Boren Awards: UNC Endorsement Application


Three separate forms must be submitted prior to the endorsement deadline in order to complete your application. These include:

  • Personal Information form
  • Upload Application form
  • Submit Recommenders form

We have separated the forms so that you may complete the steps at different times. These forms cannot be saved and must be completed in one sitting.

Personal Information Form

This form allows you to provide information about you, your education, and your future plans to ODS and the Boren Selection Committee. You may complete this form prior to submitting your other application materials.

Personal Information Form

Online Application

In order to apply for endorsement through ODS, create an account on the Boren Awards website and complete all pieces of the application except registering your recommenders. Then, download your application as a PDF and submit it to ODS through the Application Upload Form, along with your study abroad program description, transcript, and photograph. Application instructions are available for the scholarship and fellowship applications.


The essays are the most important part of the application. Essay one has a maximum length of 800 words and essay two has a maximum length of 800 words for Scholars and 1,000 words for Fellows. The essay prompts vary slightly between the Scholar and Fellow applications, so be sure you are answering appropriately.

Overseas Experience/Relevant Activities/Awards

In this section, you will list up to three countries where you have lived, traveled, or studied; up to three relevant jobs; up to three relevant activities; and up to five relevant honors or awards.


View the Boren Awards budget guidelines for scholarships and fellowships for details about creating your budget.

Study Abroad Program

For Scholarship applicants only: Review study abroad program guidelines and prepare a one-page study abroad program description. This may be a page from the program’s website or part of the program brochure.

University Transcripts

Upload a copy of your current unofficial UNC transcript. Click here for information on how to obtain your transcript online. If you have taken higher education courses that are not reflected on your transcript, provide those transcripts as well.


You will be asked to upload a high-resolution head shot photograph (.jpg or .jpeg file) for promotional purposes. It does not need to be professionally taken.


  • Online application, transcripts, photograph
UPLOAD APPLICATION FORM: Save all documents as PDFs and submit them here

Letters of Recommendation

Request 2-3 letters of recommendation directly from faculty using the form linked below. The third recommendation is optional for Scholars, but mandatory for Fellows. We encourage you contact your recommenders at least one month prior to the endorsement deadline and to share your personal statement, resume, and future goals with all recommenders.

When choosing recommenders, consider the following:

  • Recommendations should be academic and comment on your academic, linguistic, and personal preparation for the study abroad program, especially as they relate to the Boren objectives.
  • Recommendations should speak to your ability to carry out you proposed study abroad plan, your U.S. national security argument and your career interests.
  • More recommendation information can be found at these links for the scholarship and the fellowship.

When you complete the following form, your recommenders will receive an email with instructions to upload their letters as PDFs. You should ask potential recommenders personally before completing this form.

Recommendations should be signed, on letterhead, and addressed to The Boren Awards Selection Committee. Please read this letter of guidance and share it with individuals you ask to write a letter of recommendation. Contact ODS if you need advice on choosing and contacting a recommender.

Recommenders who have questions should contact ODS directly.

Submit Recommenders Form

After you Apply

Interviews with UNC Selection Committee

After reviewing the applications for endorsement, the UNC Boren Awards Selection Committee will invite competitive applicants to participate in an on-campus interview. Applicants who are unavailable for on-campus interviews should contact ODS prior to the endorsement application deadline to discuss other interview options. Endorsed candidates will be notified soon after the interviews.

Next Steps for Endorsed Candidates

Endorsed candidates will be able to work with ODS to polish their applications prior to the Boren deadline. All application materials must be submitted online to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program before the final deadline. The applicant is responsible for submitting all materials to the Boren Awards online before the scholarship deadline. Letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommenders before the deadline. Those who encounter difficulties should contact ODS. Applicants are notified in late April if they have been selected as a Boren Scholar or Fellow or an alternate.