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About the Scholarship

We are very pleased to announce our seventh annual scholarship essay contest for the 2019-2020 academic year. Three $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students of accredited 4-year colleges and universities. The “Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship” is dedicated to a female candidate majoring in engineering, math, or biological or physical sciences. The Yoji Kondo and Jerry Pournelle scholarships may be awarded to either a male or female, and add “Science Fiction as literature” as an eligible field of study. Applicants will need to submit a 500-1,000 word essay on one of several available topics. Winners will be announced on July 7, 2019.

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Scholarship Details

Three (3) $1,500 scholarships awarded to students selected by the Heinlein Society Scholarship Committee.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicant must be a full time undergraduate student enrolled in an accredited college that awards Bachelor of Science or Arts degrees.
  2. Major must be Engineering, Math, or Biological or Physical Sciences, or Science Fiction as Literature.
  3. Open to residents of any country.

Colleges where this scholarship is applicable

Additional Information

Previous scholarship winners who will still be attending college in the 2018-2019 academic year as undergraduates are eligible to apply again, but they must choose a different essay topic than previously.

Application Process

Applicant must submit the following items:
1. Completed application form.
2. A brief explanation of career goals and biographical (background) information.
3. A 500 – 1,000 word essay on one of the following subjects:
  •  How Robert Heinlein affected my career choice.
  • Discuss the ‘Golden Age of SF’ and Robert Heinlein’s role in it.
  • Most of the Heinlein estate and literary legacy is devoted to commercial space activities (the mission of the Heinlein Prize Trust). Given that and Elon Musk (winner of the Heinlein Prize for Commercial Space Activities) and the Falcon Heavy launch with his Tesla Roadster with Starman inside, discuss Heinlein’s Man Who Sold the Moon, and other works, in comparison with these current events and Heinlein’s view of space expansion going forward. Government initiated, or private/commercial initiated? Which is better? Which will ultimately be the way forward?
  • Robert Heinlein said “The golden age of science has yet to begin.” Evaluate this statement compared to your technical field.
  • Discuss the advantages to the human race of a permanent settlement on the Moon or Mars.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increased to the point where driverless cars, robotics for manufacture, and chess-playing can be done without humans. Anticipate what will happen to economics and society in general as AI and robotics assume a larger portion of human activity. What will happen to humans whose jobs are displaced therefrom?
  • What does the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” imply for scientists and engineers
4. Deadline for the application is May 15, 2019. Applications postmarked or emailed after this date will not be considered.
5. Please email completed application PDF to: scholarships@heinleinsociety.org
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