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Downey and Intelligence Community Scholarships

Downey Scholars Award

The Syracuse University ICCAE undergraduate and graduate search committees will select up to 15 undergraduate and graduate students annually to be apart of the rewards program ($1,500-$2,000) for diversity and academic excellence. All Syracuse undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing from any University college, department, or academic discipline are eligible to apply to be Downey Scholars.
The awards are competitive, and awardees are selected based on the following criteria:
  • Academic excellence
  • Commitment to public service
  • Potential to bring diverse and distinctive backgrounds and experiences to the Intelligence Community (IC)
IC-CAE is accepting applications for the Downey Scholars Award now. Interested students should submit applications as soon as possible. The cutoff date for this year’s award is to be determined, but likely the middle of May.

Benefits of Downey Scholars Award Program

  • Receive a scholarship stipend of up to $2,000 depending on total students selected per/year.
  • Eligible for reimbursement for travel, lodging, and workshop or conference participation associated with the SU ICCAE program, such as conference participation at IC events in Washington, DC, and elsewhere.
  • Assigned to a campus mentoring role for incoming SU ICCAE students to guide them through the program and as they prepare for potential post-graduation job and career opportunities.
  • Opportunities for leadership development, internships, and co-op programs within the IC (these 17 organizations include the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, as well as the intelligence branches of the State, Energy, and Treasury departments).
  • Distinguished induction into the SU ICCAE program, with recognition certificates from the IC.

Eligible Students and Criteria

  • Syracuse University undergraduate students may apply during their sophomore or junior years to receive a scholarship for the following year
  • Syracuse University graduate students may apply upon admission to a full-time graduate program to receive scholarship support for up to two years of graduate study
Recipients  of the Downey Scholars Award must be enrolled in, or be in the process of enrolling in, the Syracuse ICCAE program. This requires participation in ICCAE coursework and program events, as well as meeting with program advisors.
Additional requirements include: a GPA of 3.0 or above; United States citizenship; a commitment to public service and/or work in the US government; and a willingness to mentor future SU ICCAE students.

About the Downey Scholars Award

The award is named for John “Jack” Downey, a Superior Court Judge in New Haven, CT, for more than 35 years, who served primarily in the area of juvenile justice.
Before law school, Judge Downey was one of the first CIA paramilitary officers who distinguished himself by his response to duress. In 1952, while on a clandestine mission during the Korean War, Downey’s aircraft was shot down in Manchuria, and Downey was subsequently imprisoned in China for 21 years.
Downey was the recipient of the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award, Connecticut’s highest honor for a judge, as well as the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, CIA’s highest award for valor. Throughout his life and career, Downey was known for his grace, dignity, and kindness.


Downey Scholars will be announced at the end of the spring semester. Undergraduate and graduate applicants will be reviewed using separate evaluation and subcommittee processes.

Questions? Contact Us or Make an Appointment

Syracuse University’s Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence offers unique coursework as well as programmatic and training opportunities to prepare students for professional positions within the U.S. Intelligence Community. The ICCAE program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse University; students at consortium partner schools can join their institution’s affiliated programs and may participate in related programmatic and curricular activities at Syracuse University.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a Syracuse University ICCAE program member.