Strauss Scholarship

Campus Deadline: Spring 2018

The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship provides a $10,000 scholarship to sophomores and juniors who will pursue a self-initiated public service project during their senior year. The project may be a new undertaking or an extension of an existing project. The Strauss Foundation annually awards at least fourteen scholarships to students from fifteen eligible California institutions. Each participating institution (including UC Berkeley) can nominate three students for the award.

Eligibility requirements

  • Full-time sophomore or junior
  • In the upper third of class (typically a minimum 3.3 GPA)
  • Plan to devote significant part of life to public service

The Strauss Foundation defines public service as work, whether paid or as a volunteer, in government at any level; organizations serving the public interest; national, regional, or local health organizations; and service-oriented, nonprofit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help disadvantaged persons or protect the environment.

Fields of study that can lead to public service careers include (but are not limited to) the biological and physical sciences, engineering, agriculture, environmental management, economics, political science and other social sciences, English, history and the other liberal arts and humanities, public health, public administration, government, and education.

Selection criteria

The public service project proposal is a major focus of the selection process. The project must be realistic in scope, and the foundation prefers projects that are designed to continue after initial implementation. Selectors look for candidates who are passionate about their project and who have a demonstrated interest in public service, outstanding leadership potential, effective communication skills, and who "wish to make a difference" in local, regional, or national communities.

Application requirements

Applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed nomination summary form
  • A one-page resume that includes work history and community service experience
  • A one-page autobiographical statement
  • A four-page proposal for a community service project (establishing the need for the program and outlining a specific plan)
  • A completed acceptance form
  • Two or three letters of recommendation from individuals who are well-acquainted with the student's academic and/or service work
  • Official copies of all college transcripts

The UC Berkeley selection committee will select the university's nominees based on the above application materials and criteria.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships offers advising on developing a public service project proposal. For more information, contact Alicia Hayes.