Clare Boothe Luce Scholars

Program Overview

What is the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program?

Recently, Barnard College became a first-time recipient of a prestigious Clare Boothe Luce (CBL)  Scholars Program Award funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.  Barnard was just one of a dozen institutions receiving the coveted grant that year, which provides impressive undergraduate research awards to talented Barnard women, focusing on the emergent fields of Big Data and Computational Science. The CBL Program Director here at Barnard is Tim Halpin-Healy, Professor of Physics & Astronomy.

Applications for the 4th & final round of CBL Scholars Program are being accepted now, early in the Spring 2019 semester. 

The CBL Program provides exceptionally talented undergraduate scholars with meaningful computational research opportunities in the physical sciences, pure & applied mathematics, and computer science. Each CBL Scholar will receive myriad resources, including a generous stipend for summer research ($5250), substantial support for summer housing, as well as a helpful stipend ($3600) to continue the work, if appropriate, during the following academic year, Sept 2019-May 2020. Scholars and mentors receive additional funds for materials/equipment ($3000), along with monies to cover domestic travel & conferences fees ($1000). Faculty mentors, overseeing numerical, computational and/or projects involving Big Data, will furnish hands-on guidance and support throughout.

Eligible Students

Only existing Barnard College sophomores & juniors, who are US citizens or permanent residents, can apply.

All applicants must be enrolled full-time. Preference will be given to these students with declared majors in the physical sciences (astronomy, physics, chemistry), pure & applied mathematics, and computer science, as these are fields where women remain under-represented. Per Luce Foundation CBL Program directive, pre-medical students cannot participate.  Such students should consider, instead, Barnard's Beckman Scholars Program.

Successful candidates will demonstrate evidence of critical traits such as leadership, maturity, perseverance, and dedication to quantitative scientific research. They will have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, superior communication skills, research interests and/or experience aligned with their mentor, particularly compelling goals for independent research and post-graduate pursuits.  

How to Apply


February 2019 Prospective applicants should discuss, with a potential CBL mentor, as well as ProfHH, the feasibility of numerical, computational and/or coding project involving Big Data.
March 1, 2019 Deadline for student's application materials
March 4, 2019 Faculty recommendation letters due
Mid/Late March CBL candidate decisions


Guidelines and Checklist

Item Guidelines
Resume/CV One page
Student Statement

Students should prepare a one to two-page statement that concisely summarizes

  1. proposed research project and goals, making sure to specify how these are compatible with the research of the faculty mentor;
  2. educational & career goals following graduation from Barnard
  3. coding background and any prior research experience involving  numerical methods, computational work and/or Big Data
  4. plans for managing the rigorous commitments of the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars program.
Transcript Unofficial copy from the registrar is permissible; most recent semester’s course grades must be included.
Recommendation Primary Letter-Mentor The mentor should craft a 1-page plan detailing the scientific project, as well as the role & essential responsibilities of the CBL scholar
2nd Letter Should be from a BC/CU faculty member


All materials should be emailed, with the applicant’s full name in the subject line, as .pdf attachments to Professor Halpin-Healy at the address given below.

Program Director Tim Halpin-Healy is available & happy to answer questions from candidates and mentors about the application process. Please be in touch if interested.
504 Altschul
Office hours: by appt; easy to arrange via email