December 2, 2023

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is a prime example of a nonprofit fellowship program that extends valuable support and benefits. In the following sections, we’ll delve into the details of what these fellowships entail and how to make the most of them.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Each year, approximately 2,700 students are granted scholarships by the National Science Foundation, aimed at those with the potential to make significant advancements in scientific, mathematical, and engineering research, education, and industrial applications.

These fellowships can be utilized at any accredited university in the United States that offers advanced degrees in science, mathematics, or engineering.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) provides three-year fellowships for graduate studies across various disciplines, encompassing mathematics, physical sciences, biological sciences, engineering, behavioral and social sciences, and the history of science. It also includes special awards for female students pursuing engineering and computer science fields.

Recipients of this fellowship are granted a generous annual stipend of $34,000, along with full tuition and fee waivers for three years. The application process is conducted online, with the initial submission deadline typically falling in early October.

Applicants for this fellowship should possess a background in research. NSF GRFP applications are consistently assessed based on two primary criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Addressing both of these review criteria comprehensively in your Personal, Relevant Background, and Future Goals Statement is crucial to crafting a competitive application.


How to Apply

1. To submit your application, visit the website.

2. If you desire a practice score for your application, send it to Ashlee Ford Versypt at least 72 hours before the NSF GRFP deadline relevant to your discipline.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this fellowship, you must meet the following conditions:

1. Be a U.S. national, citizen, or lawful permanent resident.

2. Graduate students are limited to one application; if you’re an undergraduate, you must be in your first or second year of study, while graduate students should be in their senior year.

3. Intend to enroll in a master’s or doctoral program with a research emphasis in a subject area covered by the GRFP.

4. By the fall semester following your selection, be enrolled in an accredited program at a recognized U.S. graduate school with a campus in the U.S.

Fellowship Benefits

  • A five-year fellowship comprising three years of full financial support, covering tuition, fees, and health insurance benefits.
  • An annual allowance of $37,000.
  • A $12,000 cost-of-education stipend was provided to the institution.
  • Opportunities for professional development (GRIP and GROW).
  • Access to doctoral programs for fellows and honorable mentions.
  • No service obligation.
  • Access to additional resources to support research during medical deferral, such as maternity/paternity leave.

Selection Criteria

Distinguished experts in various scientific, engineering, and graduate education fields review, assess, and rank applications as part of the evaluation process.

Each panel is tasked with evaluating the quality of qualifying GRFP applications based on the Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, approved by the National Science Board.

Subsequently, each panel recommends candidates to receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.

Application Deadline

The application deadlines vary depending on the academic discipline you are pursuing, with different dates in October each year. To pinpoint the exact dates for your subject, refer to the program solicitation on the NSF website.

  • October 16, 2023: Life Sciences.
  • October 17, 2023: STEM education and learning, Materials Research, Psychology, Social Sciences, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering.
  • October 19, 2023: Engineering.
  • October 20, 2023: Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy.


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