NSF Fellowship

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laboratorium-biologia-molekularna.jpg

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship ( NSF GRFP ) is a great way to start a research career. I was a successful applicant in 2010. Below are some details about the program and some tips for applying. You will also find many examples of successful essays and you can even submit your own essays if you are willing to serve as inspiration for the next round of applicants.

Note, this advice was last updated in Sept 2021.

What is it?

The NSF GRFP provides $34,000 to the student and some money to your department for three years. You have the flexibility to defer for up to two years in case you have another source of funding (but you cannot defer to take a year off).

The basic requirements are:

1. US Citizen, US National, or permanent resident

2. Currently a graduating Senior or First/Second year graduate student

3. Graduate students may only apply in their first OR second year (NOT both) . I have some thoughts on which year to apply .

4. Going into science research (does not apply to medical school)

Check out the official requirements at the NSF GRFP website . Here is the more detailed NSF presentation on the requirements. The deadlines are usually the last week of October , but it is never too early to start.

Basic Outline of Application Process

You will need to write two essays:

Personal Statement, Relevant Background, and Future Goals (3 pages)

Graduate Research Statement (2 pages)

You will need to get at least three letters of reference

These essays will be reviewed on the criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

And that's really it. The challenge is to sell yourself in 5 pages and to successful address the two criteria.

Tips for Getting Started

Read over the official NSF GRFP website , especially their tips .

Look through the NSF GRFP FAQ , with detailed answers here.

Here is a detailed website from Robin Walker . She has a very very thorough guide to the application .

Look at advice from past winners. There are lots of great advice out there, but in an interest to not overload you, here are my personal top choices. You can find more in my examples table at the bottom of the page.

Mallory Ladd - If you can follow her schedule, you should be more than prepared

Claire Bowen - Lots of advice interleaved with excerpts from successful essays

DJ Strouse - Applied under old system, but still great advice.

Blengineers - Fun video series of application tips

Read an example essay. I have posted all of my essays (and others) as well as my ratings sheets at the bottom of this page and organized into them into a table . Personally, I found this extremely useful and I have to give credit to two University of Wisconsin NSF GRFP winners who shared their essays with me, without which I was struggling on how to start the application.

Check out an old guide for reviewers .

For current discussions on the application process, check out this years NSF GRFP discussion at The GradCafe Forums . Some past years discussions include: 2020-2021 , 2019-2020 , 2018-2019 , 2017-2018 , 2016-2017 , 2015-2016 , 2014-2015 , 2013-2014 , 2012-2013 , 2011-2012 , and 2010-2011 .

General Advice

Every essay should address both Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

Each essay needs explicit headers of Intellectual Merit / Broader Impacts .

NSF GRFP funds the person, not the project. The most important choice you make is designating the primary field (Chemistry vs Physics & Astronomy, etc). The subfield is less important. If you are an undergrad doing research, I would strongly suggest to make your research proposal related to what you are currently researching as long as: 1. you are going to apply to programs in the same primary field and 2. there is at least a small chance (even if only a few percent) that you could do something related to your proposal in graduate school. NSF will not force you to follow through with the research; instead they just want to see that you can actually write a proposal. I personally wrote about my undergraduate research. It was in physics and I only applied to physics graduate schools (so same primary field), but I was not sure I wanted to continue with it in graduate school, and in fact it ended up being impossible since I did not get into any graduate schools with anyone doing research in my proposed subfield.

Write for a general science audience and assume the reviewer is in your primary field, but not your subfield. This is NSF's tentative review panels , you can see that the only guarantee is that the reviewer is in your primary field.

Ask for letters of reference early and gently remind your writers of the deadline. Get a diverse set of letter writers. I had my current adviser (who was doing research similar to what I proposed), a past research adviser, and my boss at a tutoring center. Therefore, I had two letters addressing my intellectual merit, while one letter addressed broader impacts.

Ask for help. Your current university probably has a writing center . Don't be shy, they will love to help you. Also try asking around your department to find students who have applied previously.

Review Criteria Details

(Below is direct text from NSF but with sentences cut and added highlights)

General Review Criteria

In considering applications, reviewers are instructed to address the two Merit Review Criteria as approved by the National Science Board - Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Therefore, applicants must include separate statements on Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in their written statements in order to provide reviewers with the information necessary to evaluate the application with respect to both Criteria as detailed below.

Reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:

Intellectual Merit: the potential to advance knowledge

Broader Impacts: the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

What is the potential for the proposed activity to

Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and

Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?

To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?

Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale ? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success ?

How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?

Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Extra details on Broader Impacts: (additional tips from NSF here )

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself , through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects , or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project . NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the US; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

Merit Review Criteria specific to the GRFP

Intellectual Merit Criterion : the potential of the applicant to advance knowledge based on a holistic analysis of the complete application, including the Personal, Relevant Background, and Future Goals Statement, Graduate Research Plan Statement, strength of the academic record, description of previous research experience or publication/presentations, and references.

Broader Impacts Criterion : the potential of the applicant for future broader impacts as indicated by personal experiences, professional experiences, educational experiences and future plans.

Review Criteria: My Two Cents

Here is how I like to think of the review criteria, point by point.

How would answering this research question change science (Intellectual Merit) or society (Broader Impacts)?

Why should I fund you specifically, and not just this research question? What innovation do you specifically bring to the table?

Is there a detailed plan? With built in measures of success?

What are your qualifications?

Can you actual carry out the needed research?

At the end of each essay, you should be able to check off how you answered each point above for BOTH Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

Personal Statement, Relevant Background, and Future Goals: Essay Prompt from NSF

Prompt in 2021:

Please outline your educational and professional development plans and career goals. How do you envision graduate school preparing your for a career that allows you to contribute to expanding scientific understanding as well as broadly benefit society?

Additional prompt previously provided by NSF:

Describe your personal, educational, and/or professional experiences that motivate your decision to pursue advanced study in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Include specific examples of any research and/or professional activities in which you have participated. Present a concise description of the activities, highlight the results and discuss how these activities have prepared you to seek a graduate degree. Specify your role in the activity including the extent to which you worked independently and/or as part of a team. Describe the contributions of your activity to advancing knowledge in STEM fields as well as the potential for broader impacts (See Solicitation, Section VI, for more information about Broader Impacts).

NSF Fellows are expected to become globally engaged knowledge experts and leaders who can contribute significantly to research, education, and innovations in science and engineering. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate your potential to satisfy this requirement. Your ideas and examples do not have to be confined necessarily to the discipline that you have chosen to pursue.

Personal Statement, Relevant Background, and Future Goals Essay: My Two Cents

Based on the new emphasis NSF GRFP general requirements, I would write the essay in three main sections with two subsections for Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

Personal Statement (~1 page). This is where you tell your unique story of either how you became interested in science, what makes you special, and/or any unique perspective you bring to science. Great place to mention if you had to overcome any hardships or would be adding to the diversity of the STEM field. Definitely use this section to highlight Broader Impacts.

Relevant Background (~1 page). Hopefully you already have research experience, so explain how that has prepared you for success in graduate school and beyond. Mainly use this section for Intellectual Merit, but also highly the Broader Impacts of your research experience.

Future Goals (~ 1/2 page). This is where you tie your personal background and scientific background into one cohesive vision for the future.

Intellectual Merit (~1/4 page). Conclude the essay by summarizing all of your contributions to Intellectual Merit. Make sure this is an explicit header.

Broader Impact (~1/4 page). Conclude the essay by summarizing all of your contributions to Broader Impact. Make sure this is an explicit header.

Graduate Research Statement: Essay Prompt from NSF

Present an original research topic that you would like to pursue in graduate school. Describe the research idea, your general approach, as well as any unique resources that may be needed for accomplishing the research goal (i.e. access to national facilities or collections, collaborations, overseas work, etc). You may choose to include important literature citations. Address the potential of the research to advance knowledge and understanding within science as well as the potential for broader impacts on society. The research discussed must be in a field listed in the Solicitation (Section X, Fields of Study).

Graduate Research Statement: My Two Cents

I would recommend structuring the essay as follows:

Introduction

Introduce the scientific problem and its impact on science and society (emphasis on Review Criteria 1)

Research Plan

Show the major steps that need to be accomplished

What is the creative part of your approach?

Have you thought of alternatives for hard or crucial steps?

What skills do you have to make this plan successful?

Intellectual Merit

Have a clear header for this section

Clearly demonstrate that tackling this problem will make an impact and advance science

Try to summarize how you hit all five Review Criteria

Broader Impacts

Paragraphs to address how this research impacts all five Review Criteria.

(Optional). Could use the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts sections as conclusion. If not, e nd with several sentences summarizing your project .

This essay will be Intellectual Merit heavy, but still needs to address Broader Impacts. Show why the broader scientific community / society should care about your research!

Examples of Successful Essays

These are all the essays of recent winners that I could find online. If you want me to link to an example on your website, or if you are willing to share your essays but don't have a site, I can add it to the table if you fill out the contact form below .

Some notes:

Click here to apply your own sort / filters to the table .

Remember the format changed starting in 2014!

If I couldn't figure out the year, I filled in 2013 for old format and 2014 for new formats.

Proposal Column --- Graduate Research Plan ( >= 2014) or Proposed Research ( <= 2013)

Personal Column --- Personal, Relevant Background, and Future Goals ( >= 2014) or Personal ( <= 2013)

Previous Column --- Previous Research Statement ( <= 2013 only)

HM = Honorable Mention

Can't find an example in your area? Tip from GradCafe Forum : politely email past winners !

I've linked to a lot of sites, let me know if any links break! A suggested fix is even better :)

Example essays below, or open in Google Drive

nsf graduate research fellowship examples

Submit Example Here

Nsf Grfp Application Tips And Example

Oct 15, 2017

Note: This is a post from my old website that I’ve since shut down due to moving my website to Github. The original post is from 2013, yet it still seems reasonably relevant today. In this version, I have added a few updates (annotated as UPDATE) based on what I know now as I am nearing the end of my graduate career. Hopefully it will still be a useful resource to young aspiring scientists looking to launch their academic careers :)

NSF GRFP overview

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) provides funding for graduate research. Although essentially all (science) PhD programs will fund you (pay for your tuition, healthcare, and provide a stipend), with the first one or two years being paid for by the department and the remaining paid for by your PhD advisor, having a Fellowship means being able to walk in to any lab you want with the confidence that the PI will not need to worry about funding you (and will hopefully be more willing to take you because of this). I applied for NSF GRFP during my senior year of undergraduate studies in 2012-2013 and was awarded the fellowship. Below are some advice and information about the application process with some reference materials from my own application. Additional information can be found on the NSF GRFP website .

Benefits of being an NSF Fellow (as of 2013):

  • $30,000 annual stipend for three years, which may be used in any three 12-month units over a five-year period that begins in your award year
  • Additional research opportunities such as Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide, which offers opportunities to participate in 3-12 month international research collaborations
  • Access to cyberinfrastructure resources through the XSEDE (TeraGrid)

Obviously: prestige

  • UPDATE: Some graduate programs will also offer to increase your stipend (by a few hundred dollars) or provide an educational allowance for computer purchases, conference travels, etc if you have a grant such as the NSF GRFP.

If your department pays for the first year or two of your tuition through some sort of training grant, consider deferring NSF by said time; you have the option of deferring for up to two years for this reason (you’re not allowed to defer to take a year off). Your PhD advisor will love you for this!

Be sure to check with your department and graduate program about deferring though! Some will not allow students to defer their NSF unless they have obtained some other source of outside funding that can be utilized during that time so you may be required to utilize any fellowships you obtain as soon as possible.

Basic NSF GRFP Requirements:

  • You must be a US Citizen, US national, or permanent resident
  • You must be in a graduate degree program (PhD) pursuing an advanced degree in an NSF approved field of study by the Fall of your award year
  • According to the NSF GRFP eligibility guide, NSF approved fields of study do not include “research with disease-related goals, including the etiology, diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental disease, abnormality or malfunction.” However, you can still pursue research with disease-related, diagnostic, or treatment-related goals (as I did). You will just need to frame your research from a scientific or engineering perspective.
  • NSF does not award fellowships for MBAs, MDs, MD/PhDs, JD/PhDs, etc. If you are pursuing any degree other than a PhD and are an immigrant or child of an immigrant, consider applying to The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans instead. It’s one of the few fellowships that provides support for non-PhDs!

UPDATE: You can only apply to the NSF GRFP as a senior in undergrad or within the first two years of your graduate studies. If you are already in your 3rd year, you are no longer eligible (you would apply for something like the NIH F grant instead). That said, success rates are much higher for those re-applying (so ideally, you would want to apply as early as possible so that if you fail to get funded, you have the ability to reapply). So start early, fail often, and try again!

Required materials and information for application:

  • Three 2-page essays: Personal Statement, Previous Research, and Proposed Research
  • Three or more letters of recommendation
  • Your proposed University/College and Program (you do NOT need to be accepted or decide to go there)
  • Your proposed Primary Field of Study (you should stay in your proposed field even if you decide on a different University or Program though)
  • A list of fellowships, scholarships, teaching, and work experiences relevant to your field of study since entering college/university (experiences do not have to be limited to the academic realm but no more than 5 are recommended)
  • A list of your significant academic honors, publications, and presentations

Finding professors and PIs to write strong recommendations for you is honestly the hardest part of this process in my opinion. Hopefully you do have a good relationship with your academic advisor and/or have been involved in research at school, but don’t be afraid to just ask a professor who’s class you took (and hopefully did very well in). Be prepared to provide professors with some key points about yourself that they should mention and your CV (in the likely event they do not remember you).

