WID-GBC STEM Scholarship Program

Advancing Women in STEM

According to the US Department of Education, the number of STEM degrees women received increased 66.3% since the 2008-2009 school year. However, women still only accounted for 32.4% of all STEM degree recipients during the 2017-2018 school year.  Women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, STEM fields and U.S. defense careers continue to be underrepresented.  Recently, the National Academies released a report recommending actions to address “entrenched patterns” of women being underrepresented across STEM disciplines and in leadership roles within fields. The report was assembled through the efforts of two committees chaired respectively by Rita Colwell, the first woman to serve as National Science Foundation director, and Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to fly in space. To learn more about this report click here

The National Academies report outlines a series of recommendations for the federal government. As a government affiliated industry organization, WID-GBC will do our part to support national goals for advancing women in STEM. One of the ways will do this is by establishing a chapter-level STEM Scholarship Program.  While numerous initiatives to increase diversity exist, one of the most effective approaches is targeted scholarships.  The WID-GBC program aims to provide financial assistance to further the educational objectives of women who are committed to serving the U.S. defense and national security sectors.  Preferred fields of study include engineering, material science, human sciences, biological engineering, computer science, cyber security, physics, mathematics, and chemistry.  Awards will be made based on academic achievement, participation in defense and national security activities, work experience, statements of interest, and recommendations. 

Award Process       

WID-GBC is proud to announce that it is starting its own Boston regional scholarship!  Through an extraordinary year of engagement from our members and support from our sponsors we are able to establish this inaugural scholarship.  We will be selecting our WID-GBC recipients from the Boston area applicants that apply to the National WID Scholar Program announced below.  

Go to: WomenInDefense.net/WIDScholar.

In late spring, the scholarship committee will review applicants and make selections by the end of the summer. WID-GBC will formally make awards early Fall. For the 2021/2022 calendar year, we anticipate making three $1,000 scholarship awards to eligible applicants. 


The award amount and number of scholarships may vary and will depend on fundraising. If you are an individual or an organization and would like to support the WID-GBC STEM Scholarship Program, please contact Dr. Charlene Mello, WID-GBC Scholarship Chair, via Linked In

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria. No exceptions will be considered.

  • Be a female currently enrolled in an accredited university or college in New England.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible; undergraduates must have attained at least junior level status (60 credits).
  • Demonstrate interest in pursuing a career related to national security or defense.
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.25.
  • Be a resident of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire.
  • Be a citizen of the United States.

An intent to “Pay it Forward” and communicate the impact the Scholarships will have on their lives.  Willingness to speak and/or be introduced (in person and/or by photographic image) at WID events, write a brief column for WID publications, participate in group discussions to share career updates and positively impact mentees.

If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please email info@widgbc.org to receive program updates and participate in the scholarship committee.