2020 Update

The timeline and application procedure for the 2020 Askew Scholars program is currently in development and will be announced Jan. 29. The deadline to apply has been extended to Feb. 10, 2020. Please refer back to this page when complete application details are posted. 

About Reubin O'D. Askew: 

Reubin Askew served as Florida's 37th Governor from 1971 to 1979. He is considered one of the greatest governors in the state's history and was rated by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as one of the United States' top 10 governors of the 20th century. Governor Askew died in 2014.

About the program:
The Reubin Askew Scholars initiative identifies an outstanding cohort of spring semester sophomores, selected on the basis of their commitment to community service and civic engagement. Expectations are that these students will have already distinguished themselves in leadership and community service and that they will be preparing themselves for a life of civic involvement.

Applicants from any undergraduate major at UF may apply but students must be in their fourth semester at UF during the spring semester of the year in which they apply. The GPA requirement is 3.5 and above.

To determine eligibility, students should review the criteria below. PLEASE NOTE:  University Scholars cannot hold both awards unless they can clearly demonstrate two entirely different research subjects. Those who qualify for an Askew Scholarship will be able to agree with the majority of the statements below:

Personal Qualifications:

  • I aspire to be a "change agent," in the future, improving the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions serve the public.
  • I have identified problems in the public sphere that need solving.

Academic and Public Service Record:

  • I have actively participated in at least TWO of the following sets of activities: Student government and/or campus-based extracurricular activities; community service-related activities; internships, commissions or boards, advocacy or interest groups; nonpartisan political activities, or military/ROTC; partisan political activities and campaigns.
  • I have been involved with organizations or activities related to my career interests.
  • I have demonstrated leadership potential.
  • I have a strong academic record.
  • I regularly read a good national newspaper.
  • I have had one or more courses relating to my career interests.


  • I am capable of analyzing a public issue in my intended career area and presenting my findings in a one-page memo to a government official who could take action.
  • I will take advantage of the opportunity to be mentored by a UF faculty member with similar interests in the public policy area to my own.

Application Procedure
The deadline for the 2020 Askew Scholar program has been extended to February 10, 2020. A link to the application form will be posted shortly.

Students apply during the spring semester of their sophomore year (fourth semester at UF) .Applicants may be nominated by faculty, staff or their peers or may self-nominate.  Those selected will take several courses in public policy, receive intensive leadership training and work with a mentor to help prepare them for a life of civic involvement. Askew Scholars will receive a scholarship of $3000 to support a significant public service or research project.  The stipend will be paid out in two installments.  The first installment of  $1500 will be paid out in the ​spring or summer semester of their junior year (sixth or seventh semester at UF). The first payment may be made sooner if the student can demonstrate need based on their project. The second installment of $1500 will be paid on the completion of the project in the student’s eighth or graduating semester.

Requirements and Time Line for Completing the Award:

1. Student’s fourth semester at UF (not counting summer semesters): Receive notice of winning the award.

2. By the end of the fourth semester: research and write a policy statement based on the student’s area of interest (problem statement, proposed solution, implementation challenges).

3. Fifth semester (fall): enroll in a course relating to the student’s area of interest. (During this semester a student should determine if it is appropriate to apply for a Truman Scholarship).

4. Sixth semester (spring): enroll in a course with a public policy focus in the student’s area of interest. Choose a faculty mentor. Submit a draft of the summer research or civic project proposal to the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

5. Summer between sixth and seventh semester: engage in a research project or a civic project under the guidance of the faculty mentor.

6. Seventh semester (fall): enroll in a course with a focus on leadership theory or practice. Complete research on project and begin writing up research.

7. Eighth semester. Submit research as a senior thesis and/or submit to a scholarly journal for publication or to the UF Journal of Undergraduate Research or similar forum.

Additional requirements:

1. Askew Scholars are expected to attend at least two events at the Bob Graham Center each semester they are in the program (public lecturers, opportunities to meet outside speakers, workshops etc.) and file a one page response paper online within two days after the event as evidence of their participation.

2. Askew Scholars must have chosen a faculty mentor by their sixth semester or preferably earlier, if possible. The mentor will be a faculty member with expertise in the area in which the student intends to do their research or civic project.

Faculty Scholars:

Faculty Scholars will guide the work of the Askew Scholars, interact with them on a regular basis, and direct their writing and research on their research or civic project. Students will choose their own mentors, subject to the approval of the Graham Center Faculty Advisory Board. Faculty mentors will each receive a stipend of $2,000.

For questions on the program contact Bob Graham Center Director Matt Jacobs at mjacobs@ufl.edu, or call 352-846-1575.