Ask for your recommendations early! Professors and PIs are very busy! Don’t just assume that they will meet your deadlines. It will be your job to make sure they get their recommendations in on time. Although NSF will only look at the three recommendations, consider asking for a 4th in the event something pops up and one recommender is not able to submit in time. If you do not have a minimum of three recommendations by the deadline, you will be disqualified.

When listing your significant academic honors, publications, and presentations, DO NOT be modest. Even if your presentation was at some small school event, JUST LIST IT. Even if your publication was in your undergraduate research journal, JUST LIST IT. Even if everyone in your program got the same award and you think it’s nothing special, JUST LIST IT. It’s not up to you to decide whether your achievements are “worth” listing. Let the judges decide.

All essays will be reviewed on the criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Intellectual Merit is probably easier to address than Broader Impacts so make sure to go back and emphasize your previous efforts in any community service or outreach and thoroughly discuss how you and your research will help the society at large.

Know your audience when writing your essays, in particular your Research Proposal. Do not spew out a ton of jargon but also do not waste time explaining the central dogma of genetics (and other mundane facts common in the scientific community). You will be able to name a Tentative Panel Field (such as Medical Sciences, Engineering – Biomedical, Comp/IS/Eng – Informatics, or a mix if you’re interdisciplinary) in your application from which your reviewers will be picked from. So they will not be experts in your field but they will also not be clueless.

UPDATE: In hindsight, the NSF GRFP application has substantially fewer requirements and essays than all other grants. So the amount of work is quite minimal for the pay-off. Putting together the application has also been really great practice for my other grants; I still use some parts of my resume and personal statement in my biosketch for new NIH grants! And the recommenders that wrote my recommendation letters for the NSF GRFP are still writing me recommendation letters for my new ventures (so keep in touch with your former advisors!)

Sample timeline

  • Early August – Ask for recommendations. Start brainstorming about your Personal Statement and Proposed Research. List out your previous research. Prepare your CV.
  • Mid August – The NSF GRFP applications are open. Create a FASTLANE account and start filling out the basic information. Familiarize yourself with the program solicitation. Check in with recommenders to see if they’re writing your recommendations and if they need help.
  • Early October – Write a draft of your Personal Statement. Complete your Previous Research essay just to get it out of the way. Start reading papers and brainstorming for potential Research Proposal topics. Ask your recommenders to submit their recommendations if possible.
  • Late October – Finish your Personal Statement. Write a draft of your Research Proposal. Ask your recommenders to submit their recommendations if possible.
  • Early November – Ask your research advisor or a professor in your intended field to go over your Research Proposal with you. Start finalizing your Research Proposal. Start nagging your recommenders to submit their recommendations if they have not done so already.
  • Mid November – Finish all essays. Complete your application through the FASTLANE website (this will likely take longer than you think). Go back to the program solicitation and review your essays to make sure you’ve addressed both Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in each essay. Seriously start nagging your recommenders to submit their recommendations if they have not done so already.
  • Late November – Submit!
  • Late March – Hear back!
  • Early May – Decide!

Consider applying to other fellowships such as:

  • The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program
  • The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
  • The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
  • The Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

A lot of these fellowships request for the same information and essays, so if you’re already applying to NSF, it’s pretty easy to just recycle your essays and apply to a few more to increase the likelihood you will get at least one fellowship. However, if you get awarded multiple fellowships, you will likely have to choose between them as you are only allowed to accept one Federal fellowship (with the exception of Soros since it’s private).

Other fellowships:

  • Bell Labs Graduate Fellowship – currently unavailable but may become available in the future
  • Dept Homeland Security – currently unavailable but may become available in the future
  • Dept Defense SMART – post-graduate work at Dept Defense required
  • Dept Fulbright – requires traveling abroad
  • EPA Star – must be environmental study
  • GAANN – must have financial need
  • Jacob Javits – humanities and social sciences only
  • Marshall – must study in the UK
  • NASA Aeronautics – must focus on aeronautics
  • NASA GSRP – required internship at NASA
  • National Physics Science Consortium – must intern at sponsoring employers
  • Rhodes – must study at Oxford

Coordinating multiple fellowships

According to the NSF administrative guide for fellows, starting with the 2011 Fellows forward, GRFP Fellowships cannot be concurrently accepted or combined with another Federal Fellowship, irrespective of the Fellow’s Status. This means that you if you receive multiple Federal fellowships, you will have to choose one. However, you can still accept multiple fellowships as long as only one is Federal.

Prior to 2011, students who receive multiple fellowships may accept multiple as long as they did not receive multiple sources of funding in the same year. That is, students may take the DoD NDSEG for the first three years, deferring NSF GRFP for two years and forfeiting one year, then using NSF GRFP for the last two years. This is no longer possible!

Sample essays and review

  • NSF Personal Statement
  • NSF Previous Research
  • NSF Proposed Research
  • Full Application
  • NSF Application Review (what reviewers said)

Rememeber: Do your homework! Google around for more advice, resources, and sample essays/reviews! Below are some other great places to get started:

  • http://www.alexhunterlang.com/nsf-fellowship
  • http://www.jenniferwang.org/nsf.html
  • http://www.pgbovine.net/fellowship-tips.htm

Reading other people’s essays, especially Research Proposals with topics similar to my field, and their reviews definitely helped me the most; or at least made me more confident about my project’s difficulty level and feasibility. Seeing how others organized their Previous Research was also helpful. In reading other people’s Personal Statements, I realized that this was the one essay where you could insert some personality or otherwise differentiating/unique aspects about yourself so make it count! In hindsight, I think my Personal Statement is a bit too much on the cheesy side but luckily it worked out.

Even if you don’t get awarded the Fellowship, just having applied is a big bonus when you’re applying and interviewing for graduate school. Schools will love that you’ve put thought into your future! Plus, when interviewers ask you what you plan to do in terms of research in graduate school, you can just refer to your Research Proposal!

the NSF Fellowship is a great way to jumpstart your research career. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t get awarded the Fellowship so why not apply? There’s no application fee anyway 😛

UPDATE: I did not use the entire duration of my NSF GRFP because I received new funding from an NCI F31 (grant which required me to give up the remainder of my NSF as fellowships cannot be concurrently accepted or combined). There are many grants you can apply for at various stages of your academic career. If you don’t get this one, you can try again or get the next one. The important thing is to just try!

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The Graduate School

University information technology (uit), main navigation, national science foundation graduate research fellowship program (nsf grfp), the fall 2023 application portal is open.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a program administered by the National Science Foundation to ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education.

This fellowship program provides three years of support for the graduate education of students who have demonstrated their potential for significant research accomplishments in STEM or STEM education. The NSF especially encourages women, individuals from underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors near graduation to apply.

Upcoming Workshops

  • Thursday, September 7, 9:00am –   NSF-GRFP Application Prep Info Session with a panelist of current fellows   – Marriott Library 1745
  • Thursday, September 7, 3:00pm –   NSF-GRFP Application Prep Info Session with a panelist of current fellows   – Marriott Library 1745
  • Friday, September 8, 10:00pm –   NSF-GRFP Application Prep Info Session with a panelist of current fellows   – ZOOM   Register  
  • Thursday, September 14, 11am-1pm –   Writing Workshop   – Marriott Library 1140 
  • Saturday, September 23, 10am-1pm –   Writing Workshop   – Marriott Library 1170
  • Wednesday, September 27, 4-7pm –   Writing Workshop   – Marriott Library 2130N 
  • Friday, September 29, 9-11am –   Writing Workshop   – Gardner Commons, Room 5620
  • Wednesday, October 4, 9:30am-1pm – Writing Workshop – Marriott Library 2130N
  • Thursday, October 5, 4:30pm-7:30pm – Writing Workshop – Marriott Library 2130N  

Current Award Solicitation

Fall 2023 Application Deadlines, Discipline-Specific (see solicitation for details)

Student deadlines: .

  • October 16, 2023 – Life Sciences
  • October 17, 2023 – Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning
  • October 19, 2023 – Engineering
  • October 20, 2023 - Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy

Plan ahead and be sure to submit your completed application at least three days ahead of the deadline to account for any upload concerns, wifi problems, or other concerns that may delay a timely submission. All submissions are due 5pm local time to the mailing address you list on your application.

Recommendation deadline: 

October 27, 2023 – all recommendations must be uploaded by reference writers by 5pm Eastern Time  

Student Resources

Additional GRFP Opportunities

NSF-GRFP Additional Info

  • NSF GRFP Competition Results
  • Applicant and Reference Writer Assistance

Financial Support

The graduate research fellowship provides generous support for graduate students and their research, which includes the following as of Fall 2023:

  • A $37,000-per-year stipend for three years
  • Graduate tuition coverage for three years
  • The University of Utah generously provides fellows with a research & professional development allowance of $2,000/year for three years, as well as provides health insurance coverage (medical, dental, and vision) for three years

After one year of graduate study, fellows may apply for additional international research funding support from NSF, through programs such as GROW and GRIP .

Award cycle

The GRFP competition opens in late summer with submission deadlines in late October. The Graduate School provides a series of application preparation workshops late spring/early summer for interested students and their faculty mentors. The NSF announces awards and honorable mentions the following spring (usually early April). Awardees must then engage in their graduate program that following summer or fall after accepting the award.

Previous winning NSF GRFP essay examples

Previous Successful Proposals (login required)   Alex Lang's NSF site

The National Science Foundation GRF program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. NSF received over 14,000 applications for the 2014 competition, and made 2,000 fellowship award offers. Past fellows of the NSF GRFP include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

Workshop Documents

  • Personal Statement_Fellowships_template  
  • Personal Statements Workshop_ Fellowships_ThinkSheet  
  • Essay Examples We Will Discuss in the Workshop   — Note, NSF has changed the personal statement length to 3 pages.
  • PDF of the Workshop Slides   (1st Session)
  • PDF of the Workshop Slides   (2nd Session)

Original Event Info

Questions? Contact Us

headshot of Matthew Plooster

Matthew Plooster, EdD

Fellowships & Benefits Manager

801.581.6020

[email protected]  

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

Eligibility: general.

How can I determine if I am eligible to apply to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)?

How do I determine my Academic Level (1-4)?

At what point in my academic career can I apply to NSF GRFP?

Can I apply if I plan to attend a non-US institution?

Are non-US citizens/permanent 5 residents eligible to apply?

ELIGIBILITY: CURRENT UNDERGRADUATES

I have a Bachelor's degree, but no graduate study yet. I am in the process of applying to graduate school this year. Can I apply to the upcoming NSF GRFP competition, or must I wait until I'm in graduate school?

I will be entering a Master's program next year. Am I eligible to apply to NSF GRFP?

ELIGIBILITY: JOINT BACHELOR'S-MASTER'S DEGREE

How do the eligibility rules apply to joint Bachelor's-Master's degree students?

What does GRFP consider to be a joint Bachelor's-Master's program?

What if I previously applied in the fourth year of my joint Bachelor's-Master's program? Under the one-time rule for graduate applicants, am I still eligible to apply in the final year of my joint Bachelor's-Master's program?

What if I previously applied in the final year of my joint Bachelor's-Master's program? Under the one-time rule for graduate student applicants, am I still eligible to apply in the first year of my Ph.D. program?

What if I previously earned a joint Bachelor's-Master's degree?

ELIGIBILITY: CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS

I am currently a beginning graduate student. When can I apply to NSF GRFP?

I enrolled in a graduate program earlier than Fall of the application year (i.e., Winter, Spring, or Summer semester), so I will have completed at least one semester's worth of graduate study by this year's application deadline in October. How does that affect my eligibility?

I applied last year as an undergraduate. I am now in graduate school, am I eligible to apply again?

I applied last year as a first-year graduate student. I have changed fields, or the degree type I am pursuing, this year and I am in the first year of a different graduate program. Am I eligible to apply this year?

I am a second-year graduate student and completed one academic year of a graduate program last year. However, before my current graduate program I took several additional graduate courses after my Bachelor's degree. Am I still eligible?

If I apply as a first-year graduate student for this year's competition, will I be able to apply as a second-year graduate student for next year's competition?

I am in the 1st year of my Ph.D. program, I previously earned a Master's degree, am I still eligible?

I am in the beginning of the second year of my graduate program. My transcript shows that I registered for research hours the summer before my first year in the graduate program. Am I still eligible?

ELIGIBILITY: PREVIOUS GRADUATE STUDY

I have completed more than one academic year of graduate study. Are there any circumstances in which I could be eligible?

I hold a Master's degree and plan to return to graduate school after an interruption of longer than two years. Can I enroll in another Master's program?

I completed a Master's degree in less than 12 months, with no additional graduate study after that. Am I still eligible?

I have been working for several years since getting my doctoral degree and would like to go back to graduate school in another field. Can this count as an "interruption" in graduate study, for the purposes of applying to NSF GRFP?

I took some graduate-level courses after finishing my undergraduate program, but they were not part of a degree program. Do they count as "graduate study" for the NSF GRFP?

My job required me to take some continuing education credits for a professional credential and these continuing education credits were at the graduate level. Do these count towards the limit of allowed graduate study?

ELIGIBILITY: FIELD OF STUDY

How can I find out if my specific research topic is eligible?

What are the new subfields for Geosciences and how do I add one of these to my field of study in the application module?

I am enrolled in a clinical psychology program. Am I eligible?

I am enrolled in a biology program, and I am conducting biomedical research. Am I eligible?

Are there any restrictions on the type of research that NSF GRFP will support?

I am enrolled in a bioengineering program and my research will involve applications that aid people with disabilities. Am I eligible?

What is Other or Interdisciplinary used for when selecting Field of Study?

