TDY) status. The TDY is fully funded by AFOSR.

Upon completion of the assignment the researcher returns to his or her Air Force activity. The host laboratory provides facilities, resources, and a letter of invitation. Typically the researcher is an Air Force scientist or engineer, at least at the GM/GS-13 level or its military equivalent. The researcher must be currently active in his or her field of expertise, be widely recognized as an expert, and have a strong publication record. Some knowledge of the language used by the researcher's host institution is desirable.

The applicant must write a research proposal, preferably not to exceed 10 pages, but of sufficient depth and scope, so that it can be evaluated by the scientists at the participating organizations. The proposal must be endorsed by the applicant's Air Force Research Laboratory Technical Directorate Chief Scientist. Non-laboratory applicants, such as researchers at the Air Force Academy and Air Force Institute of Technology, should pass their proposals through the Chief Scientist of an AFRL Technical Directorate.

Proposals that focus tightly on specific research problems or specific science and technology assessment topics will merit greater consideration than those that are of a survey nature. The researcher is required to submit a written report detailing his or her research effort and findings at the completion of the TDY.

In addition, the researcher may be required to give a seminar-style presentation at the Air Force laboratory and/or at AFOSR and provide feedback for purposes of program assessment. Lead-time to set up a "Windows" visit is approximately four months.

International Window Programs Brochure and More Information 

Contact: Phil Gibber
Phone: (703) 696-7323
DSN: 426-7323
FAX: (703) 696-8450