Annual Conference Scholarship Program

The mission of NACOLE's Annual Conference Scholarship Fund is to offer financial support to individuals to attend the Annual NACOLE Conference, expanding the reach of civilian oversight and promoting participation by individuals from a broad spectrum of social, economic, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. The Scholarship Fund supports and strengthens the work of civilian oversight practitioners and communities by providing access to a broad range of oversight information, best practices and professional networks.

The Annual Conference Scholarship Fund is made possible by generous donations from individuals and organizations across the country and is intended to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., registration, travel, lodging, meals) to attend the Annual NACOLE Conference. Scholarships for the 2024 Annual Conference will cover the cost of conference registration and a stipend of up to $800 toward travel-related expenses. 

To apply: 2024 Annual Conference Scholarship Application

Submission Deadline: Monday, July 8, 2024


Scholarship Descriptions, Eligibility, and Applications

Founders’ and Presidents' Scholarship Award

The NACOLE Founders and Presidents Scholarship Award (FPSA) honors the significant contributions, dedication, and commitment of the NACOLE founders and past-presidents by supporting those community members, grassroots organizers, law enforcement officials, volunteers, academics, students, early career professionals with less than three years of experience, and others who are seeking information about oversight and how it can best impact their communities. The award is geared towards applicants whose attendance at the Annual Conference will benefit their communities and whose commitment to civilian oversight will be strengthened and reinforced by their participation. Membership in the organization is not required for this category.

Membership Scholarship Award

The Membership Scholarship Award (MSA) supports and strengthens the work of NACOLE members by introducing them to a broad range of oversight information, effective practices and professional networks. The MSA supports individuals in all NACOLE membership categories—Regular, Associate, Organizational and Student—by providing financial assistance to attend the Annual Conference. To be eligible for the MSA, you must be a member of NACOLE in good standing or employed by/affiliated with an oversight entity holding an organizational membership in good standing at the time of your application and as of the first day of the conference. Not a member of NACOLE?  Join today.

New Agency Scholarship Award

The New Agency Scholarship Award is specifically granted to those practitioners who work for agencies established since January 1, 2020. This scholarship allows for individuals to attend the Annual NACOLE Conference, learn more about the work being done in the field of oversight in the United States and around the world, expand their network, and gain a better understanding of what effective and sustainable oversight can look like in their jurisdiction.

Local Community Scholarship Award

The Local Community Scholarship Award (LCSA) supports grassroots community members, advocacy organizations, volunteers and/or law enforcement members who may benefit from educational sessions and networking opportunities at the Annual NACOLE Conference or other NACOLE sponsored educational events. Applicants for this category must be physically located in the city or surrounding geographical region of the Annual NACOLE Conference. This category will be funded by donations specifically intended for this purpose on an annual basis.

Rules and Additional Information

To apply, you must:

  • Submit a completed application.
  • Demonstrate an avid interest in civilian oversight of law enforcement through your activities as described in an essay.
  • Submit at least one letter of recommendation signed by an individual who is familiar with your work.
  • Failure to submit all required materials by the deadline will result in disqualification from consideration.

Additional Information:

  • You may only apply for one scholarship award in a given year.
  • Financial need will be a factor in evaluating applications.
  • If you are a previous Annual Conference scholarship recipient, you may not apply for another scholarship.
  • The number of scholarships in each category varies from year to year, depending on the number of qualified applicants and available scholarship funds.
  • A panel will review all scholarship applications and make recommendations to the NACOLE Board of Directors, who will make the final selection of award recipients.
  • Consideration will be given to whether scholarship applicants have attended prior conferences, with special consideration given to first-time Annual NACOLE Conference attendees.
  • Funds in the scholarship bank account will not be co-mingled with funds from NACOLE's general fund.
  • Funds can be designated for recipients from the geographic area of the Annual Conference. No other special designations are allowed.
  • Not all funds must be awarded each year. Any specially designated funds not awarded in the year donated will be retained by NACOLE and awarded in future years as scholarships generally, no longer limited to the designated geographic area.
  • Special designations must be in writing from the donor.


NACOLE is a recognized 501(c)3, and your donation to the Annual Conference Scholarship Fund may be tax deductible. Credit card information can be provided over the phone at (317) 721-8133 or you may submit your scholarship donation online here.

Please mail your check to:

NACOLE Annual Conference Scholarship Fund

P. O. Box 20851

Indianapolis, IN 46220-0851



Monday, July 8, 2024


Contact Us

Questions? Contact us at [email protected] or (317) 721-8133.


Scholarship Fund Founding Donors

The launch of the Scholarship Fund, at the 2012 Annual NACOLE Conference in San Diego, California, was very successful due to the generosity of the NACOLE community. The following individuals were Founding Donors to the fund:

Brian Buchner, Jayson Wechter, Robert Barton, Pierce Murphy, Kathryn Olson, Ilana Rosenzweig, Karen Williams, Edward B. Smart, Michael Wilson, Charles Smith, Gillian Lucky, Eduardo Diaz, Joyce Hicks, Cynthia Hernandez, Crista Noel, Paula Tillman, Brian Edy, Sandra Arkin, Brian Corr, Dawn Reynolds, Patrick Hunter, Elizabeth Lerner, Mark P. Smith, Ines Vargas Fraenkel, Michael Quinn, Barbara Attard, Sharon Kidd, Joseph Lipari, Anthony Potenza, Najuma Henderson, Marilyn Hammon, Cameron McEllhiney, Sue Quinn, Scott Ando, Julie Ruhlin, Edward McMahon, Nathan Rubenfeld, Ainsley Cromwell, Philip Young, Simone Levine, and Danell Scarborough.