What are the high priority research areas mentioned in the NSF GRFP Solicitation?

I am changing fields of study. Does NSF consider that to be an extenuating circumstance that would merit an exception to the limit on previous graduate study?

Can I accept the Fellowship but change the field of study? Can I accept the Fellowship but change the degree program?

ELIGIBILITY: ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

Can I apply to NSF GRFP and wait to apply to graduate school in a future year, if I am offered a Fellowship?

If I apply for the NSF GRFP this year and I am not offered a Fellowship can I re-apply?

Can I apply for the NSF GRFP if I do not know where I will be attending graduate school? I don't know if I will be accepted by the program of my choice so the research I plan to conduct may change.

What if I am offered a Fellowship, but change my mind and decide to put off enrolling in graduate school? Can I defer the Fellowship?

Who is NOT eligible to apply to the NSF GRFP?

Do you have additional questions about eligibility?

MERIT REVIEW CRITERIA

What are NSF's Merit Review Criteria for the NSF GRFP?

What counts as evidence of Intellectual Merit?

How are Broader Impacts defined by NSF?

How much weight is given to Intellectual Merit versus Broader Impacts when applications are reviewed? Must I address each of these Criteria in each of my statements?

NSF GRFP FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION DOCUMENT UPLOAD

What format is required by the GRFP Application Module for uploading documents?

What are the PDF upload document formatting and compliance requirements?

Why is there a margin error for my PDF? My margins are set to one inch.

Why do I receive a font error upon document upload when the font was set to an acceptable font type and size using "Select All"?

What should I consider if I include images in my statement files?

What other known issues should I be aware of regarding unallowable fonts when exporting a file to PDF?

How do I check to see if all my documents have been submitted?

Can I email a part of the application if it does not load before the deadline?

If my deadline has passed, can I submit it with another FOS?

Can a reference writer submit the letter of support via email after the deadline?

My module was not working and therefore I missed the deadline, where do I go from here?

Fastlane never answered my request before the deadline and I could not submit it, how do I submit it now that the date has passed?

TRANSCRIPTS

Are transcripts required?

Do the transcripts uploaded with my application need to be official transcripts?

My school doesn't give electronic transcripts. How do I include transcripts in my application?

I just started at my current institution and do not have a transcript. What can I do?

My school offers official electronic transcripts that require the recipient to login and download the transcript. May I list the NSF GRFP's contact information, and have the NSF GRFP download the transcript and add it to my application?

My school's official electronic transcripts are password protected. Can I still submit them?

I receive an error when uploading my transcript file.

I have attended several schools. Do I need to list all of them and upload all of the transcripts?

APPLICATION

Are GRE scores required for the NSF GRFP application?

Can I include links with supplemental material, such as papers, videos, etc. for reviewers to consider?

Can I obtain copies of past applications or statements from previously awarded applications?

Will my application be reviewed if I submit it right after the deadline?

How should I select my Major Field of Study?

My intended study is interdisciplinary, so I will select multiple fields for my application. Will my application be reviewed by reviewers drawn from these multiple fields?

STATEMENT FORMATTING

What are the formatting requirements for the statements?

What are the page limits for the statements?

Do I need to put my name, applicant ID or other identifying information on the statements?

Should I put my name, the statement title, and page numbers in the margins on the statements?

Can I use a smaller font for figures and tables?

For the Graduate Research Plan Statement, can I put my references on a third page?

Must my Graduate Research Plan Statement have a reference section?

When I upload my statement in the NSF GRFP Application Module, there is an additional blank page at the end, which causes my statement to exceed the page limit. Will my statement be accepted?

Can I use "exactly 11 point" line spacing?

How should I ensure that my application complies with the format requirements and isn't rejected by the GRFP Application Module?

REFERENCE LETTERS

How can I find out if my reference letters have been submitted?

What happens if more than three of my reference letters are submitted?

Can I change the priority rankings for my references?

My reference writer was asked to provide letters for several applicants and other applicants show up on his/her list of applicants, my name does not. How can I ensure that the letter is submitted?

Can reference letters be submitted by email or by physical mail?

My reference writer did not receive the email nominating them to serve as a reference writer or the email containing their temporary password.

I missed the deadline to submit my reference letter, how can I submit it now?

NOTIFICATIONS

When will applicants be notified of the results?

How are notifications sent?

I did not receive a notification. What should I do?

Can I receive additional feedback beyond the comments I received on my reviews?

Can I appeal the results of my application if I was not offered a Fellowship?

Does NSF offer any additional Fellowships after the selection announcements?

Is there a waiting list for NSF GRFP, and if so, how can I be placed on the waiting list?

INFORMATION FOR REFERENCE WRITERS

I am unable to log in using the temporary password I received via email.

I did not receive the email nominating me to serve as a reference writer or the email containing my temporary password.

I was asked to provide letters for several applicants, but one is not showing up on my list of applicants. How can I submit the letter?

What are the format requirements for the letters of reference?

Is there a page limit for letters of reference?

INFORMATION FOR REVIEWERS

How can I become an NSF GRFP Reviewer?

I have served as an NSF GRFP Reviewer before. Do I need to view the training materials and participate in the orientation webinar again?

Are NSF GRFP Reviewers paid?

How will I receive the flat rate fee?

I do not have a PhD, am I eligible to serve as a reviewer?

I am a current postdoc, am I eligible to serve as a reviewer?

Am I eligible to serve if my student is applying or I have written a letter of recommendation for an NSF GRFP applicant?

I work at an institution or organization outside the United States, am I eligible to serve as a reviewer?

See chart below. More information regarding applicant level is at https://nsfgrfp.org/ .

You can apply both before you begin your graduate studies and as an early graduate student. Undergraduates (typically seniors) can apply if they are ready to enroll full-time in a graduate program by the following Fall. Bachelor's degree-holders with no graduate study can apply every year until they enroll in a graduate degree program.

If you did not apply while enrolled in the joint Bachelor's-Master's degree program and continued directly to a doctoral program after completion of the joint degree, you are eligible to apply only as a first-year doctoral student.

As a currently enrolled graduate student, you can apply only once, and only if you have completed no more than one academic year of graduate study as indicated on the Registrar-issued transcript from the university attended as of the application deadline. That means you can apply in your first year or the beginning of the second year of graduate school.

Your graduate status indicated on the Registrar-issued academic transcript will determine your eligibility status at the application deadline. If your transcript indicates more than one academic year of graduate study has been completed, you are not eligible. You must also meet the other eligibility requirements.

IMPORTANT: Graduate status is determined to begin on the date indicated on the Registrar-issued transcript. If your transcript indicates your student status is graduate in the summer before the start of Fall courses, you are considered a graduate student who began graduate study in the summer.

For the 2024 GRFP application there are 16 new GEO subfields:

Coastal marine science Coastal studies Ocean technology (ROVs, AUVs, sensors) Geoinformatics Paleooceanography Earth System Science Heliospheric Physics Ionospheric Physics Space Weather Geochronology Marine Ecology Volcanology Environmental Science Geology Remote Sensing Sea Ice

NSF does not fund research for which the goals are directly human disease- or health-related, including the etiology, diagnosis, and/or treatment of disease or disorder is not eligible for support. See section IV.3 of the NSF GRFP Solicitation for detail explanation.

GRFP applications are reviewed in the first Major Field of Study selected and assigned to reviewers with expertise in the subfields listed in the solicitation. "Other" indicates a subfield not included in the list, thus there may not be reviewers with corresponding expertise. Applications indicating "Other" subfields will be randomly assigned to reviewers in the Major Field of Study.

The "Interdisciplinary" designation is collected solely for informational purposes and applications marked "Interdisciplinary" will not be reviewed by experts in all the fields selected.

Only if you meet eligibility requirements for the active competition.

  • Individuals who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents are not eligible. Foreign nationals who are in the U.S. on a student visa and those awaiting green cards are not eligible.
  • Individuals who do not intend to enroll or be enrolled in a research-based graduate degree program at a non-profit institution of higher education accredited in, and having a campus located in, the United States, its territories, or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education (see Appendix and Section IV.3 in the NSF GRFP Solicitation for eligible Fields of Study) by Fall of the year Fellowship is offered, are not eligible.
  • Individuals who have previously accepted an NSF GRFP offer are not eligible.
  • Individuals who were offered the Fellowship and did not notify NSF of their intention to accept or decline the fellowship by the published deadline for accepting the fellowship are not eligible.
  • Individuals who have previously applied while enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program are not eligible.
  • Individuals who have earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field are not eligible.
  • Individuals who are current NSF employees are not eligible.
  • Individuals who will be enrolled in a practice-oriented professional degree program such as medical, dental, law, and public health degrees at any time during the fellowship are not eligible. Ineligible degree programs include, but are not limited to, MBA, MPH, MSW, JD, MD, DVM, PharmD, and DDS.
  • Individuals who plan to enroll in a joint science-professional degree program (such as an MD/Ph.D. or JD/Ph.D.) even if they are proposing to use the GRFP only for the Ph.D. part of their program are not eligible. Additionally, applicants who are enrolled, or plan to enroll, in a graduate degree program while on a leave of absence from a professional degree program or professional degree-graduate degree joint program are not eligible.

The official NSF GRFP eligibility guidelines are published in the NSF GRFP Solicitation . Read the eligibility criteria thoroughly to ensure you, your field of study, proposed degree program, and proposed research are all eligible.

Reviewers evaluating applications submitted to the Graduate Research Fellowship Program may consider the following with respect to the Intellectual Merit Criterion:

What is the potential for the proposed activity to:

  • Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
  • Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
  • To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  • Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
  • How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
  • Are there adequate resources available to the applicant (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes.

Both Criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each Criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, applicants must fully address both Criteria in each statement.

Applicants are reviewed on their demonstrated potential to advance knowledge and to make significant research achievements and contributions to their fields throughout their careers. Reviewers are asked to assess applications using a holistic, comprehensive approach, giving balanced consideration to all components of the application, including the educational and research record, leadership, outreach, service activities, and future plans, as well as individual competencies, experiences, and other attributes. The aim is to recruit and retain a diverse cohort of early-career individuals with high potential for future achievements, contributions, and broader impacts in STEM and STEM education.

All application documents must be uploaded in PDF format. These documents include:

  • Transcripts
  • Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement
  • Graduate Research Plan Statement
  • Reference Letters

PDF-compatible templates for both Personal Statement and Graduate Research Plan are available at https://nsfgrfp.org/ .

  • Times New Roman font for text, Cambria Math for equations, Symbol font for non-alphabetic characters (it is recommended that equations and symbols be inserted as an image)
  • Font size 11-pt or higher (except text that is part of an image)
  • No less than single spacing (approximately six lines of text within a vertical space of one inch)
  • 1" margins on all sides, no text inside 1" margins (no header, footer, name, or page number)
  • Standard letter paper size (8.5" by 11")
  • File cannot be a scanned image
  • File size cannot exceed 10 MB
  • File cannot be password protected
  • File cannot be empty
  • Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement cannot exceed 3 pages
  • Graduate Research Plan Statement cannot exceed 2 pages

Reference letters and transcripts must conform to the following requirements:

  • File cannot be password protected or encrypted
  • Reference letter cannot exceed 2 pages

Some potential root causes may be:

  • Remove page numbers: Be sure that the document has no text in the header or footer including page numbers.
  • Review inserted images or shapes: Margins can be set to one inch, but a stray image or shape can violate the margin rule. Setting the margin rule to one inch would not automatically correct the images or shapes within margins.

It may be due to the word processor used to export files to PDF.

For Microsoft Office, "Select All" will not include inserted images, shapes, and numbered lists or bullets. Each object will have its own font and those would have to be updated to accepted fonts and sizes. Be mindful of images inserted into shapes, as each image and shape can have its own font type.

  • OpenOffice inserts an unallowable font for superscript and subscript.
  • Google Docs may not properly export bulleted text and should not be used.
  • Certain LaTeX-generated PDF elements are not yet supported. If using LaTeX, use the function to create a PDF and check to ensure that it is accepted by the GRFP Application Module well in advance of the deadline .
  • Microsoft Office for Macs "Save as PDF" functionality "Best for Printing" may not be supported. Instead, select the "Best for electronic distribution and accessibility (uses Microsoft online service)" option.
  • Older versions of Microsoft Word (2007 or earlier) may produce font errors.
  • For Microsoft Office, do not use "Print as PDF" to create a PDF. Instead, use "Export" and "Create PDF."

If you just started at your current institution, you can upload an unofficial transcript, a class schedule, or enrollment verification form from your school showing the courses for which you are registered. It is helpful if the document you upload shows what courses you are taking in the fall as it gives reviewers some information about your coursework.

No. The only application content that is considered by reviewers is what is submitted via the NSF GRFP Application Module by the application deadline. Do not submit any other material. Nothing will be accepted via email.

Select the Major Field of Study and the subfield that is closest to your research interests. If the subfield is not listed, it may not be eligible for NSF GRFP.

No. Your application will be reviewed in the Major Field of Study that you select. Check the list of eligible Fields of Study and the subfields in the NSF GRFP Solicitation Appendix and choose as your Major Field of Study the one that you consider most compatible with your research interests. Your reviewers will be drawn from experts within that field. You can consult your advisor(s) for input about this decision.

We strongly recommend using the templates for both Personal Statement and Graduate Research Plan available at https://nsfgrfp.org/ to ensure the statements will be format-compliant.

See templates available at https://nsfgrfp.org/ .

