Luce Scholars Program Fellowship

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Campus Deadline: October 19, 2015

National Deadline: November 2, 2015

Official Website and Application

Cover Sheet - Luce

*If you would like to apply for the Luce Scholarship please email Diane Murk and you will be sent the link to the application


Established in 1974 by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Luce Scholars Program fellowship is intended for "young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia." Those who have already had significant experience in Asia or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program.

The Luce Scholars Program is not academic in nature. Although some scholars may be attached to Asian universities in teaching or research capacities, no scholar is formally enrolled as a student in a college or university and no academic credit is given. Instead Luce Scholars participate in internships of approximately one year. As important is the value that the program places on the cultural experience. "Each scholarships placement provides a professional venue and perspective, but the assignments themselves must be viewed simply as a mechanism through which to gain a broader understanding and appreciation of the culture in which one is living."

The Award

The "Luce Scholar Year" involves a commitment of just under thirteen months from late June to mid-July the following year. In late June there is an orientation in New York City. After the New York session, the Scholars travel as a group to San Francisco where they participate in the country specific orientation at the offices of the Asia Foundation. The Scholars spend July and August studying the language of the placement country. Individual placements generally commence in September. In late October or early November there is a four-day meeting of the Scholars in one of the Asian cities and at the conclusion of the year there is a final evaluation meeting.

NEW COUNTRIES ADDED: Myanmar and Nepal

Currently the Luce Scholars Program sends scholars to the following 17 countries: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal,l the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Placement in any other country is not possible.


Stanford is allowed to nominate three applicants to the Luce Program.

Institutional nomination is the only way to apply. Applications submitted directly to the Luce Foundation will not be accepted.

Applicants for the Luce Scholarship:

  • Must be U.S. citizens who have not reached their 30th birthday by July 1st of the year they enter the program
  • Must have at least a bachelor's degree by the beginning of the program
  • Must be in good physical and emotional health
  • Should have a strong and clearly defined interest in a specific field
  • Should have demonstrated a strong motivation and potential for accomplishment within their chosen field
  • Should have a record of outstanding academic achievement, particularly in their specialty
  • Should be open to new ideas and be sensitive to their fellow human beings.

The single most important consideration is that applicants provide evidence of potential for leadership and accomplishment, both within a chosen profession and as a member of the broader American community.

Applicants are not judged on the basis of whether they have developed specific plans for the Asian experience.


  • Applicants will be considered ineligible if they have a professed career interest in Asian Affairs, or if they have made that an area of academic concentration. Asian Affairs would include: Asian Language, literature, history, politics, philosophy, or any other aspect of Asian studies. A single course or two in these areas would NOT disqualify an applicant
  • Applicants will be considered ineligible if they have already had a significant exposure to East or South-East Asia (e.g. through service in the Peace Corps, a period of foreign study or residence, or extensive travel in that region). If you have questions about any prior experience you may have had please contact the staff at the ORC
  • Candidates may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses on a US campus (without majoring in Asian studies). They may have spent a total of 12-weeks, or have participated in a university-organized summer program in one or more countries where Luce scholars are placed.
  • Luce scholars are strongly advised to undertake serious language study both before and during the course of the program but prior language study is not a criterion for selection.

Further information on the selection criteria and the program can be obtained at the ORC or through the Luce Program website.

The Campus Application

In order to have an application forwarded as a Stanford nominee, applicants must be reviewed and endorsed by a campus selection committee.

A campus application consists of:

  • A Stanford Luce Cover Sheet (obtainable from the link above - see yellow section)
  • 9-page Luce Scholars Program Application (including completed Contact Information Form and Personal Statement)
  • 1 Official Paper Academic Transcript plus 3 photocopies (please do not submit official e-transcripts)
  • 2 recent Passport-Sized Color Photographs with name printed on the back of both pictures (2 photos only. Do not submit 8 photos)
  • 4 Letters of Recommendation. Letters must be on letterhead stationary and signed. (References should represent a range of academic, professional and personal references) There are to be emailed to the ORC by the reference.

NOTE: Applicants should submit the original and 3 copies of the application including the coversheet for each, collated in the order listed above to the ORC. Please paperclip. Do not staple.

If you have concerns printing, please save as PDF first, then print.

Original letters of recommendation should be mailed to the ORC or be hand-delivered, in signed, sealed envelopes by the applicant. Emailed letters and faxed letters will not be accepted. These letters of recommendation in hard copy must arrive by the campus deadline.

Mailing address:

Overseas Resource Center / Attn: Luce Scholarship / Bechtel International Center / 584 Capistrano Way / Stanford, CA 94305

Mail Code: 8245

The National Application

Those applicants who are selected as Stanford nominees will have their applications forwarded to the Luce Foundation by the national deadline.

An initial screening of the nominated applicants will be made by the Luce Foundation in November and December either in person or via Skype. These interviews will either be conducted by Foundation staff members or invited former Luce scholars depending on the candidate's location. Please note that only certain institutions in the U.S. participate in the Luce Scholars Program.

In early February, approximately 45 finalists will be interviewed at one of three regional selection committees. The 45 finalists "are chosen without regard to geography or professional interest." Each regional committee will interview 15 candidates and each regional committee will select 6 Luce Scholars.

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