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 2019 - May 2020.  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. 


A complete application includes the following materials:  

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


  •  A -Complete the on-line application at the "Click Here to Apply" button found below.  Complete the Financial Information Form and save it as "TR20-Last name-First name-FIF".  Submit the form via e-mail to Addy@thekf.org or send a hard copy to the Grants Department via USPS.  A sample application and Financial Information Form are available at A above when the application period is open;
  • B - Submit a Statement of Purpose.  In the Statement of Purpose/essay discuss your major and academic goals.  Your statement of purpose will be three pages, double spaced.  Include your full name, "Trefil-20" and page numbers on the upper right hand corner of each page of your statement.  Save your file as "TR20-Last Name-First Name-essay" and upload it to the on-line application form; 
  • C -Submit official transcripts for the last three full years of academic work through the most recent Summer semester.  Submit official transcripts via USPS.  
  • D- Submit two letters of reference.  Request letters of academic reference from two professors / teachers with whom you have studied recently. Recommendations must be written on school/university letterhead and may be sent by professors directly to the Kosciuszko Foundation via USPS or via e-mail to Addy@thekf.org. Recommendation must reference the Drs. Trefil Scholarship.  Please ask professors and teachers to save their reference letters as "TR20-Candidate's last name-Candidate's first name-LOR-Prof's last name";
  • E - Submit proof of Polish ancestry.  Use documents such as birth certificates, passports, naturalization papers and other official documents to show your lineage to the ancestor who was born in Poland.  Highlight relevant names in supporting documents and arrange in chronological order. Save all documents to one file named "TR20-Last name-First name-heritage" and upload it to the application form. 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.  Save your photo as "TR20-Last name-First name-photo" and upload it to the on-line application form; 
  • G - Submit your Curriculum Vitae.  Save your file as "TR20-Last name-First name-CV" and upload it to the on-line application form;
  • H - Submit $35 non-refundable application fee to the Kosciuszko Foundation together with the Checklist.  Please make your check or money order payable to the Kosciuszko Foundation and sent it via USPS.

Additional notes:

  • Prior to applying on-line prepare your supporting documents and save them according to the file naming conventions suggested.  
  • The on-line application must be completed in one session. 
  • Applicants receive confirmation of on-line submission - successful submission is indicated by a check-mark within a circle. 
  • Complete the application found at the and upload your supporting files.You will receive an electronic confirmation upon application submission. 
  • Applications are reviewed in the order received.  If items are missing or if questions arise during the review process, an e-mail will be sent to the candidate.  It is the candidate's responsibility to follow up on mission items and to respond to questions.
  • The candidate is responsible for understanding requirements and submitting the required documents. 
  • Please do not call/e-mail for confirmation of receipt of materials; we will contact you if documents have not arrived.
  • Do not staple check/money order to Checklist.

Send hard copy documents to:

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

Tel. (212) 734-2130 ext. 210

Documents to submit on-line: Application form, Personal Statement/Essay, Proof of Polish descent, photo, C.V.

Documents accepted via USPS include: Financial Information Form, official transcripts, letters of recommendation,  $35 application fee and checklist. 

Documents accepted via e-mail include: Financial Information Form, letters of recommendation

Scholarship Deadline:  January 15

Decision letters: sent July 17th

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

Click here to read the article about the Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Scholarship that appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of KF's Newsletter.    

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



You will need to upload several documents to complete the online application:

  1. Statement of Purpose/Essay
  2. Proof of Polish ancestry
  3. Photo
  4. Curriculum Vitae
Links to the application, financial information form, and checklist are live from late Fall through the deadline date. ________________________________________________

When the application period is closed send an e-mail to the Scholarship and Grant Officer and ask to be added to the Drs. James and Wanda Trefil Science Scholarship mailing list.  Be sure to include information that illustrates your  eligibility for this scholarship, for example: "I am an American citizen and am majoring in BioChemisty.  I am currently an undergraduate sophomore and have a 3.98 GPA.  Please add my e-mail to the Drs. Trefil mailing list."  We will add your e-mail address to our list for one year and will send you an e-mail notification when the new application has posted and the application cycle has begun.

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