The statements must be written using:

  • Standard 8.5" x 11"-page size
  • Times New Roman font for all text, Cambria Math font for equations, Symbol font for non-alphabetic characters (it is recommended that equations and symbols be inserted as an image)
  • 11-point or higher font, except text that is part of an image
  • No less than single spacing (approximately 6 lines per inch). Do not use line spacing options such as "exactly 11-point," that are less than single spaced.

Compliance with these requirements will be automatically checked by the GRFP Application Module. If your documents are not compliant, they will not be accepted by the NSF GRFP Application Module.

We strongly recommend using the templates available at https://nsfgrfp.org/ .

No. All reference letters must be submitted online through the NSF GRFP Application Module. If you need assistance with the reference letter submission process, please contact the NSF Help Desk at [email protected] or 1-800-673-6188.

There are a few reasons that your reference writer may not have received the email nominating them as a reference writer. Please check the following if this occurs:

  • Ensure you have initiated sending the email . When adding your reference writer to your application, you must hit the "Send Email" link on the References Screen to send the email notification to the reference writer.
  • Check the reference writer's email address . Check to ensure that the email address you have entered for the reference writer is accurate. An exact email address is crucial to matching the reference writer and the applicant in the NSF GRFP Application Module. If there is a typo or you need to change the email address, you can choose to edit the reference writer record (either from your unsubmitted application or from the Manage References link in the NSF GRFP Application Module). After editing the reference writer email address, the "Send Email" link will reappear on the references screen, allowing you to re-send the nomination email.
  • Check spam folders . Ask your reference writer to check their spam or junk folder to ensure that the email did not get sent to one of those folders inadvertently.
  • Ask your reference writer for an alternate email addres s. It is possible that the email domain used by your reference writer is rejecting the email and not allowing delivery. In this case, request an alternate email from your reference writer to be used for this purpose. You can then edit the email address and use the "Send Email" link that appears to re-send the nomination email.
  • If you have confirmed that the email address entered for the reference is accurate but they have not received the request, you must delete the reference and add it again .
  • Ensure that the reference writer is not forwarding their email to another account. NSF emails might not be forwarded from the email address that is in the Application Module.

If you have received your temporary password and are unable to log in to the NSF GRFP Reference Writer Module, check the following:

  • Check your email address . Check to confirm you are trying to log in using the same email address entered for you by the applicant. The email address provided by the applicant can be found in the body of the email you received with your temporary password. An exact email address is crucial to matching the reference writer and the applicant in the NSF GRFP Application Module.
  • Check the temporary password . Record the temporary password and type it into the module manually rather than copying and pasting.
  • Ensure you are using the most recent Temporary Password received . Occasionally, a user will inadvertently select "Create A Password" multiple times. If this occurs, use the temporary password in the most recent email you received.

There are a few reasons that you may not have received the email nominating you as a reference writer. Please check the following if this occurs:

  • Confirm your email address with the applicant . Check to ensure that the email address the applicant entered for you is accurate. If there is a typo or if they need to change the email address, the applicant can edit the reference writer record in their application and have the nomination email resent to you. An exact email address is crucial to matching the reference writer and the applicant in the NSF GRFP Application Module.
  • Check spam folders . Check your spam or junk folder to ensure that the email did not get sent to one of those folders inadvertently.
  • Use an alternate email address . It is possible that your email domain is rejecting the email and not allowing delivery. In this case, provide an alternate email address to the applicant and they will be able to edit your reference writer record in their application and re-send the nomination email

The letter must be a PDF and adhere to the following requirements:

  • Letter must be signed
  • Use institutional or professional letterhead, if possible
  • 2-page limit, standard 8.5" x 11" page size
  • Times New Roman, 11-point font in the body of the letter
  • Name and title of reference writer
  • Department and institution or organization

No. All reference letters must be submitted online through the NSF GRFP Module. If you need assistance with the reference letter submission process, please contact the NSF Help Desk at [email protected] or 1-800-673-6188.

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21 graduate students receive National Science Foundation Grad Fellowship

Students from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences were among the 21 new National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients for the 2022-23 academic year. 

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NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program 

The nsf graduate research fellowship program supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s or doctoral degrees in stem — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or in stem education..

This support includes an annual stipend and a cost-of-education allowance towards tuition and fees.

The overall goal of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to recruit individuals into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields; to select, recognize, and financially support individuals who have demonstrated the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers, early in their careers; and to broaden participation in science and engineering of underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. NSF Fellows are anticipated to become experts whose work contributed significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.

MIT is proud to have over 650 students participating in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

Application process

For more information, please see the NSF GRFP website for submission requirements, formatting, and links to the application modules. Please review the solicitation document as well as their website to make sure you adhere to  guidelines and requirements.

MIT’s fellowships team has created a guidelines document to answer fellows’ and applicants’ questions and to layout the various procedures and policies of MIT and NSF. The fellowship team’s August 2023 Newsflash and September 2023 Newsflash includes information on this year’s NSF GRFP solicitation, application timeline, resources to prepare your essays, and other things to note.

NSF GRFP at MIT Webinar – Slides * and panopto recording .

*You will need to have an MIT google account to access the slides – please find  more information here . 

Late July/August – Program solicitation released and application available online. October* – Deadlines are typically in mid to late October. Check NSF GRFP’s homepage  for field-specific deadlines. April – Awards announced in early April. May – Fellowship acceptance deadline in early May.

*Review dates on the NSF GRFP website carefully; there are different deadlines for different fields of study.

Eligibility requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident.
  • Intend to enroll or be enrolled in a research-based master’s or doctoral degree program in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education.
  • Have never previously accepted a Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • If previously offered a Graduate Research Fellowship, have declined by the acceptance deadline.
  • Have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program.
  • Have never earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field.
  • Have never earned a master’s or professional degree in any field, or completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program, unless (i) returning to graduate study after an interruption of two or more consecutive years immediately preceding the application deadline, and; (ii) not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the application deadline.
  • Not be a current NSF employee.

Funding at MIT

Five-year fellowship, with three of the years (“On Tenure” status) providing the following:

  • $37,000 stipend
  • $12,000 cost-of-education (COE) allowance (tuition award)
  • Your university supplements all shortfalls for tuition, stipend, health insurance, and mandatory fees.

The student is responsible for securing funding for the remaining two years (“On Reserve” status)

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NSF Fellowship Research Proposal

Criteria for success.

  • Your proposed research is eligible for the Fellowship (e.g., you do not propose research about a particular disease or on clinical practice).
  • Your research proposal convinces a panel of academics that you are qualified to receive the Fellowship, with equal consideration of the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact criteria.
  • You show that the proposed research is creative, original, or transformative.
  • You show that you are actually capable of performing the research.
  • Your proposal meets the formatting and page limit criteria.

The sections, their sizes, and their order is just an example, not the rule.

nsf graduate research fellowship examples

Your research proposal (technically, the “Graduate Research Plan Statement”) is part of an application that should convince the selection panel to award you the Fellowship. The proposal is the part of the application where you get to lay out a plan for your graduate research career. The personal statement gives you space to explain the big picture of your past and future career; the research proposal is a place for more nuts and bolts. It is an opportunity to convince the selection panel that you are capable of being a successful researcher: that you have the intellectual ability to propose a creative, feasible plan of research.

Note that if you win the Fellowship, no one will actually hold you to this particular research plan; this is a demonstration of critical thinking, not a commitment.

Your entire application will be “reviewed online by virtual panels of disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers and other professional graduate education experts”. These are academics, usually from your broad area of science (e.g., engineering) but not from your specific area (e.g., colloid simulations using MD). They will judge your application using some combination of (a) the NSF’s official criteria for the Fellowship and (b) their own ideas about what constitutes good science.

The people on the committee read many, many applications. Make it easy for them to figure out that you are qualified for the award by referencing the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact criteria that they use to judge your application. It may be wise to, for example, have sections in your proposal that are explicitly labeled “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts”. It may also be wise to have an “Abstract” or “Executive Summary” at the beginning of the proposal. Use simple language rather than field jargon.

The selection panel knows that this is a graduate student fellowship and not the sort of grant that is going to a principal investigator. Real grants are big documents with heaps of citations and references. Because this application is about funding you and not a specific project, the panel is more interested in seeing what your proposal says about you rather than about your project. Spend more words showing that you are capable and creative rather than showing that you can cite many papers.

Do your homework

A mature and sophisticated proposal for research is more likely to win you the Fellowship. Before sitting down to write, do your homework. Read the literature in the field to ensure the project that you are proposing is both novel and feasible.

Find mentors to help you develop and refine your ideas. Senior scientists such as postdocs and faculty members have more experience writing research proposals and can give valuable feedback. Additionally, they may be representative of members of your selection committee. Your proposal should also excite someone who is in your exact field. If they have any reservations about whether the project is interesting or feasible, then scientists outside your field will have an even more difficult time believing that the research is worth pursuing.

Demonstrate creativity

There’s typically a tradeoff between risk/reward and credibility. Low-risk projects, like obvious, simple extensions of your undergraduate thesis research, tend to be very credible: it’s clear that you can do them. They also tend to be low on reward. Projects that are very ambitious and have huge rewards tend to be unbelievable and impossible for a grad student. There’s a sweet spot in between: find a problem that you can probably solve and that demonstrates that you took some initiative, know your field, and have some creative thoughts.

Include Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact criteria

Read the program solicitation so you know what “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts” mean to the NSF, and show that your proposed research meets those criteria. In particular, do not just make up your own ideas about what “Broader Impacts” means. The NSF has specific lists of activities that constitute Broader Impacts. These criteria are so important that the solicitation even says that “applicants must include separate statements on Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in their written statements [… and] should include headings for Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in their statements.”

Write for a reader who is outside of your field and short on attention

It’s more important that all the members of your panel understand your work than that you impress the one member of the panel who happens to be in your field. When you write a paper or a grant, it will probably be minutely reviewed by people in your exact field. However, your panel for the NSF GRFP will likely not be in your field, and your application will be one of many they read. They may very well miss points in your proposal that you think are “subtle” or “implicit.” Explicitly state what you are doing and why, and make it clear even to someone who does not know your field, and who is fatigued from reading many applications.

Lay out concrete hypotheses, approaches, and outcomes

Strong research proposals say what motivates the project, how the project will get done, and what the project’s outcome will mean with respect to the motivating scientific question. In the life sciences, scientists often label their hypotheses or objectives as “specific aims”.

When discussing research approach and outcomes, make it clear that the project has a clear endpoint that is well within the timeline of a PhD. It’s great if your project leads into a lifelong line of research, but the NSF GRFP only funds graduate study. To win the Fellowship, the proposed research should be able to be completed within a few years.

As best you can, describe concrete outcomes. Will you discover a protein? Will you have designed a certain tool? Having a concrete outcome can help you show how your research will meet the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria, by saying, “Once I have X in hand, Y will be intellectually possible or will have Z effect on society.”

You may also indicate multiple possible outcomes, showing that you have given careful thought to the project. For example, you could say, “If we observe X then we will take route Y. However, if we observe Z , we will have to look at an alternative route.” Research does not always go according to plan, and showing alternative ways to complete the project will show that you are prepared to be a successful graduate student researcher.

Your research proposal will be judged, in part, on the basis of whether or not the panel members believe you will actually be able to carry it out. It might therefore be wise to name the key resources in your target institution and program. Your success as a graduate student will depend on your advisor’s mentorship, the opportunity for collaboration with other scientists, and the resources that you will have at your target institution. Make it clear that you will have the right equipment and intellectual input that you will need to solve your problem. (Again, this is not because you’ll be expected to actually complete this research. Rather, the goal is to demonstrate your resourcefulness, and the likelihood that you’ll excel as a researcher in general.)

Resources and Annotated Examples

Annotated example 1.

This is a research statement that was part of an MIT ChemE graduate student’s successful NSF GRFP application (written while an undergraduate). 1 MB

By Adriana Ladera (other collaborators wanted!). Last updated 21 Dec. 2022.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) is a five-year fellowship that supports graduate masters and doctoral students who are pursuing degrees in fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), with an annual stipend of $34,000 for three of the five years of the fellowship. Check this page for tips on how to craft the Personal Statement , the Research Plan , and seeing some example essays from winning applicants .

Other fellowships mentioned on this page are NDSEG (in progress) and fellowship resources for international students in the US (in progress) .

The Personal Statement

The opening paragraph of the personal statement should be long enough that the reviewers get a good sense of who you are and what you are interested in within the first few words, but short enough that your writing doesn't sound too forced and generic. A sentence can be dedicated to how you got interested in research, and what specific studies you're looking to work on in graduate school and beyond.

The main and largest portion of your NSF personal statement should be dedicated to the research you conducted during your time as an undergraduate student. Did you complete any Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) or other summer research programs, co-ops, or research internships? If so, include them here. It is best to go in chronological order of experiences, and if you have many contributions to research, limit your essay to the work that most contributed to your path as a growing research scientist. Each important research experience merits an entire paragraph. For each paragraph, list the name of the program or research experience, so that reviewers can connect this to the broad application materials that you fill out in the essay. Then, take some time to describe the objectives of the project, your contributions, and some skills that you picked up. skills you obtained during this experience. Mention any publications, presentations, or opportunities to continue your work as well.

Given that you spent a significant portion of your personal statement laying the foundations of your research background, the next important thing for reviewers to see is how your previous work inspires your current research interests.

Community involvement

NSF likes to see that their applicants are not only academically-oriented, but community-oriented as well. A good scientist cares about their work, but a great scientist cares about how their work can benefit others. If you have completed any teaching assistantships, volunteering experience, were involved in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for STEM, or other related opportunities, describe them here.

