Scholarship Program

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July 7, 2023

Announcing our 2023 Scholarship Winners

The growth of our scholarship program continues to be astounding. This year we received 744 applications, up from 567 in 2022. Likewise, our number of international applicants increased to 84, including 15 who had multiple citizenship. The international applicants hailed from 28 different countries across the globe.

Our demographic information continues to be diverse. We still have far more female than male applicants. This year we had 552 female, 131 male, 4 non-binary and 55 who made no selection or declined to state. Ethnically our numbers were: 375 White, 87 Black, 84 Asian, 71 Hispanic, 9 Middle Eastern, 1 Native American, 1 Pacific Islander, 44 multi-racial and 70 who made no entry. Applicants who supplied their age ranged from 16 to 38 years old.

With such a large field there were many excellent applicants, so being named among our ten finalists was no mean feat. Becoming one of the four awardees was even harder. They are:

Rhiannon Red Bird – Rhiannon is the winner of this year’s Robert A. Heinlein Scholarship. In the fall she will begin her senior year at California Polytechnic State University – Humbolt. She is majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a Chemistry Minor. After completing her undergraduate degree, Rhiannon hopes to spend time in a research lab and eventually pursue a postgraduate degree in Veterinary or Human Medicine.

Nine Reed-Mera – Nine is this year’s Virginia “Ginny” Heinlein Scholarship recipient. She has a double major of Biological Sciences and Written Arts, entering her Senior year at Bard College. Nine began college at age 16 and has maintained a 4.0 GPA. She has received numerous scholastic awards, including a Nation Silver Medal. She was awarded a Mellon Foundation grant to study extremophiles.

Kenji Sakaie – Kenji is the Dr. Yoji Kondo Scholarship winner. He is an incoming Freshman at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Kenji is interested in working in the aerospace or naval architecture industries, working toward a goal of providing safe, affordable and sustainable housing through the prefabricated building industry.

Victoria Woods – Victoria wins this year’s Dr. Jerry Pournelle Scholarship. In the upcoming academic year she will be a Sophomore at Trinity College Dublin, majoring in Geography and Geoscience. Last summer, Victoria interned studying the detection limits of hyperspectral sensors and is doing ongoing research in gamma ray spectrometry. She is active in her college’s Environmental Society and International Students Club.

Our other top ten finalists are:

  • Elisabeth Hayduk
  • Ayushi Kadakia
  • Liane Lee
  • Anjara Mellman
  • Leyat Besufekad Tesfaye
  • Rachel Todromovich

We wish our winners, and indeed all of the applicants, great success in their academic pursuits and in their future careers. We have no doubt that they will use their knowledge as a springboard to Pay It Forward.


January 3, 2023

Announcing our twelfth annual scholarship essay contest for the 2023 – 2024 academic year. This year we will be awarding four $4,000 scholarships to undergraduate students of accredited 4-year colleges and universities. The “Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship” is dedicated to a female candidate majoring in engineering, math, or biological or physical sciences. The Robert A. Heinlein, Dr. Yoji Kondo, and Dr. Jerry Pournelle scholarships may be awarded to a candidate of any gender. Winners will be announced on July 7, 2023.

To apply, download and fill out the PDF application below and email to .

THS 2023 Scholarship Application Form

Deadline for scholarship applications is 11:59 p.m. PDT, April 1, 2023.
Refer to criteria below for eligibility requirements.
If you have any questions about the application, please email .

Purpose: To provide scholarship to 4 deserving full time students attending a four-year college.

Award Components: Four(4) $4,000 scholarships awarded to students selected by the Heinlein Society Scholarship Committee.

Eligibility Requirements

1. Applicant must plan to attend an accredited college that awards Bachelor of Science degrees as a full-time undergraduate student for the 2023 – 2024 academic year.

2. Major must be Engineering, Math, or Physical or Biological Sciences.

3. Open to residents of any country.

4. Previous applicants, including winners, may enter again, but must write on a different topic than their previous entry.

5. Candidates cannot have previously been awarded a bachelor’s degree in any subject.

Application Process

Applicant must submit the following items:

1. Completed application form, which includes items 2 & 3.

2. A brief explanation of career goals and biographical (background) information.

3. A 500 – 1,000 word essay on one of the following subjects:

A. How Robert Heinlein influenced your career choice. What Heinlein writings would you use to illustrate how he sparked your interest in science and technology?
B. Biologist J.B.S. Haldane once wrote “I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” Find, discuss, and comment on one episode in your STEM field in the past 50 years that you find surprising.
C. Robert Heinlein said, “The Age of Science has not yet opened.” Evaluate this statement compared to your technical field. Do you expect to see this golden age in your lifetime?
D. What are the structural, procedural, and operational limitations of computer simulations of which a practitioner or user must be acutely aware? Discuss with respect to your career field.
E. How might advances in your chosen field of study affect how people live 50 years from now? What changes, good and bad, might society see?

Deadline for the application is 11:59 p.m. PDT, April 1, 2023. Applications emailed after this date/time will not be considered.

Please email completed application PDF to: