Luce Scholars Program

The Luce Scholars Program provides a year-long internship in an Asian country related to the scholar’s interests. The program is designed to provide an extended period of exposure to an Asian country for highly qualified young Americans who lack extensive knowledge of Asian affairs and who would not gain this knowledge through their normal career trajectories. Any professional field will be considered, except Asian Affairs/Asian Studies. Graduating seniors, recent alumni, graduate students, and junior faculty are encouraged to apply.

Am I eligible?

  1. The Luce Scholars Program is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  2. Candidates may be graduating seniors, recent graduates, and young professionals under the age of 32 or no more than three years out from receiving bachelor’s degree.
  3. The Luce Scholars Program is open to candidates with limited exposure to Asia. Those who have spent a significant amount of time (an accumulated total of 24 weeks since beginning college) in one of the countries where Luce Scholars are placed are now eligible to apply for the Luce but for placement in a country where they do not have significant experience.
  4. Candidates who have majored in Asian Studies are not eligible to apply. Minoring in Asian studies is fine – as is language study – even when it’s significant and has last many years.

Successful applicants have demonstrated:

  • A strong motivation and potential for accomplishment within their chosen field;
  • A record of outstanding academic achievement, particularly in their specialty;
  • An outstanding capacity for leadership;
  • Greater openness to new ideas and sensitivity to their fellow human beings.

The application should provide some indication about how well the applicant might function in an Asian setting, noting such qualities as flexibility, adaptability, maturity, etc.

Eligible applicants will now submit their application directly to the Luce Scholars Program staff.

For detailed information, visit the Luce Foundation website.

To discuss the competition and/or get feedback on a Luce proposal, contact:

Sarah Linkert
Assistant Director for Awards
Institute for Regional and International Studies
328 Ingraham Hall

Applications for the 2025–2026 Luce Scholars competition are now open. Click here to learn more and apply.

The IRIS Awards Office is available to support all UW-Madison students and alumni interested in applying. Just email!

UW-Madison Luce Scholars:

Lauren Buckley (2012)
Paul J. Kellner (2010)
Timothy D. Kiefer (2000)
Heather H. Graham (1995)
Mary Davis Michaud (1991)