NSF Review Criteria: Broader Impacts and Intellectual Merit

NSF values a scientist's ability to connect their work with the community. How have your past involvements with research, volunteering, and teaching shaped the scientist that you are today? In what ways do you hope or continue to contribute to your dedicated field of interest, and how do you want the broader community outside of your field to benefit from your involvement? These questions can be addressed in the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts section of your personal statement, and is perhaps the most important component of the essay.

[something about intellectual merit here]

[something about broader impacts here]

General tips for the personal statement

It helps to have transition sentences that show the connections between each experience. Separate your sections with main headers, so that reviewers can clearly locate your research experience, community involvement, and future vision.

The Research Plan

[describe the research plan and some tips and shit here]

Below are some examples of essays from winning NSF GRFP applications. They are listed in alphabetical order of the subject, and include the recipient name and the year the award was received.

Computational Science and Engineering , Adriana Ladera (2022), personal statement and research plan

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The nsf graduate research fellowship program, nsf graduate research fellowship: at a glance.

Eligibility:

  • U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents
  • Fourth-year students and recent graduates
  • Majors: STEM, STEM education, psychology, and social sciences
  • Intent to enroll in a research-based master’s or Ph.D. program in the U.S.

Selection Criteria :

  • Potential to advance knowledge within the field, or across different fields
  • Well-reasoned, well-organized, creative and sound research project
  • Adequate qualifications, and resources to conduct the proposed activities
  • Potential to benefit society, and advance desired societal outcomes

Candidates for the NSF GRFP can affirm the following statements:

  • I seek a career in which I can advance research and benefit society.
  • I possess adequate preparation, and experience to succeed in the proposed graduate program.
  • I am able to produce a compelling research proposal.
  • I have engaged in research, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, outreach, service, and/or leadership activities that have benefited society and/or engaged people from diverse backgrounds.

Extensive Description

What is the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) ? The Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and social science disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. Fellowships provide the student with a three-year annual stipend of $37,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), as well as access to opportunities for professional development available to NSF-supported graduate students.

Since 1952, NSF has funded over 60,000 Graduate Research Fellowships. To build fully upon the strength and creativity of a diverse society, women, under-represented minorities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. 

Merit Review Criteria : All GRFP applications are evaluated using NSF’s two merit review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. In order to present a competitive application, you must address both merit review criteria thoroughly. The Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement, and the Graduate Research Statement should both reflect these criteria. Please consult further information posted here .

Deadline Information

Eligibility requirements.

An applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria by the application deadline:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • Intend to enroll or be enrolled full-time in a research-based graduate degree program in an eligible Field of Study
  • Undergraduate seniors and bachelor's degree holders may apply before enrolling in a degree-granting graduate program
  • Individuals pursuing a joint bachelor's-master's degree must have completed three years in the joint program and are limited to one application to GRFP
  • Graduate students enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program are limited to only one application to the GRFP.

Application Process

Application :

  • Personal, Relevant Background, and Future Goals Statement (three pages)
  • Graduate Research Plan Statement (two pages)
  • Three reference letters
  • Academic transcripts

Deadlines : Deadlines vary by field of study, please consult important dates here . 

Tips : Please pay careful attention to the application preparation instructions available here . Also, please see FAQs .

UChicago Resources and Support : You are advised to work on your application months ahead of the deadline . The following NSF GRFP resources are available via  CCRF Resource Library :

  • INTRODUCTION  (Part 1) - includes information on the program, eligibility, application, choosing recommenders, review process, as well as Q&A with a recent NSF GRFP recipient.
  • RESEARCH STATEMENT  (Part 2; also, watch Literature Review, Scholarly Sources, and Research Proposal) - seek support from disciplinary experts including faculty, graduate students, and UChicago library  subject specialists .
  • PERSONAL STATEMENT  (Part 3) - fully develop, write, and revise your statement as demonstrated in both Part 3 and group advising sessions.
  • BROADER IMPACTS - provides information on relevant activities as well as compelling examples from successful research and personal statements.
  • GROUP ADVISING  - watch recordings of two group advising sessions; note that each session engages with different questions, and provides additional valuable guidance.
  • WRITING RESOURCE - consider utilizing  Writing Science in Plain English (Greene, 2013) to produce clear, concise prose.

***Please note : CCRF supports current UChicago undergraduates and recent alum who have not started a graduate degree program. Current UChicago graduate students should seek support from the UChicagoGRAD Fellowships Advising Office and their research advisors. UChicago alum who are current graduate students at other universities should seek support from their current institution.

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MSU’s Folk receives prestigious NSF CAREER award for groundbreaking hybridization research

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Ryan A. Folk, assistant professor in Mississippi State’s Department of Biological Sciences, is the recipient of a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award from the National Science Foundation.

Ryan A. Folk

Folk, receiving $500,000 for research into hybridization, joins four biological sciences faculty who together have secured almost $4 million in the past few years through the program. Including this funding, the department currently is managing the most competitive federal funding in its history. The CAREER program—one of the most sought-after opportunities offered by the NSF--provides five-year awards to tenure-track faculty in the initial stages of teaching and research.

Also the MSU herbarium curator, Folk’s cutting-edge research into hybridization—the flow of genetic information between species—pursues an understanding of how changing seasonal climates and insect pollination may be affecting the process. The multi-year study is titled “Hybridization and radiation: Integrating across phylogenomics, ancestral niche evolution, and pollination biology.”

“Hybridization is an important source of biodiversity in plants, but scientists lack a clear understanding of why it is less important in other organisms, such as many animals.” said Folk, whose research will use the common landscaping plant ‘Heuchera’—commonly known as alumroot or coral bells. “Understanding why some organisms hybridize frequently but others do not may relate to fundamentally different evolutionary strategies between plants and other organisms, but to study this is challenging and requires the investigation of hybridization in different environments both in ancient and modern times.”

Folk’s CAREER award also will introduce data science training into the classroom through hands-on coursework, summer lab experiences, high school teacher workshops and training of graduate students in data science.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Folk uses genomic and bioinformatic techniques to document the origins of plant diversity from evolutionary and ecological perspectives using a variety of plant groups and habitats. His work is based in MSU’s herbarium, which houses approximately 38,000 vascular plant specimens from around the world with an emphasis on the Southeastern U.S.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Akron and a Ph.D. in evolution, ecology, and organismal biology from Ohio State University.

For more details about MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences or the Department of Biological Sciences, visit www.cas.msstate.edu or www.biology.msstate.edu .

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at www.msstate.edu .

Tuesday, February 13, 2024 - 8:46 am

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Archived funding opportunity

Nsf 22-614: graduate research fellowship program (grfp), program solicitation, document information, document history.

  • Posted: July 19, 2022
  • Replaces: NSF 21-602
  • Replaced by: NSF 23-605

Please refer to NSF 23-010 for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to this program solicitation.

Program Solicitation NSF 22-614

Application Deadline(s) (received by 5 p.m. local time of applicant’s mailing address):

Life Sciences
Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Psychology, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, STEM Education and Learning
Engineering
Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy

Important Information And Revision Notes

  • This solicitation covers the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 competition.
  • Applications must be submitted in Research.gov through the GRFP Application Module https://www.research.gov/grfp/Login.do
  • Applications are due at 5:00 p.m. local time of the applicant's mailing address.
  • NSF will continue to emphasize high priority research in alignment with the priorities laid out in https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/budget_fy2023.pdf .
  • Portions of the eligibility criteria have been rewritten for clarity.
  • Reference letters are due October 28 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).
  • Applicants and reference letter writers requiring accessibility accommodation are asked to notify the GRF Operations Center at least four weeks before the deadline to coordinate assistance with NSF in submitting the application or reference letter.

Summary Of Program Requirements

General information.

Program Title:

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support over a five-year fellowship period for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. NSF actively encourages women, persons who are members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply. NSF GRFP was established to recruit and support individuals who demonstrate the potential to make significant contributions in STEM. Thus, NSF especially encourages applications from undergraduate seniors and Bachelor's degree-holders interested in pursuing research-based graduate study in STEM. First- and second-year graduate students in eligible STEM fields and degree programs are also encouraged to apply.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

Contact: GRF Operations Center, telephone: (866) 673-4737, email: [email protected]

  • 47.041 --- Engineering
  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.050 --- Geosciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences
  • 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources
  • 47.079 --- Office of International Science and Engineering
  • 47.083 --- Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)
  • 47.084 --- NSF Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Fellowship

Estimated Number of Awards: 2,750

The NSF expects to award 2,750 Graduate Research Fellowships per fiscal year under this program solicitation pending availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $147,000

Per award (Fellowship), pending the availability of funds.

Each Fellowship provides three years of support over a five-year fellowship period. For each of the three years of support, NSF provides a $37,000 stipend and $12,000 cost of education allowance to the graduate degree-granting institution of higher education for each Fellow who uses the support in a fellowship year. The Fellowship award is made to the institution of higher education at which a Fellow is enrolled and the institution is responsible for disbursement of the stipend to the Fellow.

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

Fellowship applications must be submitted by the prospective Fellow. Applicants must use the GRFP application module in Research.gov ( https://www.research.gov/grfp/Login.do ) to submit the application. Confirmation of acceptance in a graduate degree program in STEM or STEM education is required at the time of Fellowship acceptance, no later than the deadline indicated in the fellowship offer letter, of the year the Fellowship is accepted. Prospective Fellows must enroll in a non-profit university, college, or institution of higher education accredited in, and having a campus located in, the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that offers advanced degrees in STEM and STEM education no later than fall of the year the Fellowship is accepted. All Fellows from the date of Fellowship Start through Completion or Termination of the Fellowship must be enrolled in a graduate degree-granting institution of higher education accredited in, and having a campus located in, the United States its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

See the Detailed Eligibility Requirements in Section IV for full information. Eligibility is based on the applicant's status at the application deadline. Applicants must self-certify that they are eligible to receive the Fellowship. To be eligible, an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria at the application deadline: Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident Intend to enroll or be enrolled full-time in a research-based Master's or doctoral degree program in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education (See Appendix and Section IV.3 for eligible Fields of Study) Have never previously accepted a Graduate Research Fellowship If previously offered a Graduate Research Fellowship, have declined by the acceptance deadline Have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program Have never earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field Individuals holding joint Bachelor's-Master's degrees who did not progress directly to a doctoral program the semester following award of the joint degree must apply as returning graduate students (see below) Individuals with prior graduate enrollment who have: (i) completed more than one academic year in any graduate degree-granting program, (ii) earned a previous master's degree of any kind (including Bachelor's-Master's degree), or (iii) earned a professional degree must meet the following requirements: not enrolled in a graduate degree program at application deadline two or more consecutive years past graduate degree enrollment or completion at the application deadline Not be a current NSF employee Number of Times An Individual May Apply Undergraduate seniors and Bachelor's degree holders who have never enrolled in a graduate degree program have no restrictions on the number of times they can apply before enrolling in a degree-granting graduate program. Graduate students enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program are limited to only one application to the GRFP, submitted in the first year or beginning of the second year of their degree program. Individuals applying while enrolled in a joint Bachelor's-Master's degree program are considered graduate students who: i) must have completed three (3) years in the joint program, and; ii) are limited to one application to GRFP; they will not be eligible to apply again as doctoral students. For GRFP, joint Bachelor's-Master's degrees are defined as degrees concurrently pursued and awarded . Individuals holding joint Bachelor's-Master's degrees, currently enrolled as first-year doctoral students, who (i) have not previously applied as graduate students and (ii) enrolled in the doctoral program the semester following award of the joint degree, may only apply in the first year of the doctoral program. Applications withdrawn by November 15 of the application year do not count toward the one-time graduate application limit. Applications withdrawn after November 15 count toward this one-time limit. Applications not reviewed by NSF do not count toward the one-time graduate application limit.
An eligible applicant may submit only one application per annual competition.

Application Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. application preparation instructions.

Letters of Intent: Not applicable

Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not applicable

Application Instructions: This solicitation contains information that deviates from the standard NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) proposal preparation guidelines. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing Requirements:

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

No indirect costs are allowed.

Other Budgetary Limitations:

Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

Application review information criteria.

Merit Review Criteria:

National Science Board approved Merit Review Criteria (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts) apply. Additional Solicitation-Specific Review Criteria also apply (see Section VI.A below).

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:

NSF GRFP awards are made to the institution of higher education at which a Fellow is or will be enrolled. The awardee institution is responsible for financial management of the award and disbursement of Fellowship funds to the individual Fellow. The institution will administer the awards, including any amendments, in accordance with the terms of the Agreement and provisions (and any subsequent amendments) contained in the document NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials . All Fellowships are subject to the provisions (and any subsequent amendments) contained in the document NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials .

Reporting Requirements:

See reporting requirements in full text of solicitation and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials . Fellows are required to submit annual activity reports and to declare fellowship status by the deadline specified in the notification sent by email each year. Additional reporting requirements are presented in Section VII.C of this solicitation.

I. Introduction

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a National Science Foundation-wide program that provides Fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant research achievements in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. Three years of support over a five-year period are provided for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in STEM or STEM education (see eligible Fields of Study in Appendix).

The program goals are: 1) to select, recognize, and financially support early-career individuals with the demonstrated potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers, and 2) to broaden participation in science and engineering of women, persons who are members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM, persons with disabilities, and veterans. NSF actively encourages women, persons who are members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors to apply. GRFP is a critical program in NSF's overall strategy to develop the globally-engaged workforce necessary to ensure the Nation's leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. The ranks of NSF Fellows include numerous individuals who have made transformative breakthrough discoveries in science and engineering, become leaders in their chosen careers, and been honored as Nobel laureates.

II. Program Description

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards Fellowships for graduate study leading to research-based master's and doctoral degrees in STEM or in STEM education. GRFP supports individuals proposing a comprehensive plan for graduate education that takes individual interests and competencies into consideration. The plan describes the academic achievements, attributes, and experiences that illustrate the applicant's demonstrated potential for significant research achievements. The applicant must provide a detailed profile of their relevant education, research experience, and plans for graduate education that demonstrates this potential.

Prospective applicants are advised that submission of an application implies their intent to pursue graduate study in a research-based program in STEM or STEM education at an accredited, non-profit institution of higher education having a campus located in the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. All applicants are expected to either have adequate preparation to enroll in a research-based master's or doctoral program, or be enrolled in such a program by fall of the year the Fellowship is accepted. From the date of the Fellowship Start through Completion or Termination of the Fellowship, applicants accepting the award (Fellows) must be enrolled in an accredited graduate degree-granting institution of higher education having a campus located in the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

In FY2023, NSF will continue to fund outstanding Graduate Research Fellowships in all areas of science and engineering supported by NSF and continue to emphasize high priority research areas in alignment with NSF goals and priorities ( https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/budget_fy2023.pdf ). Applications are encouraged in all disciplines supported by NSF.

III. Award Information

Fellowship funding will be for a maximum of three years of financial support (in 12-month allocations, starting in summer or fall) usable over a five-year fellowship period. The anticipated announcement date for the Fellowship awards is early April each year.

The institution at which a Fellow is enrolled is the official NSF awardee institution and receives up to a $49,000 award per Fellow who uses the support in a fellowship year. The awardee institution is responsible for disbursement of fellowship funds to the Fellow. The Graduate Research Fellowship stipend is $37,000 for a 12-month tenure period, prorated in whole month increments of $3,083. The Cost of Education allowance provides payment in lieu of tuition and mandatory fees to the institution of $12,000 per year of fellowship support.

During receipt of the fellowship support, the institution is required to exempt Fellows from paying tuition and fees normally charged to students of similar academic standing, unless such charges are optional or are refundable (i.e., the institution is responsible for tuition and required fees in excess of the cost-of-education allowance). Acceptance of fellowship funds by the awardee institution indicates acceptance of and adherence to these and other terms and conditions of the NSF GRFP award. Refer to NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials for restrictions on the use of the cost-of-education allowance.

GRFP awards are eligible for supplemental funding as described in Chapter VI of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) ( NSF 22-1 ).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects as described in Chapter II.E of the PAPPG . Fellows with disabilities may apply for assistance after consulting the instructions in the document NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials.

The NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative (Dear Colleague Letter NSF 21-021 ) offers limited paid and unpaid leave options for Fellows facing dependent-care issues (childbirth/adoption and elder care).

Honorable Mention

The NSF accords Honorable Mention to meritorious applicants who do not receive Fellowship offers. This is considered a significant national academic achievement.

IV. Eligibility Information

Applicant Eligibility:

Limit on Number of Applications per Applicant: 1

Additional Eligibility Info:

Eligibility is based on the applicant's status at the application deadline. Detailed Eligibility Requirements: Described in detail below are the eligibility requirements for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program: (1) citizenship, (2) degree requirements, and (3) field of study, degree programs, and proposed research. Applicants are strongly advised to read the entire program solicitation carefully to ensure that they understand all the eligibility requirements. Applicants must self-certify that they meet all eligibility criteria. 1. Citizenship Applicants must be United States citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States by the application deadline. The term "national" designates a native resident of a commonwealth or territory of the United States. It does not refer to a citizen of another country who has applied for United States citizenship and who has not received U.S. citizenship by the application deadline. 2. Degree Requirements Applicants are eligible to apply: 1) as undergraduates or Bachelor's degree holders who have never enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program, and who will be prepared to attend graduate school in fall of the award year; or 2) as graduate students who have not completed more than one academic year of a graduate program in an eligible field of study (see Appendix). Below are detailed guidelines to determine eligibility: a) Applicants not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program: With no prior graduate degree program enrollment Undergraduate students on track to receive a Bachelor's degree by the fall of the year following the application (e.g., senior or final year of Bachelor's degree) Bachelor's degree holders never enrolled in a graduate degree program can apply an unlimited number of times prior to enrolling in a graduate degree program. They must be prepared to enroll in a full-time graduate degree program by fall of the year they are offered a Graduate Research Fellowship. With prior enrollment in a graduate degree program Applicants must not have completed more than one academic year of graduate study as indicated in the academic transcript issued by the Registrar of the universities attended as of the application deadline (see exception below). Applicants re-entering graduate study : applicants who have completed more than one academic year of graduate study or earned a previous Master's or professional degree are eligible only if they have had an interruption in graduate study of at least two consecutive years immediately prior to the application deadline, and are not enrolled in a graduate program at the deadline . Applicants must not have engaged in any graduate coursework during the interruption. Applicants should address the reasons for the interruption in graduate study in the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement. b) Applicants pursuing a Master's degree concurrently with a Bachelor's degree (joint Bachelor's-Master's degree program in which both degrees are awarded at the same time as indicated on the transcript): Individuals applying while enrolled in a joint Bachelor's-Master's degree program are considered graduate students, who: 1) must have completed three years in the joint program, and; ii) are limited to one application to GRFP; they will not be eligible to apply again as doctoral students. Individuals holding joint Bachelor's-Master's degrees, currently enrolled as first-year doctoral students, who have not previously applied as graduate students and enrolled in the doctoral program the semester following award of the joint degree, may only apply in the first year of the doctoral program. Individuals holding joint Bachelor's-Master's degrees who did not progress directly to a doctoral program the semester following award of the joint degree must apply as returning graduate students (see above). c) Applicants currently enrolled in a graduate degree program: Applicants must not have completed more than one academic year of graduate study as indicated in the academic transcript issued by the Registrar of the universities attended, as of the application deadline. Participation in pre-graduate summer activities PRIOR TO graduate status as indicated in the academic transcript issued by the Registrar before the start of the fall graduate program is not included in this total. Graduate status is understood to begin on the date indicated on the Registrar-issued transcript and ALL activities after that date will be considered graduate activities. Graduate coursework taken without being enrolled in a graduate degree-granting program is not counted in this limit. 3. Field of Study, Degree Programs, and Proposed Research Fellowships are awarded for graduate study leading to research-based Master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education, in eligible Fields of Study listed in the Appendix. If awarded, Fellows must enroll in a graduate degree program consistent with the Major Field of Study proposed in their application. Only research-based Master's and doctoral degrees in STEM or STEM education are eligible for GRFP support. Professional degree programs and graduate programs that are primarily course-based with no thesis are ineligible for GRFP support. Within eligible fields of study, there are ineligible areas of study and ineligible areas of proposed research. See below for ineligible areas of study and proposed research. Applications determined to be ineligible will not be reviewed. a) Ineligible degree programs Individuals are not eligible to apply if they will be enrolled in a practice-oriented professional degree program such as medical, dental, law, and public health degrees at any time during the fellowship. Ineligible degree programs include, but are not limited to, MBA, MPH, MSW, JD, MD, DVM and DDS. Joint or combined professional degree-science programs (e.g., MD/PhD or JD/PhD) and dual professional degree-science programs are also not eligible. Individuals enrolled in a graduate degree program while on a leave of absence from a professional degree program or professional degree-graduate degree joint program are not eligible. b) Ineligible areas of study Individuals are not eligible to apply if they will be enrolled in graduate study focused on clinical practice, counseling, social work, patient-oriented research, epidemiological and medical behavioral studies, outcomes research, and health services research. Ineligible study includes pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and behavioral interventions for disease or disorder prevention, prophylaxis, diagnosis, therapy, or treatment. Research to provide evidence leading to a scientific basis for consideration of a change in health policy or standard of care is not eligible. Graduate study focused on community, public, or global health, or other population-based research including medical intervention trials is also not eligible. c) Ineligible proposed research Individuals are not eligible to apply if they will conduct research for which the goals are directly human disease- or health-related, including the etiology, diagnosis, and/or treatment of physical or mental disease, disorder, abnormality, or malfunction. Research activities using animal models of disease, for developing or testing of drugs or other procedures for treatment of disease or disorder are not eligible. Research focused on basic questions in plant pathology are eligible, however, applied studies focused on maximizing production in agricultural plants or impacts on food safety, are not eligible. d) Limited exceptions to ineligible proposed research Certain areas of bioengineering research directed at medical use are eligible. These include research projects in bioengineering to aid persons with disabilities, or to diagnose or treat human disease or disorder, provided they apply engineering principles to problems in medicine while primarily advancing engineering knowledge. Applicants planning to study and conduct research in these areas of bioengineering should select biomedical engineering as the field of study. Certain areas of materials research directed at development of materials for use in biological or biomedical systems are eligible, provided they are focused on furthering fundamental materials research. The Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center is responsible for responding to questions about the program. For questions concerning eligibility and fields of study, contact the Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, (866) 673-4737, international (202) 331-3542, or [email protected] .

V. Application Preparation And Submission Instructions

Fellowship applications must be submitted online using the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Application Module at https://www.research.gov/grfp/Login.do according to the deadline corresponding with the Field of Study selected in the application .

Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. local time as determined by the applicant’s mailing address provided in the application. Applications received after the Field of Study deadline will not be reviewed .

All reference letters must be submitted online by the reference writers through the GRFP Application Module ( https://www.research.gov/grfp/Login.do ) and must be received by the reference letter deadline (see Application Preparation and Submission Instructions/C. Due Dates of this Solicitation), of 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Applicants are required to provide the name and contact information for three (3) reference writers. Up to five (5) potential reference letter writers can be provided. Two reference letters (from non-family members) must be received by the reference letter deadline applications to be reviewed. If fewer than two reference letters (one or none) are received by the reference letter deadline, the application will not be reviewed.

Applicants must submit the following information through the GRFP Application Module: Personal Information; Education, Work and Other Experience; Transcript PDFs; Proposed Field(s) of Study; Proposed Graduate Study and Graduate School Information; the names and email addresses of at least three reference letter writers; Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement PDF; and Graduate Research Plan Statement PDF.

Only the information required in the GRFP Application Module will be reviewed. No additional items or information will be accepted or reviewed. Do not provide links to web pages within the application, except as part of citations in the References Cited section. Images must be included in the page limits. Review of the application and reference letters is based solely on materials received by the application and reference letter deadlines. No materials will be accepted via email.

Applicants must follow the instructions in the GRFP Application Module for completing each section of the application. The statements must be written using the following guidelines:

  • standard 8.5" x 11" page size
  • 11 point or higher font, except text that is part of an image
  • Times New Roman font for all text, Cambria Math font for equations, Symbol font for non-alphabetic characters (it is recommended that equations and symbols be inserted as an image)
  • 1" margins on all sides, no text inside 1" margins (no header, footer, name, or page number)
  • No less than single-spacing (approximately 6 lines per inch)
  • Do not use line spacing options such as “exactly 11 point,” that are less than single spaced
  • PDF file format only

Compliance with these guidelines will be automatically checked by the GRFP Application Module. Documents that are not compliant will not be accepted by the GRFP Application Module. Applicants are strongly encouraged to proofread and upload their documents early to ensure they are format-compliant and that non-compliant documents do not delay upload of the complete application for receipt by the deadline. Applications that are not compliant with these format requirements will not be reviewed.

The maximum length of the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement is three (3) pages (PDF). The maximum length of the Graduate Research Plan Statement is two (2) pages (PDF). These page limits include all references, citations, charts, figures, images, and lists of publications and presentations. Applicants must certify that the two statements (Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement, and Graduate Research Plan Statement) in the application are their own original work. As explained in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG): “NSF expects strict adherence to the rules of proper scholarship and attribution. The responsibility for proper scholarship and attribution rests with the authors of a proposal; all parts of the proposal should be prepared with equal care for this concern. Authors other than the PI (or any co-PI) should be named and acknowledged. Serious failure to adhere to such standards can result in findings of research misconduct. NSF policies and rules on research misconduct are discussed in the PAPPG, as well as 45 CFR Part 689."

Both statements must address NSF’s review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts (described in detail in Section VI). Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts must be addressed individually under separate headings in both Personal and Research Plan statements to provide reviewers with the information necessary to evaluate the application with respect to both Criteria. Applications in which Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts are not addressed separately under separate headings will not be reviewed.

In the application, applicants must list their undergraduate institution, and all graduate institutions attended with a start date prior to the fall term in which the application is submitted. Transcripts are required for all degree-granting programs listed. Transcripts may be included for all other institutions listed in the Education section. If the applicant started at the current institution in the fall of the application year and the institution does not provide unofficial or official transcripts prior to completion of the first term, the applicant may submit a class schedule/enrollment verification form in place of a transcript. At least one transcript must be included for the application to be accepted by the GRFP Application Module.

Transcripts must be uploaded through the GRFP Application Module by the Field of Study application deadline. Applicants should redact personally-identifiable information (date of birth, individual Social Security Numbers, personal financial information, home addresses, home telephone numbers and personal email addresses) from the transcripts before uploading. Transcripts must be uploaded as a PDF to be accepted by the GRFP Application Module. Transcripts must not be encrypted; the GRFP Application Module does not accept encrypted or password-protected transcripts.

Applicants who earned master’s degrees in joint bachelor's-master’s degree programs should submit transcripts that clearly document the joint program. If the transcript does not document the joint program, applicants must upload a letter from the registrar of the institution certifying enrollment in a joint program, appended to the transcript for that institution. Failure to provide clear documentation of a joint program may result in an application being returned without review.

