McDonnell International Scholars Academy


Enrolment status Currently enrolled students
Student type Domestic students
Level of study Postgraduate, Higher Degree by Research
Study area All study areas
Scholarship value US$28,000/year
Opening date 8 November 2019
Closing date 31 January 2020


The McDonnell International Scholars Academy provides the network with which Washington University in St. Louis incubates new ideas and mentors future leaders. Through our partnerships, we lead groundbreaking research projects and prepare our Scholars to be effective leaders in a global community.

The academy provides academic, cultural and social opportunities to help Scholars develop into future leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries of the world and critical international issues.  A special feature of the McDonnell Academy is that each scholar has a mentor, who also serves as the ambassador to the student’s home institution. These mentors help students to enhance their scholarship and international networks. 

The Award provides the following financial and programmatic support for the 2019-20 Academic Year:

  1. Full tuition for study in a doctoral or master’s degree program. This support will continue as long as the Scholar is making satisfactory progress toward a degree.
  2. A 12-month living stipend for each year that the Scholar is making satisfactory progress toward a degree. This stipend is set at $28,000 for the year beginning August 16, 2019. (Some PhD programs offer additional stipend funds. Check with the department to which you are applying for more information.)
  3. A one-time travel allowance of up to $1,500 for travel to St. Louis to begin studies as an Academy Scholar.
  4. An annual travel allowance of up to $2,000 for a trip to the Scholar’s alma mater.
  5. Opportunity to reside exclusively with other McDonnell Scholars in attractive, yet affordable apartments within close proximity to campus.  Read more about the McDonnell Academy residences.


To be eligibile to apply to the McDonnell Academy, applicants must apply to one of a select group of full-time doctoral, professional or master’s degree programs and also meet one of the following criteria:

  • An International Scholar who is graduate of one of our Partner Universities - including University of Queensland
  • An International Scholar from other international universities outside the partner network
  • A U.S. citizen who has spent most of his or her life and earned previous degrees in the United States 

*The Academy strives to have a representative from each of our 34 partner institutions on campus, with a smaller representation from the US and other international schools.

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy considers applicants who are accepted into the following Washington University in St. Louis programs:

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

Applicants to the McDonnell Academy must first apply to one of a select group of full-time doctoral, professional or master’s degree programs

See Admissions for Washington University in St. Louis application information.

You will need to submit the following information for the McDonnell Academy online application.

Complete your profile

The McDonnell Academy application requests general biographic and demographic information such as your contact details and country of citizenship.

Academic history

Provide details about your previous academic degrees, such as the partner university you graduated from (international students only) and the degree(s) you hold.

Personal essay

One of the goals of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy is to create a global network of leaders who have a desire to address scientific and societal issues. In an essay of 1000 words or less, please explain:

  • Why would you like to be selected as a McDonnell Scholar?
  • How will being a McDonnell Scholar benefit your professional career and your country?
  • How will you contribute to the goals of the McDonnell Academy?

Essays must be uploaded to your application in .pdf format.

Video introduction

Help the McDonnell Academy get to know you and your views about leadership better.  Submit a video between one to two-minutes in length addressing the following question:

  • What do you consider to be your responsibility as a future leader, and what personal values will you bring to a leadership role?

Keep in mind that your face should be in full view of the camera and your response should be clear and audible; production is not important. You will be required to upload a URL to your application; video files such as .mp4, .mov, .wmv are not accepted.  It is recommended that applicants use the video recording software of their choice and upload the file to an online video sharing service such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Recommendation letter

Applicants are required to select one individual to write a letter of recommendation.  This individual should be a current or past instructor, academic advisor, employment manager, or professional mentor who is able to speak to your leadership skills, character, and potential. The McDonnell Academy will also review your departmental recommendation letters included in your graduate program application (in consultation with the academic department). For that reason, please select an individual who has NOT previously submitted a letter of recommendation for your academic program application.  The application will request the individual’s name, organization and professional email address.

Because your recommender will be contacted directly by the McDonnell Academy to request their letter, we strongly suggest you discuss the recommendation letter in advance with him/her before submitting contact information in the online application.  To provide the recommender additional time to upload a letter before the review of applications begin, letter of recommendations must be submitted by February 9, 2019 at 11:59PM CST.

Selection criteria

Scholars are selected on the basis of their promise to become future leaders in academia, government, the professions or the corporate world. The Academy provides academic, cultural and social opportunities to help scholars develop into future leaders knowledgeable about the world and critical international issues.

Applications are closed.


McDonnell International Scholars Academy
Applications are closed.