Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program
A New Scholarship for Undergraduate Students
What is the purpose of the Hollings Scholarship program?
The Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship program was established through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (PL 108-447) to honor retiring Senator Ernest F. Hollings (Democrat, South Carolina). The purposes of the program include to: (1) increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities; (2) increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy; (3) recruit and prepare students for public service careers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other natural resource and science agencies at the federal, state and local levels of government; and (4) recruit and prepare students for careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.
What does a Hollings Scholarship award provide?
The Hollings Scholarship program will provide selected undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to a maximum of $8,000) for full-time study during the 9-month academic year; a 10-week, full-time internship position ($650/week) during the summer at a NOAA or partner facility; and, if reappointed, academic assistance (up to a maximum of $8,000) for full-time study during a second 9-month academic year. The internship between first and second years of award provides “hands-on” multidisciplinary educational training experience involving scholars in NOAA-related scientific, research, technological, policy, management, and education activities. Awards will also include a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship, reimbursement for round-trip travel to the internship site, and travel expenses for attendance and participation at a Hollings Scholarship program conference at the completion of the internship.
How do I apply for a Hollings Scholarship?
Applications for the Earnest F. Hollings Scholarship program are available through Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) at http://www.orau.gov/noaa/HollingsScholarship. If you do not have Internet access, hard-copy applications can be requested by contacting ATTN: NOAA/Hollings Scholarship, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, P.O. Box 117, MS 36, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0117, HollingsScholarship@orau.gov, (865) 241-8240.
What must I submit to apply?
Applicants are required to submit all the items below to ORISE for an application to be screened for eligibility.
How can I get more information about the Hollings Scholarship?
For further information about the scholarship, contact ATTN: NOAA/Hollings Scholarship, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, P.O. Box 117, MS 36, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0117, HollingsScholarship@orau.gov, 865-241-8240 or NOAA/OESD at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-482-3384.
What is the ORISE role in the NOAA Hollings Scholarship Program?
ORISE, or Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education,
administers the Hollings Scholarship Program under a contractual
agreement with NOAA. ORISE, as directed by NOAA, handles the
administrative processes for the scholarship program including program
announcements and recruiting, accepting and processing application
materials, assisting NOAA in the application review process, making
appointment offers, processing appointment letters and terms of
appointments to begin the scholarship appointments, making academic
award payments, internship stipend and housing payments, and providing
other allowed reimbursements.
What is the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)?
The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) was established by the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake national and international programs in education, training, health, and the environment. ORISE is operated by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Established in 1946, ORAU is a consortium of 91 colleges and universities.
During my scholarship appointment, what is my relationship to ORISE?
During your scholarship appointment, you will be a NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholar associated with ORISE through an ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment. As a scholar, you are not an ORAU/ORISE employee, but rather an ORISE program participant.
Am I eligible to receive a Hollings Scholarship?
To be eligible to receive a Hollings Scholarship, at the time of application you must be:
Related discipline areas of study may include: biological, life, and agricultural sciences; physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and teacher education.
The eligibility requirements state that applicants must have full-time
junior academic status in fall 2005. If I will be a senior in fall
2005, am I eligible to apply?
If my major is not listed as one of the options under the areas of discipline, am I still eligible to receive a Hollings Scholarship?
Yes, awards are limited to the areas of discipline identified, but not limited to the majors listed under those areas of discipline. In your application, we asked that you select a field of study title that most closely describes your field of study or select “other” and identify your exact academic program title. We recognize that the titles of academic programs vary greatly among colleges and universities, and that a wide variety of general undergraduate academic programs can be applicable to NOAA’s mission. Reviewers will look specifically at your statements of academic and career interest to assess how your particular course of study relates to NOAA and provides the training you will need to pursue a NOAA-related career. Please refer to the NOAA Website (http://www.noaa.gov/) and “NOAA in your state and territory" (http://www.legislative.noaa.gov/noaainyourstate/noaainyourstate.html) for additional information on NOAA’s opportunities, sciences, services, and stewardship activities.
Is the scholar’s choice of institution subject to NOAA approval?
No, except that the scholar’s educational institution choice must be an accredited college or university within the United States or U.S. territories.
What is NOAA and what is NOAA’s mission?
Established in 1970, NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a federal science agency in the Department of Commerce (www.doc.gov). Its mission is
To understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs.
To achieve this mission, NOAA has identified four goals in which to focus agency activities:
NOAA has also identified “promoting environmental literacy” as a cross-cutting priority essential to achieving NOAA’s mission in all four of the goal areas. To learn more about the broad range of NOAA sciences, services, and stewardship activities that contribute to the agency’s mission, goals, and priorities, please explore the NOAA website (http://www.noaa.gov/).
If I received another scholarship award from NOAA, am I still eligible to receive a Hollings Scholarship?
