Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Science Scholarship


The Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Science Scholarship of $5,000 is awarded to a qualified undergraduate student who is majoring in the Natural Sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, earth science, etc.  One $5,000 scholarship is available for full-time studies in the United States.  Funding is for academic year September 2020 - May 2021.  The selection of a scholarship winner is made on a competitive basis by the Kosciuszko Foundation.


United States citizens of Polish descent and legal permanent residents (green card holders) of Polish descent who have a minimum GPA of 3.5.  Candidates may be undergraduate freshmen, undergraduate sophomores and undergraduate juniors at the time of application. Only one member per immediate family may receive a tuition scholarship during a given academic year.  This scholarship is not renewable; a candidate may receive this scholarship only once.


Selection is based on application completeness, recommendation of teachers and professors, academic excellence and achievements, applicant's interests and motivation, the applicant's essay,  involvement in the Polish American community. Financial need is taken into consideration. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. Applicants will be notified of results in June. 


A complete application includes the following materials:  

  • A1 & A2 - Scholarship Application and Financial Information Form;
  • B - Statement of Purpose /essay;
  • C - Official Transcripts;
  • D - Two confidential Letters of Recommendation;
  • E - Proof of Polish Ancestry;
  • F - Photo;
  • G - Curriculum Vitae:
  • H - $35 non-refundable application fee and Checklist.

Notes Regarding Supporting Documents:

  •  A1 - Complete the on-line application form found at the "Click Here to Apply" button found below.  
  • A2 - Submit your completed Financial Information Form.  
  • B - Submit a Statement of Purpose.  Discuss your major and academic and career goals.  Your statement will be three pages, double spaced.  Include your full name, "Trefil-21" and page number on each page of your statement.  
  • C -Submit official transcripts for the last three full years of academic work through the most recent Summer semester.  Applicants will need to submit high school transcripts in addition to undergraduate transcripts in order to show three years of academics.    
  • D- Submit two letters of recommendation.  Letters may be from professors or teachers with whom you have studied recently. Letters must be written on university or school letterhead and sent by professors and teachers directly to the Kosciuszko Foundation via USPS or via e-mail. Recommendation must reference the Drs. Trefil Scholarship.  Please ask professors and teachers to save their letters as TR21-Candidate's last name-Candidate's first name-LOR-Prof's last name;
  • E - Submit proof of Polish ancestry.  Use copies of documents such as birth certificates, passports, naturalization papers and other official documents to trace your lineage to the ancestor who was born in Poland.  Highlight relevant names and arrange in chronological order. Save all your documents to one file using the file naming convention listed below.  One line of descent is sufficient to prove Polish descent.  If the above described documentation is not available, a letter from a prominent member of the community verifying your Polish ancestry will be accepted. Letters from relatives are not official documents and will not be accepted;
  • F - Submit a photo of yourself which is suitable for publication in the Kosciuszko Foundation's Newsletter. A passport style photo is suggested (2 inches x 2 inches).  
  • G - Submit your Curriculum Vitae. Include awards, achievements, participation in clubs, activities, Polish clubs, etc. 
  • H - Submit $35 non-refundable application fee together with the Checklist to the KF via USPS.  Checks and money orders made payable to the Kosciuszko Foundation are the only acceptable forms of payment.

Additional notes:

  • Prepare your supporting documents prior to applying on-line (essay, proof of ancestry, photo, CV).   Permanent residents and naturalized citizens are advised to have green card numbers and Naturalization certificate numbers on hand when applying. 
  • Save all documents using the following file naming convention: TR21-Your Last name-Your first name-description of item.  Descriptions may include FIF (financial information form) or Financial Info, Essay, Heritage or Ancestry; Photo, CV and similar descriptive terms.  Ask professors and teachers to save their recommendation letters as TR21-Candidate's Last name- First name-LOR-Profs Last Name.  
  • Set aside enough time to complete the on-line form in one session. You will not be able to save your answers and return to complete the form at a later time.
  • Applications are reviewed for completeness in the order received.  If questions arise regarding your submission, we will contact you via e-mail.  Please respond promptly.  
  • If you have questions about the application, requirements or the application procedure, please call Addy at (212) 734-2130 ext 412. 
  • If you experience technical issues with submitting your on-line application, please send a detailed e-mail regarding the issue you are experiencing or call (212) 734-2130 ext 412 during business hours. 
  • The Foundation cannot confirm receipt of material by phone.  If you  wish to receive confirmation of receipt of supporting materials, include a self addressed stamped postcard with your hard copy supporting materials  On the reverse side of the postcard provide an itemized list for our confirmation.  We will sign and return the postcard to you with check off items when all materials have been received.  
  • Apply only once - we will also consider you for any KF tuition scholarship for which you qualify. 
  • Do not staple check/money order to Checklist.
Documents to submit on-line:
A1 - Application form
B - Personal Statement/Essay
E - Proof of Polish descent
F - Photo
G - Curriculum Vitae 
Documents to submit via USPS or e-mail:
A2 - Financial Information Form
C - Official Transcripts
D - Letter of Recommendation
H - $35 application fee and checklist 
Send hard copy documents to:

Grants Department
Kosciuszko Foundation, Inc.
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065

Questions:  Addy  (212) 734-2130 ext. 412

Email:  Addy@thekf.org

Application Deadline: mid-January. 

Scholarship Notification: June 

This scholarship supports studies in the Natural Sciences.  A change in subject area/major must be communicated to the Kosciuszko Foundation Grants Department.  A significant change in major may result in cancellation of the scholarship award. 

Click on the link below to read an article about the Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Scholarship that appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of KF's Newsletter. You'll find it on page 13. 

Please send changes in address and other contact information via e-mail to Addy@thekf.org



A green check mark within a circle indicates that your application has been successfully submitted. 


When the application period is closed e-mail us and ask to be added to the Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Science Scholarship mailing list.  Include information that clearly illustrates your eligibility for this scholarship, for example: I am an American of Polish descent and an undergraduate student majoring in biology and I have a 3.85 GPA.  

We will add your e-mail address to our list for one year.  Notification will be  sent when the new application has posted and the scholarship application period has begun.  Please add Addy@thekf.org to your address book/white list/safe senders list to insure that the notification is not directed to your Spam folder. 

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