The Department of Defense announced today the award of a five-year cooperative agreement of up to $450 million in total value to the Logistics Management Institute (LMI) for the administration of the Department’s Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program. Additional LMI teaming support will be provided by iTechAG, Scholarship America, and Ernst and Young.
“This agreement will help the Department maintain a robust, technical, and diverse workforce,” said Barbara McQuiston, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Science and Technology. “SMART is one of the Department’s largest science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs and provides a great pathway from academia to the DoD workforce.”
The DoD employs almost 300,000 STEM professionals. The National Defense Strategy identified building enduring advantages as a key line of effort. The DoD is prioritizing investments in one of Department’s most valuable resources: a talented, competitive workforce with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet the scientific and technological challenges of the 21st century. The Department is working to cultivate the future STEM workforce by providing unique education opportunities to students and educators of all ages and across all demographics.
The highly-competitive SMART Program makes full-tuition awards during any phase of a scholar’s education at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. The Program sponsors undergraduate, masters, and doctoral studies in 21 academic disciplines critical to national security. Upon graduation, SMART scholars can transition into federal government employment at DoD research laboratories, engineering centers and other DoD-sponsoring facilities. Awards can vary in length from a minimum of one year to a maximum of five years. The service commitment is one year of DoD employment for each academic year of SMART funding. Since its inception in 2006, the Program has awarded more than 4,200 scholarships.
SMART is executed within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E), which provides oversight and management of the SMART Program on behalf of the Secretary of Defense. Through the cooperative agreement, OUSD(R&E), DoD Components, participating DoD facilities, and LMI will work collaboratively to administer the SMART Program’s five fundamental elements:
- Assisting the SMART Program Office in administering the Program.
- Maintaining a database and web-based user interface for the successful administration and management of the SMART Program.
- Developing an outreach strategy to educate stakeholders about the Program, with particular emphasis on strengthening engagement with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Institutions (MIs), and other underserved academic institutions.
- Ensuring payment of scholars’ tuition and stipends.
- Performing independent program evaluations to assess progress and identify gaps and growth opportunities.
To learn more about the SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program and the participating DoD sponsoring facilities, visit www.smartscholarship.org. The application period for the 2023 SMART scholar cohort began August 1, 2022, and ends December 1, 2022. More information can be found on the website.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre.