DiversiFlite Scholars Program

Update April 18, 2023: Society Announces 2023 DiversiFlite Winners!

VFS had three DiversiFlite Scholars attend Forum 78 in May 2022 in Ft. Worth Texas. Learn more about these inspiring students in the press release.

Forum78-Awards-0115.jpg As part of the VFS DiversiFlite initiative, we are pleased to launch the application for this year's DiversiFlite Scholars program, which seeks to provide opportunities for underrepresented university students who have an interest in vertical flight. The program selects students at any US recognized Minority Serving Institution (MSI) for an all-expenses-paid trip to the Society's 79th Annual Forum & Technology Display, May 16-18, 2023, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Application Process and Eligibility

Download the DiversiFlite application (MS Word). Application deadline has been extended to Wednesday, March 28, no later than 11:59 pm EST (UTC-4) to scholars@vtol.org. Selections will be announced no later than Wednesday, April 5.

The DiversiFlite Scholars application is extremely simple. Applicants are required to provide demographic information and describe their interest in aerospace and vertical flight, and how they would benefit from attending the Annual Forum. In addition, an unofficial transcript from your college or university is required. Email both the completed application and the unofficial transcript (PDF preferred) to scholars@vtol.org.

Full-time students at US Minority Serving Institutions in any kind of engineering (or pre-engineering for an Associate's Degree) program are eligible to apply. Schools must be on at least one of these official US government lists of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Because there is not an easy-to-use official US government list of MSIs, we accept students from any school included in the MSI Directory compiled by Rutgers University.

Student applicants must be enrolled in a degree program at an accredited college or university within the United States or one of its territories. US citizenship is not required. Students studying outside of the United States are not eligible. Applicants are not required to be members of VFS.

Questions? Contact us at scholars@vtol.org.

Program Details

DiversiFlite Scholars will have the opportunity to expand their network, learn about opportunities available in the vertical flight industry, and hear from engineers and scientists on the latest research and development. Special activities will also be designed to enhance the DiversiFlite Scholars’ experience. 

Students selected as a DiversiFlite Scholar will receive the following included benefits:

  • Round trip transportation from any point in the United States and its territories
    • Reimbursement for roundtrip coach airfare and ground transportation at each end
    • For winners who need not or prefer not to fly, equitable accommodations will be made
  • Forum registration (includes all meals and access to all events)
    • Lunches and some other meals are provided during the event to attendees
    • Funding will be provided for all other meals while the area for the Forum, at the US government per diem rates 
  • A private hotel room for the duration of the conference at one of the official Forum hotels
  • A guide/mentor for the event to help make the most of this unique opportunity
  • Special small-group meetings with aerospace industry leaders
  • The opportunity to make new contacts within the vertical flight technical community

There will be up to three DiversiFlite Scholars selected for the 2023 cohort.

COVID Impacts

Forum 79 is scheduled to be in-person. In the event that COVID-19 causes a change in plans, the program could be transitioned to a virtual format and students will have the opportunity to participate virtually.

Updated Mar. 13, 2023.