Luce Foundation Fellowships

Logo - The Henry Luce Foundation


The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program. It was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia.  It places young scholars from a wide variety of intellectual fields in 10-month internships in 15 different countries in East, Southeast and South Asia. “The Luce Scholar Year” involves a commitment of about thirteen months, from mid-June until late July of the following year.

The program, open to both US citizens and permanent residents, is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia. Those who already have significant experience in Asia or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program.  On the other hand, candidates may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses (without majoring in Asian Studies). They may have spent up to a total of eighteen weeks or have participated in a university-organized summer program, in one or more countries where Luce Scholars are placed.

Luce Scholars have backgrounds in virtually every field other than Asian studies, including but not limited to the arts, journalism, law, medicine, science, public health, environmental studies, and international relations.  Placements can be made in the following countries or regions: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Specific placements have included an architect’s atelier in Tokyo; a public health program in Banda Aceh; a Gobi regional initiative in Ulaanbaatar; a dance theatre in Kuala Lumpur; an agricultural and environmental center in Hanoi; a human rights commission in Seoul; a pediatric hospital in Bangkok; a TV network in Beijing; a national museum in Siem Reap; an international arbitration centre in Singapore; and English-language newspapers, local governmental agencies and NGOs in diverse fields throughout East and Southeast Asia.

If in doubt as to whether your prior experience disqualifies you, please contact CIS via email. CIS will contact the Luce Foundation to seek clarification.


Eligibility Requirements 2023:

The intent of the program is to provide an in-depth experience in Asia to young Americans who would not otherwise have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the country where they are placed. 

  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  
  • Candidates may be graduating seniors, recent graduates, or young professionals under the age of 32, OR if older than 32, candidates must have received their bachelor's degree within the past three years. 
  • Candidates who have majored in Asian Studies are now eligible to apply. 
  • Candidates who have spent 18 weeks or more (since beginning college) in one of the countries where we place Luce Scholars are eligible to apply to be placed in a country where they do not have significant experience. 

More information about Luce Scholars can be found here.


Application Process 2023:

The application deadline is October 15th at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Late applications—including transcripts and letters of recommendation—will NOT be accepted. 

Please follow the intrunction of how to apply on the Henry Luce Foundation's website here.


Competition Timeline 2023-24:

April 25, 2023 - Online application portal opens in April each year and remains open through Mid-October.
October 16, 2023 – Application deadline, all application materials must be submitted by 5:00 pm ET
Mid-November 2023  – Semi-finalists are invited for virtual interviews with a Luce Scholars alumnus 
Early December 2023 – Finalists are notified of their status and invited to a finalist weekend
January 18-21, 2024 – Finalist Weekend, during this Thursday - Saturday, 34 finalists attend programming, workshops, and two person panel interviews at an in-person selection in San Diego, California.  Attendance at the finalist weekend is required for all applicants selected as finalists.  All expenses associated with the selection process (travel to the finalist weekend, lodging, food, etc.) will be covered by the program.  
Early February 2024 - Cohort of Luce Scholars is publicly announced.