Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship

Cory L Richards

The Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Guttmacher Institute, supports emerging leaders in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Established in 2014 in honor of Cory L. Richards, a leading figure in the field whose remarkable career at the Guttmacher Institute spanned nearly four decades, the scholarship reflects what was for him a core commitment: nurturing the development of new leaders. It does so by providing financial support to students who plan to devote their careers to advancing public policy related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and who are seeking advanced degrees in public health or public policy.

To commemorate the 10th and final year of this scholarship program, two individuals will be chosen as Cory Richards Scholars and awarded a one-time scholarship of $20,000 each to support full-time or part-time graduate study at an accredited institution in the United States.  In keeping with the Institute’s and Cory’s dedication to equalizing opportunity, priority is given to students with demonstrated financial need.

Past recipients include individuals who went on to work with the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities to promote Zika virus prevention among Hispanic communities; pursue a doctoral degree in environmental health from George Washington University; and track and analyze regional COVID-19 trends with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Application details

Application period

March 15, 2023 through May 15, 2023, 3 p.m. CT



Applicants must:

  • Be entering or currently enrolled in a full-time or part-time graduate study program at an accredited institution in the United States for the entire upcoming academic year
  • Be pursuing a master’s degree in public policy or public health
  • Be planning to pursue a career in advancing public policy related to sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent)

Past recipients may not reapply.

Applicants are considered without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability or national origin.

Requested materials

Applications comprise a personal essay and an answer to a short-response question, in addition to materials describing an individual’s:

  • Academic record
  • Leadership and participation in school and community activities
  • Honors
  • Work experience

Applicants selected as finalists will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation and a college transcript.

How to apply

Visit Scholarship America for specific application guidelines and to submit all application materials.

Selection process

Applications will be evaluated by a committee of Guttmacher Institute staff. Scholarship America will notify all unsuccessful applicants, and the Guttmacher evaluation committee will notify finalists, in July. Guttmacher will announce the final awardee(s) soon thereafter.


For more information about the scholarship and the application process, please contact Scholarship America through its online form, by calling (800) 537-4180 or by emailing [email protected].


Can I send a letter of recommendation with my application? Only finalists need to submit a letter of recommendation. Please wait to be notified of your application status before requesting and submitting this letter.

I applied last year but did not receive an award. Can I apply again? Yes, as long as you are not a past Cory Richards Scholar and fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Can I contact someone at the Guttmacher Institute about the scholarship? No, please reach out to Scholarship America, the organization managing the scholarship application process, using the contact information provided. Guttmacher staff will not reply to direct inquiries.

Do my career goals qualify? Read about our past Cory Richards Scholars to get an idea of the range of study programs and career pursuits that we’ve considered to be great fits for this scholarship. Reach out with specific questions using the contact information provided.


The Institute thanks the many individuals, colleague organizations and foundations whose generosity made this scholarship possible.