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National Flagship Language Program Fellowships

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This federal aid program is managed by:



The National Flagship Language Program (NFLP) is designed to address the urgent and growing need for Americans with professional levels of competency in languages critical to national security. NFLP offers advanced language training in Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, Russian, and Urdu. NFLP is designed to train participants to reach professional working proficiency in a target language, as measured by the federal Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) level 3 and/or the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) superior level.

Funding obligations:

FY 07 $12,000,000; FY 08 est $12,000,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Uses and Use Restrictions:

Fellowship awards are made to U.S. citizens with at least a bachelor's degree who enroll in domestic and overseas study through one of the designated NFLP institutions. Flagship Fellowship recipients agree to seek employment with the U.S. federal government, and serve for a period of time equal to the length of the award but no less than one year.

Examples of Funded Projects:

A Flagship Fellow attended the NFLP Russian Language Program at St. Petersburg State University (SPSU) in St. Petersburg, Russia, and developed superior-level Russian language and culture skills. During his studies, he presented a formal academic paper in Russian to the faculty at SPSU, and interned as a consultant on international project development. Programs for Flagship Fellows are highly individualized and are typically two consecutive academic years in duration: first year in language and culture study domestically at a NFLP university program institution, second year overseas in a combination of university study and professional internships. Those with very high advanced-level proficiency upon entering a program may be awarded to study one academic year of overseas study only.

Program Accomplishments:

Since 2003, NSEP has awarded over 100 Flagships Fellowships to U.S. citizens. This unprecedented program is achieving consistent proficiency results among its graduates of ILR level 3 in Arabic, Mandarin, Korean, and Russian. New programs are underway in Persian, Hindi, and Urdu. Graduates of these programs are proceeding into national security positions throughout the federal government.

Types of Assistance:

Project Grants (Fellowships).

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

Awards cover all program costs for one or two academic years. Average awards are approximately $38,000 per fellow, and range from approximately $30,000 to $60,000.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Eligible students may receive a fellowship from NSEP to study for no less than one academic year, and no more than two (2) years in a combination of domestic and overseas study. The duration of study is dependent upon proficiency in the target language upon entering the NFLP and the progress made to reach ILR level 3. Typical duration is either one or two academic years.

Applicant Eligibility:

(1) Must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application; (2) Must have a minimum proficiency in the appropriate foreign language of advanced low (as defined by ACTFL) or level 2 (as defined by ILR). You must also possess excellent skills in English (ILR level 3/ACTFL superior language proficiency or higher in all modalities of English); (3) Must complete an undergraduate degree by the time you would begin the NFLP Fellowship. Past recipients of NSEP Boren Undergraduate Scholarships or Graduate Fellowships are eligible and are encouraged to apply to this program; and (4) may not be a current U.S. government employee.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

Accredited U.S. institutions of higher education, their students.

Award Procedure:

Award decisions will be based on a competitive selection of proposals resulting from an independent merit review.

Contact Info for Headquarters Office:

Ms. Stacia Falat, Department of Defense, National Security Education Program, Rosslyn P.O. Box 20010, 1101 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1210, Arlington, VA 22209-2248. Telephone: (703) 696-1991, E-Mail Address: or Ms. Sharon Nishizaki, Institute for International Education, National Flagship Language Program, 1400 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005-2403. Telephone: (800)618-6737, E-mail Address:

Website Address:

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