Failure to comply fully with the above requirements will result in the application not being reviewed.

Applications that are incomplete due to missing required transcripts and/or reference letters (fewer than two letters received), or that do not have "received" status in the Application Module on the application deadline for the selected Field of Study) will not be reviewed. Applicants are advised to submit applications early to avoid unanticipated delays on the deadline dates.

Reference Letters Applicants are required to provide the name and contact information for three (3) reference writers. Up to five (5) potential reference letter writers can be provided. Two reference letters from non-family members must be received by the reference letter deadline for an application to be reviewed. If fewer than two reference letters (one or none) are received by the reference letter deadline, the application will not be reviewed.

All reference letters must be received in the GRFP Application Module by 5:00 p.m. ET (Eastern Time) on the letter submission deadline date (see the deadline posted in GRFP Application Module and in Application Preparation and Submission Instructions/C. Due Dates of this Solicitation). No exceptions to the reference letter submission deadline will be granted. Each letter is limited to two (2) pages (PDF). The GRFP Application Module allows applicants to request up to five (5) reference letters and to rank those reference letters in order of preference for review. If more than three reference letters are received, the top three letters according to ranked preference will be considered for the application. Reference writers will be notified by an email of the request to submit a letter of reference on behalf of an applicant. Reference writers will not be notified of the ranked preference for review provided by the applicant.

To avoid disqualifying an application, reference writers should upload the letter well in advance of the 5:00 p.m. ET deadline . No letters will be accepted via email. Letter writers will receive a confirmation email after successful upload via the GRFP Application Module.

For technical assistance with letter upload: NSF Help Desk: [email protected] ; 1-800-381-1532

Applicants must enter an email address for each reference writer into the GRFP Application Module. An exact email address is crucial to matching the reference writer and the applicant in the GRFP Application Module. Applicants should ask reference writers well in advance of the reference writer deadline, and it is recommended they provide copies of their application materials to the writers.

Applicant-nominated reference writers must upload their letters through the GRFP Application Module. Reference letter requirements include:

  • Institutional (or professional) letterhead, if available
  • Signed, including the name, professional title of the reference writer, department, and institution
  • Two (2) page limit (PDF file format)
  • Standard 8.5" x 11" page size
  • 11-point or higher Times New Roman font and 1" margins on all sides
  • Single spaced using normal (100%) single-line spacing

The reference letter should address the NSF Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts (described in detail below). It should include details explaining the nature of the relationship to the applicant (including research advisor role), comments on the applicant's potential for contributing to a globally-engaged United States science and engineering workforce, statements about the applicant's academic potential and prior research experiences, statements about the applicant's proposed research, and any other information to aid review panels in evaluating the application according to the NSF Merit Review Criteria.

Application Completion Status

Applicants should use the "Application Completion Status" feature in the GRFP Application Module to ensure all application materials, including reference letters, have been received by NSF before the deadlines. For technical support, call the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or e-mail [email protected] .

Interdisciplinary Applications

NSF welcomes applications for interdisciplinary programs of study and research; however, data on interdisciplinary study is collected for informational purposes only. Interdisciplinary research is defined as "a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice" (Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, 2004. Facilitating interdisciplinary research . National Academies. Washington: National Academy Press, p. 2). Applications must be received by the deadline for the first Major Field of Study designated in the application. Applications will be reviewed by experts in the first Major Field of Study listed. If awarded, Fellows will be required to enroll in a degree program consistent with the Major Field of Study in which the application was funded.

Withdrawal of a GRFP application

To withdraw a submitted application, the applicant must withdraw their application using the Withdrawal option in the GRFP Application Module.

Applications withdrawn by November 15 of the application year do not count toward the one-time graduate application limit. Applications withdrawn after November 15 count toward this limit.

Cost Sharing:

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

NSF awards $49,000 each year to the GRFP institution to cover the Fellow stipend and Cost of Education allowance for each NSF Graduate Research Fellow "on tenure" at the institution.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship stipend is $37,000 for a 12-month tenure period, prorated in monthly increments of $3,083. The institutional Cost of Education allowance is $12,000 per tenure year per Fellow.

D. Application Submission Requirements

Applicants are required to prepare and submit all applications for this program solicitation through the GRFP Application Module. Detailed instructions for application preparation and submission are available at: https://www.research.gov/grfp/Login.do . For user support, call the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or e-mail [email protected] . The NSF Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

VI. Application Review Information

A. merit review principles and criteria.

Applications are reviewed by disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers and other professional graduate education experts. Reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with oversight of the review process. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the applicants. Applications are reviewed in broad areas of related disciplines based on the selection of a Field of Study (see Fields of Study in Appendix). Selection of a Major Field of Study determines the application deadline, the broad disciplinary expertise of the reviewers, and the discipline of the graduate degree program if awarded a Fellowship. Applicants are advised to select the Major Field of Study in the GRFP Application Module (see Fields of Study in Appendix) that is most closely aligned with the proposed graduate program of study and research plan. Applicants who select “Other” must provide additional information describing their studies.

Each application will be reviewed independently in accordance with the NSF Merit Review Criteria using all available information in the completed application. In considering applications, reviewers are instructed to address the two Merit Review Criteria as approved by the National Science Board - Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts ( NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide ). Applicants must include separate statements on Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in their written statements in order to provide reviewers with the information necessary to evaluate the application with respect to both Criteria as detailed below . Applicants should include headings for Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in their statements.

The following description of the Merit Review Criteria is provided in Chapter III of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) :

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. (PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.d.i. contains additional information for use by proposers in development of the Project Description section of the proposal.) Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria, including PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.d.i., prior to the review of a proposal.
When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:
  • Intellectual Merit : The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
  • Broader Impacts : The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.
The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:
1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to:
a. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
b. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Additionally, Chapter II of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide states:

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the US; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

B. Application Review and Selection Process

Applications submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed online by Panel Review.

The application evaluation involves the review and rating of applications by disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers, and other professional graduate education experts.

Applicants are reviewed on their demonstrated potential to advance knowledge and to make significant research achievements and contributions to their fields throughout their careers. Reviewers are asked to assess applications using a holistic, comprehensive approach, giving balanced consideration to all components of the application, including the educational and research record, leadership, outreach, service activities, and future plans, as well as individual competencies, experiences, and other attributes. The aim is to recruit and retain a diverse cohort of early-career individuals with high potential for future achievements, contributions, and broader impacts in STEM and STEM education.

The primary responsibility of each reviewer is to evaluate eligible GRFP applications by applying the Merit Review Criteria described in Section VI.A, and to recommend applicants for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Reviewers are instructed to review the applications holistically, applying the Merit Review Criteria and noting GRFP’s emphasis on demonstrated potential for significant research achievements in STEM or in STEM education. From these recommendations, NSF selects applicants for Fellowships or Honorable Mention, in line with NSF’s mission and the goals of GRFP. After Fellowship offers are made, applicants are able to view verbatim reviewer comments, excluding the names of the reviewers, for a limited period of time through the NSF GRFP Module.

VII. Award Administration Information

A. notification of the award.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program applicants will be notified of the outcomes of their applications by early April of the competition year. The NSF publishes lists of Fellowship and Honorable Mention recipients on the GRFP Module at https://www.research.gov/grfp/Login.do in early April.

B. Award Conditions

NSF GRFP awards are made to the institution of higher education at which a Fellow is or will be enrolled. The awardee institution is responsible for financial management of the award and disbursement of Fellowship funds to the Fellow. The NSF GRFP award consists of the award notification letter that includes the applicable terms and conditions and Fellowship management instructions. All Fellowships are made subject to the provisions (and any subsequent amendments) contained in the document NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials .

NSF GRFP awards provide funds for NSF Fellows who have "on tenure" status. The institution will administer the awards, including any amendments, in accordance with the terms of the Agreement and provisions (and any subsequent amendments) contained in the document NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials .

The applicant must accept or decline the Fellowship by the deadline indicated in the award notification letter by logging into the GRFP Module at https://www.research.gov/grfp/Login.do with the applicant User ID and password. Failure to comply with the deadline and acceptance of Fellowship Terms and Conditions by the deadline will result in revocation of the Fellowship offer and render applicants ineligible to re-apply.

Terms and Conditions

Awardees must formally accept and agree to the terms and conditions of the Fellowship award. Acceptance of the Fellowship constitutes a commitment to pursue a graduate degree in an eligible science or engineering field. Acceptance of a Fellowship award is an explicit acceptance of this commitment and assurance that the Fellow will be duly enrolled in a graduate degree program consistent with the field of study indicated in their application by the beginning of the following academic year. Major changes in scope later in the graduate career require NSF approval. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Administrative Guide for Fellows and Coordinating Officials includes the terms and conditions that apply to the Fellowship and subsequent institutional award, in addition to the eligibility requirements (U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident, degree requirements, and field of study) and Certifications in the application. Each institution, in accepting the funds, also certifies that the Fellows are eligible to receive the Fellowship under these terms and conditions. Fellows are expected to make satisfactory academic progress towards completion of their graduate degrees, as defined and certified by the Fellow's GRFP institution. In cases where Fellows have misrepresented their eligibility, or have failed to comply with the Fellowship Terms and Conditions, the Fellowship will be revoked, and the case may be referred to the Office of the Inspector General for investigation. This action may result in requiring the Fellow to repay Fellowship funds to the National Science Foundation.

An individual may not accept the Graduate Research Fellowship if the individual accepts or is supported by another federal graduate fellowship.

Responsible Conduct of Research

It is the responsibility of the Fellow, in conjunction with the GRFP institution, to ensure that all academic and research activities carried out in or outside the US comply with the laws or regulations of the US and/or of the foreign country in which the academic and/or research activities are conducted. These include appropriate human subject, animal welfare, copyright and intellectual property protection, and other regulations or laws, as appropriate. All academic and research activities should be coordinated with the appropriate US and foreign government authorities, and necessary licenses, permits, or approvals must be obtained prior to undertaking the proposed activities.

In response to the America COMPETES Act, all Fellows supported by NSF to conduct research are required to receive appropriate training and oversight in the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research.

Research Involving Human Subjects

Projects involving research with human subjects must ensure that subjects are protected from research risks in conformance with the relevant Federal policy known as the Common Rule ( Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects , 45 CFR 690 ). All projects involving human subjects must either (1) have approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) before issuance of an NSF award; or, (2) must affirm that the IRB has declared the research exempt from IRB review, in accordance with the applicable subsection, as established in 45 CFR § 690.104(d) of the Common Rule. Fellows are required to comply with this policy and adhere to the organization's protocol for managing research involving human subjects.

Research Involving Vertebrate Animals

Any project proposing use of vertebrate animals for research or education shall comply with the Animal Welfare Act [7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.] and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the Secretary of Agriculture [9 CFR 1.1-4.11] pertaining to the humane care, handling, and treatment of vertebrate animals held or used for research, teaching or other activities supported by Federal awards. In accordance with these requirements, proposed projects involving use of any vertebrate animal for research or education must be approved by the submitting organization's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before an award can be made. For this approval to be accepted by NSF, the organization must have a current Public Health Service (PHS) Approved Assurance.

Projects involving the care or use of vertebrate animals at an international organization or international field site also require approval of research protocols by the US grantee’s IACUC. If the project is to be funded through an award to an international organization or through an individual fellowship award that will support activities at an international organization, NSF will require a statement from the international organization explicitly listing the proposer’s name and referencing the title of the award to confirm that the activities will be conducted in accordance with all applicable laws in the international country and that the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals (see: http://www.cioms.ch/ ) will be followed.

Legal Rights to Intellectual Property

The National Science Foundation claims no rights to any inventions or writings that might result from its fellowship or traineeship grants. However, fellows and trainees should be aware that the NSF, another Federal agency, or some private party may acquire such rights through other support for particular research. Also, fellows and trainees should note their obligation to include an Acknowledgment and Disclaimer in any publication.

C. Reporting Requirements

Acknowledgment of Support and Disclaimer

All publications, presentations, and creative works based on activities conducted during the Fellowship must acknowledge NSF GRFP Support and provide a disclaimer by including the following statement in the Acknowledgements or other appropriate section:

"This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. (NSF grant number). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."

Annual Activities Report and Annual Fellowship Status Declaration

Fellows are required to submit an Annual Activities Report and to complete Fellowship Status Declaration by the deadline date each year (deadline notification sent by email), using NSF's GRFP Module. The GRFP Module permits online submission and updating of activity reports, including information on research accomplishments and activities related to broader impacts, presentations, publications, teaching and research assistantships, awards and recognitions, and other scholarly and service accomplishments. These reports must be reviewed and satisfactory progress verified by the faculty advisor or designated graduate program administrator prior to submission to NSF.

Fellows must declare their intent to utilize the Fellowship for the following year using the NSF GRFP Module. Failure to declare Fellowship status by the established deadline violates the terms and conditions for NSF Fellowship awards, and results in termination of the Fellowship.

Program Evaluation

The Division of Graduate Education (DGE) conducts evaluations to provide evidence on the impact of the GRFP on individuals' educational decisions, career preparations, aspirations and progress, as well as professional productivity; and provide an understanding of the program policies in achieving the program goals. Additionally, it is highly desirable to have a structured means of tracking Fellows beyond graduation to gauge the extent to which they choose a career path consistent with the intent of the program and to assess the impact the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship has had on their graduate education experience. Accordingly, Fellows and Honorable Mention recipients may be contacted for updates on various aspects of their employment history, professional activities and accomplishments, participation in international research collaborations, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program. Fellows and their institutions agree to cooperate in program-level evaluations conducted by the NSF and/or contracted evaluators. The 2014 GRFP evaluation is posted on the "Evaluation Reports" Web page for NSF's Education and Human Resources Directorate: https://www.nsf.gov/ehr/Evaluation_Resources.jsp .