Yes, as long as you meet all the eligibility requirements for the Hollings Scholarship program, you may apply for a Hollings Scholarship. If selected as a Hollings scholar, your scholarship award from the Hollings program will be adjusted based on the benefits of the other NOAA award for all years in which the award periods of the scholarship programs overlap. The total benefits during the coinciding award periods from the combined NOAA undergraduate scholarship programs in each award category (i.e., academic assistance, internship, housing subsidy, and travel expenses) shall not exceed the maximum benefits allowed under the Hollings program unless this level of support is provided in whole under the other NOAA scholarship award. The Hollings Scholarship program internship requirement will also be waived if you are obligated to a summer internship through a previous award from another NOAA undergraduate scholarship program.
How will my application be evaluated?
Evaluation will be based on the following criteria:
1. Academic record (30%)
2. Education plan and statement of career interest of student (30%)
3. Recommendations and/or endorsements (reference forms) of student (20%)
4. Additional relevant experience related to diversity of education; extracurricular activities; honors and awards; non-academic and volunteer work; interpersonal, written, and oral communications skills (20%)
What is the selection process?
An initial administrative review of applications will be conducted to determine compliance with requirements and completeness of applications. Only complete applications in compliance with the requirements will be considered for review. Applications identified as incomplete or not in compliance with the requirements will be destroyed. All complete and eligible applications will be included in a merit review by a panel of experts in the areas of study related to the Hollings Scholarship. The panel members will rate applications based on the evaluation criteria. A numerical ranking will be assigned to each application based on the average of the panelist’s ratings. The Selecting Official, the Director of the NOAA/Office of Education and Sustainable Development, will award in rank order unless the application is justified to be selected out of rank order based on one or more of the selection factors.
What selection factors might be considered in the determination of scholarship awards?
In determining final awards, the selecting official reserves the right to select candidates out of rank order based on availability of funds and program-specific objectives and to ensure reasonable distribution across academic disciplines, type of institution, and geographic location.
What are the requirements of the internship?
If you are selected as a Hollings scholar, you will be expected to complete a 10-week paid internship during the summer between your junior and senior years. The purpose of this internship is to provide “hands-on” multidisciplinary educational training experience in NOAA-related scientific, research, technological, policy, management, and education activities. Opportunities to complete the internship are available throughout the United States and U.S. territories. NOAA offices, programs, and laboratories offer a wide variety of options for the internship experience. You can explore the range of NOAA opportunities available in your desired location by visiting NOAA in your state and territory (http://www.legislative.noaa.gov/noaainyourstate/noaainyourstate.html). However, internship opportunities are not limited to working directly with NOAA. Appropriate experiences are also available through NOAA partners, including federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; nongovernmental organizations; research laboratories; colleges and universities; and school systems. If you are awarded a Hollings Scholarship, you will receive information about the various options and assistance to identify or develop an appropriate internship opportunity to help fulfill your academic and career objectives. If that opportunity requires you to relocate for the summer, you will be eligible to receive travel and housing subsidies under the terms of your scholarship award.
What happens if I fail to meet the eligibility requirements of the program after receiving a Hollings Scholarship award?
Award benefits will be contingent on compliance with all eligibility requirements. If you are selected as a Hollings scholar, ORISE will contact your college or university to verify your status as a full-time junior-level student in your stated academic degree program for Fall 2005 before beginning your academic award payments. You, your major advisor, the registrar, the academic dean, and other departments in your college or university may also receive periodic requests from ORISE for information to verify your eligibility status (for example: official academic transcripts at the completion of each semester or quarter). If you fail to maintain eligibility, future benefits of the award will be terminated or postponed. Full repayment of award benefits will be required if a recipient is determined, in obtaining or using the scholarship, to have engaged in fraudulent conduct or failed to comply with any term or condition of the scholarship.
How often do I receive the academic award and internship stipend payment?
During the academic year, you will receive your academic award payment monthly from ORISE according to a prearranged schedule. During your summer internship, you will receive your stipend payment every two weeks from ORISE according to a prearranged schedule. Direct deposit is available for both the academic award payment and the internship stipend payment.
What are the health insurance requirements?
Scholars are required to have insurance coverage under a health insurance plan during their internship appointment.
When will I be notified if I receive a scholarship?
If I am awarded a Hollings Scholarship, when am I expected to identify an
How do I go about finding an appropriate internship experience?
You are also welcome to look for and develop internship opportunities on your own through personal, professional, and academic contacts. NOAA facilities and partners offer a wide range of appropriate opportunities that are consistent with the purpose of the internship component. You are encouraged to use your imagination and initiative to explore the possibilities with contacts you are able to make within and outside the Agency. Because your support during the internship is provided by your scholarship award, you are likely to find that many potential mentors are very receptive to your inquiries and the possibility of having a “free” summer assistant.
To ensure the widest range of possibilities, you are encouraged to explore both methods to identify an internship that will complement your academic and career goals. Once you have selected an internship (around February to March 2006), you will be expected to visit the site and meet with your internship mentor. If the internship you choose is not local, limited funding is available through your scholarship award to allow you to travel to the site during your spring break. After spring break, you will be expected to provide the Hollings Scholarship program with a work plan developed by you and your internship mentor and approved by your academic advisor.
Who or what is considered a “NOAA Partner”?