Funding: $10,000–$35,000

Opens: August 1
Deadline: December

Having a strong publication record is a key to receiving promotions and tenure in engineering, medicine and science. Yet persistent gender stereotypes and bias in these fields can make it difficult for women to find the time and institutional support needed to publish their research. These grants help women overcome these barriers by funding research projects that will culminate in scholarly publications.

They are open to women scholars conducting basic research in engineering, medicine or the physical or biological sciences and who have a doctorate degree in one of those fields. The grantee must publish their research in a scholarly publication and be listed as a primary author.

For questions or technical support, please email

Award Amount


Payment of the final 10% of the funds will be will be contingent upon publication of research results within six months of the end of the grant year.


December 1, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. Central Time
Deadline for online submission of application, recommendations, and supporting documents

April 15, 2021
Notification of decision emailed to all applicants.

July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022
Grant year

When a deadline or notification date falls on a weekend, the date will be observed on the following business day.


  • Grants are not open to previous recipients of any AAUW national fellowship or grant (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants).
  • Members of the AAUW Board of Directors, committees, panels, task forces, and staff, including current interns, are not eligible to apply for AAUW’s fellowships and grants. A person holding a current award is eligible for election or appointment to boards, committees, panels, and task forces.
  • Grants are open to scholars who identify as women and who are conducting basic research in engineering, medicine, or physical or biological sciences. AAUW follows the National Science Foundation’s definition of basic research: “activity aimed at acquiring new knowledge or understanding without specific immediate commercial application or use.”
  • The grantee must plan to publish this research in a scholarly scientific publication within six months of the end of the grant year and be listed as the sole author, senior author, first author, or an author of equivalent significance.
  • Applicants must hold a doctorate degree in engineering, medicine, or the physical or biological sciences.
  • Tenured professors are not eligible.
    The grants are for tenure track, part-time and temporary faculty, as well as new and established researchers at universities.
    Applicants may not apply for another AAUW national fellowship or grant in the same year.

Criteria for Selection and Application Review

The panel meets once a year to review applications for funding. Awards are based on the selection criteria outlined here. The panel’s recommendations are subject to final approval by the AAUW Board of Directors. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year. To ensure a fair review process, AAUW does not comment on the deliberations of its award panels. No provisions exist for reconsidering grant proposals after the board has acted. AAUW does not provide evaluations of applications.

Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of AAUW and will not be returned or held for another year.

In selecting grant recipients, the following criteria will be considered:

  • Applicant’s scholarly excellence.
  • Quality of project design.
  • Originality of project.
  • Scholarly significance of project to the discipline.
  • Feasibility of project and proposed schedule.
  • Likelihood the project will culminate in a scholarly scientific publication within six months of the end of the grant year.
  • Qualifications of applicant.
  • Applicant’s commitment to women’s issues in the profession/community.
  • Applicant’s mentoring of other women.
  • Applicant’s teaching experience.
  • Potential of applicant to make a significant contribution to the field.
  • Applicant is from an underrepresented racial/ethnic background.
  • Applicant is from an underrepresented area of the country and/or type of university other than a top-level research institution.
  • Financial need.

The primary criterion for grant awards is scholarly excellence. Applications are reviewed by distinguished scholars and should be prepared accordingly.

When comparing proposals of equal merit the review panel will give special consideration to women holding junior academic appointments who are seeking research leave, women who have held the doctorate for at least three years, and women whose educational careers have been interrupted.


Funds are available for:

  • Research expenses including supplies, equipment and travel.
  • Publication costs.
  • Clerical and technical support.
  • Research assistance, as long as it does not exceed one full-time equivalent employee.
  • Journal fees.
  • Office supplies, postage, copying and related expenses.

Funds are not available for:

  • Salary replacement.
  • Educational expenses.
  • Living expenses.
  • Indirect costs.
  • Previous expenditures, deficits or repayment of loans.
  • Institutional (overhead) costs.
  • Tuition for dependent’s education.
  • Tuition for additional coursework.

With some exceptions based on relevant tax statuses and treaties, the stipends of grantees with a foreign person tax status who are conducting work with a U.S. institution may be subject to a 14 or 30 percent tax. AAUW will withhold these funds for payment to the U.S. IRS.

AAUW regards the acceptance of an award as a contract requiring fulfillment of the following terms:

  • All recipients are required to sign a contract as acceptance of the award. Retain these instructions as they will become part of the contract if the applicant is awarded a grant.
  • Grants may not be deferred.
  • Any changes in research plans for the grant year require the prior written approval of AAUW.
  • AAUW must be notified promptly of any change in the status of an application resulting from acceptance of another award.
  • The grant will be awarded in two equal payments at the beginning and the midpoint of the grant year (pending receipt of a satisfactory midyear progress report). Payment of the final 10% will be will be contingent upon publication of research results in a scholarly scientific publication within six months of the end of the grant year.
  • Stipends are made payable to grantees, not to institutions.
  • Any tax liability associated with the receipt of a grant is the sole responsibility of the applicant.
  • Specific questions regarding income tax matters should be addressed with the Internal Revenue Service, the applicant’s financial aid office, or a personal tax adviser. (AAUW is a nonprofit, tax- exempt 501(c)(3) public charity founded for educational purposes.)

Required Components*

Start the application process by clicking on the link to access the application and create an account through our vendor site. Complete all required components in the following areas:

  • Eligibility.
    Applicants must pass the eligibility quiz to be reviewed by the selection panel.
  • Applicant.
  • Recommendations.
    Provide three recommendations from the applicant’s advisers, colleagues or others well acquainted with her project or work. Standardized or form letter recommendations are discouraged. AAUW does not accept references from dossier services.
  • Academics.
  • C.V./Résumé.
  • Narratives.
  • Budget.
  • Uploads.
    • Proof of degree. Transcript(s)** or an original letter showing proof of doctorate degree in engineering, medicine or the physical or biological sciences.
    • Project institution form. Submit the form that indicates you have approval from the proposed institution and the authority with whom the work will be done to conduct the research and have institutional affiliation, laboratory or office space, and library privileges during the grant year. No substitutions for this form will be accepted.

* A certified English translation is required for all components provided in a foreign language. Translations must bear a mark of certification or official signature that the translation is true and complete.

** All transcripts provided must include the applicant’s full name, the school’s name, all courses and all grades, as well as any other information requested in in the application instructions.

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