NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Official Website

Who Can Apply:

1. Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen, national, or a permanent US resident by the application deadline.

2. Degree requirement: Individuals are typically eligible to apply during the senior year of college, or after graduating from college and prior to entering graduate school, or during the first year of graduate school, or prior to completing the Fall term of the second year of graduate school. Not eligible: Those who have earned a graduate or professional degree (exception may be a joint BS/MS program).

3. Field of study (disciplines): Biological sciences, computer sciences, chemistry, engineering, geosciences, information science, social sciences, life sciences, mathematics, materials research, psychology, physics and astronomy, or STEM education and learning. Interdisciplinary research is also possible. Not eligible: professional practice degrees – see details in the GRFP solicitation.

Award Amount:

The fellowship includes a $30,000-per-year stipend for three years. Additionally, each fellow’s graduate institution receives a $12,000 annual cost-of-education allowance that covers tuition and fees during the fellowship period. After one year of graduate study, fellows become eligible to apply for international research funding support through Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW).

How to Apply:

  1. Read the official GRFP solicitation for eligibility requirements.
  2. If eligible for the competition, create an account in FastLane GRFP.
  3. Note that your absolute deadline for application is by your field of study.
  4. Complete all sections of the online application form. Save.
  5. Follow the instructions to add the names of 3-5 reference letter writers.
    (They will submit recommendation letters directly into Fastlane.)
  6. While in Fastlane, copy the NEW instructions for the 3 required essays and the two review criteria. Analyze the wording. Follow instructions precisely.
  7. Meet with your faculty mentor. Discuss the GRFP essays – especially how to
    develop a proposed plan of research.
  8. Upload your academic transcript(s) into Fastlane GRFP. Save.
  9. Begin writing your essays. Take time to reflect on what you’ve written. Seek feedback from others. Revise. Make certain that you address the review criteria–intellectual merit & broader impacts–in all three essays.
  10. Confirm that your three top references have uploaded their letters into FastLane. If not, follow up immediately!
  11. Upload your final essays. Save. One last time, make certain that your application
    is complete.
  12. Submit your GRFP application 1-2 days before your disciplinary deadline.

Completed application must have:

  • Fastlane Application
  • 3 GRFP Essays
  • Transcripts
  • 3 reference letters
For more information, please contact the Graduate Office.