The James Randi Educational Foundation
Critical Thinking Scholarship Awards
2009-2010 Academic Year Awards
How to Apply and Criteria for Awards
The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), will award up to $10,000 in academic scholarships this fall. The scholarships, in amounts of $5000, $2500, $1500, and $1000, may be awarded to deserving students in potentially any field of study, at the graduate or undergraduate level. A committee composed of a physicist, a social scientist, a physician, and a very senior member of the staff of Scientific American magazine will select the winners, with the awards being announced on or about September 1, 2009.
The criteria for awarding the scholarships will include the applicant's academic potential, background, and most importantly, their plan for building critical thinking skills into their chosen field of study, reflecting the goals and values of the James Randi Educational Foundation. The James Randi Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1996. Its aim is to promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas so widespread in our society today.
Persons interested in applying for the scholarships should download and completely fill out an application located on the JREF website at this link.
- Each applicant must complete the application form, a transcript (unofficial is acceptable) from your college or university, or High School (if not yet in college), as well as scores on SAT, ACT, AP, LSAT, MCAT or other placement tests.
- International applicants, or others without standardized test scores, should include as much information as possible in their applications about their academic records. Applicants will NOT be disqualified simply because they do not have current exam scores for such tests
- Applicants with academic transcripts and/or records from schools that do not use the US-standard A-F (4.0 - 0.0) scoring system must include an explanation of how their school's particular grading system works. Explain clearly how your scores relate to the possible range of scores your school awards. For example, if you earned a grade of "E" for "excellent" please explain that clearly, as to a North American reviewer, the grade might be confused with a failing grade by the Scholarship Committee.
- Letters of recommendation are not required. If applicants wish to submit letters on their behalf, however, the letters should be sent directly from the writer, on appropriate letterhead, directly to the post office box noted below.
- Please do NOT include additional materials beyond those stated. For example, do not include articles you have written, chapters from dissertations, etc.
How do you intend to apply critical thinking skills to your chosen area of study, and how does your proposed study include the mission goals of the James Randi Educational Foundation?
Once completed, the application must be sent to:
JREF Scholarship Committee
Attn: Dr. Raymond Hall
Department of PhysicsCalifornia State University, Fresno
2345 E. San Ramon Ave. M/S MH 037
Fresno, CA 93740-8031
Applications must be received in hard copy form at the above address to be considered. Specific questions can be sent to the Scholarship Committee Chair, Dr. Raymond Hall.
All applications MUST be received by August 1 2009.
- Up to Four (4) scholarships will be awarded in the amounts of
- $5000, $2500, $1500, $100
- Each winner will be given his or her award directly in the form of a check. The winners are solely responsible for proper accounting of the monies involved after the awards have been given.
- Thanks to the generosity of JREF supporters Dean and Dorea Schramm, each scholarship recipient will also receive an additional cash stipend. The Schramms have also offered to the winners a one-year subscription of Church and StateFree Inquiry magazine, or Freethought Today, as well as a copy of Dean Schramm’s humanist book Dreamtrial magazine, to any winners who elect to receive them.
- Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, commitment to enhancing critical thinking skills, potential, and the content and quality of the essay, as well as other factors.
- Decisions of the Scholarship Committee will be final.
- The committee will consider the totality of each applicant's skills, background, and career path, as well as the applicant's choice of university and field of research.
- Scholarships may be awarded to students enrolled, or admitted to, colleges and universities at the graduate or undergraduate level in potentially any field of academic study, in the United States or internationally.
- Committee reserves the right to evaluate quality of school and school's academic reputation as part of the awarding criteria. Scholarships are not based on financial need applicants must formally apply using the form downloaded from the JREF website, and mailed to the scholarship committee beginning 1 April 2009 Scholarships will be announced on 1 September 2009
- Employees and Senior Volunteers of the JREF, members of the scholarship committee, and their families, are not eligible.