GRFP institutions are required to submit the GRFP Completion Report annually. The Completion Report allows GRFP institutions to certify the current status of all GRFP Fellows at the institution. The current status will identify a Fellow as: In Progress, Graduated, Transferred, or Withdrawn. For Fellows who have graduated, the graduation date is a required reporting element.

VIII. Agency Contacts

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website ( https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=6201 ) for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

For questions related to the use of GRFP Application Module, contact:

NSF Help Desk: telephone: 1-800-381-1532; e-mail: [email protected]

The Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center is responsible for processing applications and responding to requests for information. General inquiries regarding the Graduate Research Fellowship Program should be made to:

Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, telephone: 866-NSF-GRFP, 866-673-4737 (toll-free from the US and Canada) or 202-331-3542 (international). email: [email protected]

IX. Other Information

The NSF website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, "NSF Update" is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Grants Conferences . Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. "NSF Update" also is available on NSF's website .

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at https://www.grants.gov .

Students are encouraged to gain professional experience in other countries through their university graduate programs, and to participate in international research opportunities offered by NSF at: Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) | NSF - National Science Foundation . Other funding opportunities for students are available at http://www.nsfgrfp.org/ .

About The National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 55,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Arctic and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide Chapter II.E.6 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

Privacy Act And Public Burden Statements

The information requested on the application materials is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. It will be used in connection with the selection of qualified applicants and may be disclosed to qualified reviewers as part of the review process; to the institution the nominee, applicant or fellow is attending or is planning to attend or is employed by for the purpose of facilitating review or award decisions, or administering fellowships or awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and other individuals who perform a service to or work under a contract, grant, cooperative agreement, advisory committee, committee of visitors, or other arrangement with the Federal government as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing data regarding applicants or nominees as part of the review process, or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information from this system may be merged with other computer files to carry out statistical studies the results of which do not identify individuals. Notice of the agency's decision may be given to nominators, and disclosure may be made of awardees' names, home institutions, and fields of study for public information purposes. For fellows or awardees receiving stipends directly from the government, information is transmitted to the Department of the Treasury to make payments. See System of Record Notices , NSF-12, "Fellowships and Other Awards," 63 Federal Register 265 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary; however, failure to provide full and complete information may reduce the possibility of your receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0023. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 12 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton Reports Clearance Officer Policy Office, Division of Institution and Award Support Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management National Science Foundation Alexandria, VA 22314

X. Appendix

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS

Major Fields of Study

Note: Applications are reviewed based on the selection of a Major Field of Study. As an example, CHEMISTRY is a Major Field of Study, and Chemical Catalysis is a subfield under CHEMISTRY.

Selection of a Major Field of Study determines the application deadline, the broad disciplinary expertise of the reviewers who will review the application, and the discipline of the graduate program if the Fellowship is accepted. The subfield category designates specific expertise of the reviewers. Applicants can select “Other” if their specific subfield is not represented in the list of subfields under the Major Field of Study. The "Other" subfield category should be selected only if the proposed subfield is not covered by one of the listed subfields, and should not be used to designate a subfield that is more specific than the subfields listed. If the proposed subfield is not listed in the Appendix, it may not be eligible for Fellowship support.

Artificial Intelligence Chemical Catalysis Chemical Measurement and Imaging Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanism Chemical Synthesis Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods Chemistry of Life Processes Computationally Intensive Research Environmental Chemical Systems Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry Other (specify) Quantum Information Science Sustainable Chemistry

COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES & ENGINEERING

Accessibility and Ethical Models and Impacts

Algorithms and Theoretical Foundations Artificial Intelligence Bioinformatics Communication and Information Theory Computationally Intensive Research Computer Architecture Computer Security and Privacy Computer Systems and Embedded Systems

Computer Vision, Graphics, and Visualization Databases, Data Mining, Data Science, and Information Retrieval

Formal Methods, Verification, and Programming Languages Human Computer Interaction

Information Sciences Machine Learning Natural Language Processing Other (specify)

Parallel, Distributed, and Cloud Computing Quantum Information Science Robotics

Scientific Computing

Social Computing Software Engineering

Wired and Wireless Networking

ENGINEERING

Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering Artificial Intelligence Bioengineering Biomedical Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Computationally Intensive Research Computer Engineering Electrical and Electronic Engineering Energy Engineering Environmental Engineering Industrial Engineering & Operations Research Manufacturing Engineering Materials Engineering Mechanical Engineering Nuclear Engineering Ocean Engineering Optical Engineering Other (specify) Quantum Engineering Quantum Information Science Systems Engineering Wireless Engineering

GEOSCIENCES

Aeronomy Artificial Intelligence Arctic-Antarctic

Atmospheric Chemistry Biogeochemistry Biological Oceanography Chemical Oceanography Climate and Large-Scale Atmospheric Dynamics Computationally Intensive Research Geobiology Geochemistry Geodynamics Geomorphology Geophysics Glaciology Hydrology Magnetospheric Physics Marine Biology Marine Geology and Geophysics Other (specify) Paleoclimate Paleontology and Paleobiology Petrology Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Physical Oceanography Quantum Information Science Sedimentary Geology Solar Physics Tectonics

LIFE SCIENCES

Artificial Intelligence Biochemistry Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Biophysics Cell Biology Computationally Intensive Research Developmental Biology Ecology Environmental Biology Evolutionary Biology Genetics Genomics Microbial Biology Neurosciences Organismal Biology Other (specify) Physiology Proteomics Quantum Information Science Structural Biology Systematics and Biodiversity Systems and Molecular Biology

MATERIALS RESEARCH

Artificial Intelligence Biomaterials Ceramics Chemistry of Materials Computationally Intensive Research Electronic Materials Materials Theory Metallic Materials Other (specify) Photonic Materials Physics of Materials Polymers Quantum Information Science

MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES

Algebra, Number Theory, and Combinatorics Analysis Applied Mathematics Artificial Intelligence Biostatistics Computational and Data-enabled Science Computational Mathematics Computational Statistics Computationally Intensive Research Geometric Analysis Logic or Foundations of Mathematics Mathematical Biology Other (specify) Probability Quantum Information Science Statistics Topology

PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY

Artificial Intelligence Astronomy and Astrophysics Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Computationally Intensive Research Condensed Matter Physics Nuclear Physics Other (specify) Particle Physics Physics of Living Systems Plasma Physics Quantum Information Science Solid State Physics Theoretical Physics

Artificial Intelligence Cognitive Neuroscience Cognitive Psychology Comparative Psychology Computational Psychology Computationally Intensive Research Developmental Psychology Industrial/Organizational Psychology Neuropsychology Other (specify) Perception and Psychophysics Personality and Individual Differences Physiological Psychology Psycholinguistics Quantitative Psychology Quantum Information Science Social/Affective Neuroscience Social Psychology

SOCIAL SCIENCES

Anthropology, other (specify) Archaeology Artificial Intelligence Biological Anthropology Communications Computationally Intensive Research Cultural Anthropology Decision Making and Risk Analysis Economics Geography History and Philosophy of Science International Relations Law and Social Science Linguistic Anthropology Linguistics Medical Anthropology Other (specify) Political Science Public Policy Quantum Information Science Science Policy Sociology Urban and Regional Planning

STEM EDUCATION AND LEARNING RESEARCH

Artificial Intelligence Computationally Intensive Research Engineering Education Mathematics Education Other (specify) Quantum Information Science Science Education Technology Education

National Science Foundation

nsf graduate research fellowship examples

Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Individuals can access the application module here

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM education fields within NSF’s mission . The GRFP provides up to three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. The GRFP supports over 100 subfields.

The GRFP encourages applications from underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans, in order to broaden and diversify those participating in science and engineering.

IMAGES

  1. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

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  3. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program National Science Foundation

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  4. GRFP Poster

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  5. 3 Info Sci PhDs Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

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  6. Nineteen Current and Former Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research

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COMMENTS

  1. Alex Lang's Website

    1. US Citizen, US National, or permanent resident 2. Currently a graduating Senior or First/Second year graduate student 3. Graduate students may only apply in their first OR second year (NOT both). I have some thoughts on which year to apply. 4. Going into science research (does not apply to medical school)

  2. GEMS

    Example Application Materials National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program (NSF GRFP) NSF GRFP examples Here is a list of application materials, including personal and research statements for a variety of research topics in the geosciences from 2008 to 2019. Personal Statement advice

  3. NSF 101: The Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    View image credit NSF 101: The Graduate Research Fellowship Program Is graduate school in your future? Pursuing a PhD or master's degree in science or engineering is an intellectual journey, opening doors to many career paths in academia, industry and beyond.

  4. NSF GRFP Research Proposal : Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

    Structure The sections, their sizes, and their order is just an example, not the rule. Purpose Your research proposal (technically, the "Graduate Research Plan Statement") is part of an application that should convince the selection panel to award you the Fellowship.

  5. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

    Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, telephone: 866-NSF-GRFP, 866-673-4737 (toll-free from the US and Canada) or 202-331-3542 (international). email: [email protected] Contact: GRF Operations Center [email protected] (866) 673-4737 Program Events Past August 15, 2023 - Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) Virtual Office…

  6. Nsf Grfp Application Tips And Example

    Three 2-page essays: Personal Statement, Previous Research, and Proposed Research Three or more letters of recommendation Your proposed University/College and Program (you do NOT need to be accepted or decide to go there)

  7. Home

    Complete our session request form here! Learn More » Applicants Am I Eligible? What's My Level? How do I Apply? FAQs GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers, early in their careers.

  8. NSF 101: Graduate and postdoctoral researcher funding opportunities

    The U.S. National Science Foundation supports research opportunities and provides stipends for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and scholars.

  9. Tips

    Helpful Tips All applicants are expected to read the current GRF Program Solicitation before they start their GRFP application. The GRF Program Solicitation contains important information about application terms and conditions, eligibility requirements, application instructions, and the Merit Review Criteria.

  10. PDF Applying to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    High Priority Research Areas Although NSF will continue to fund outstanding Graduate Research Fellowships in all areas of science and engineering supported by NSF, in FY2021, GRFP will emphasize three high priority research areas in alignment with NSF goals. These areas are Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Information Science, and Computationally

  11. NSF GRFP Personal Statement : Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

    The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in STEM education [and senior undergraduates].

  12. Reference Writers

    Reference Writers Reference letters are a key component of a strong application package. The most effective reference letters provide detailed and specific information about how an applicant meets the NSF Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

  13. NSF Graduate Fellowship

    The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is a program administered by the National Science Foundation to ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in ...

  14. NSF 13-584: Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

    The Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center is responsible for processing applications and responding to questions about the program. For questions concerning these guidelines, contact the Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, (866) 673 -4737, international (202) 331 -3542, or [email protected].

  15. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Graduate Research Fellowship

    Share NSF 23-154 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) ELIGIBILITY: GENERAL How can I determine if I am eligible to apply to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)? How do I determine my Academic Level (1-4)? At what point in my academic career can I apply to NSF GRFP?

  16. 21 graduate students receive National Science Foundation Grad Fellowship

    Students from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences were among the 21 new National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients for the 2022-23 academic year. ... (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients for the 2022-23 academic year. Read the Full News Story:

  17. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's or doctoral degrees in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or in STEM education. This support includes an annual stipend and a cost-of-education allowance towards tuition and fees.

  18. Statements

    Statement Tips Keep in mind that NSF does not just seek to fund scientists and engineers: NSF seeks to fund future STEM leaders. Use the statements to show leadership potential, self-starter capabilities, and the ability to work well with others (scientists, students, people in the community, etc.).

  19. NSF Fellowship Research Proposal : Chemical Engineering Communication Lab

    Purpose. Your research proposal (technically, the "Graduate Research Plan Statement") is part of an application that should convince the selection panel to award you the Fellowship. The proposal is the part of the application where you get to lay out a plan for your graduate research career. The personal statement gives you space to explain ...

  20. NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Launching science and

    In fact, the first GRFP awards predate NSF's first awards for research grants. Today, it is one of NSF's most well-known programs. GRFP recruits high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers and supports their graduate research training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and STEM education fields. Each year, the ...

  21. NSF GRFP

    The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) is a five-year fellowship that supports graduate masters and doctoral students who are pursuing degrees in fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), with an annual stipend of $34,000 for three of the five years of the fellowship.

  22. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    Fellowships provide the student with a three-year annual stipend of $37,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), as well as access to opportunities for professional development available to NSF-supported graduate students. Since 1952, NSF has funded over 60,000 Graduate Research ...

  23. MSU's Folk receives prestigious NSF CAREER award for groundbreaking

    Including this funding, the department currently is managing the most competitive federal funding in its history. The CAREER program—one of the most sought-after opportunities offered by the NSF--provides five-year awards to tenure-track faculty in the initial stages of teaching and research.

  24. NSF 22-614: Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

    The Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center is responsible for responding to questions about the program. For questions concerning eligibility and fields of study, contact the Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, (866) 673-4737, international (202) 331-3542, or [email protected].

  25. Applicants

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM education fields within NSF's mission.

  26. Office Of Major Fellowships on Instagram: "Congratulations to the 24

    77 likes, 1 comments - cufellowships on November 20, 2023: "Congratulations to the 24 students who hit submit on their NSF Graduate Research Fellowship appli..." Office Of Major Fellowships on Instagram: "Congratulations to the 24 students who hit submit on their NSF Graduate Research Fellowship applications.