National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program

National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Award Amount: $46,000

Number of Awards: 2,000 (expects to award/year)

Deadline: October 23-27, 2017

Winner Announcement: Not known

Brief Description:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to announce the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors to apply.The purpose of the program is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The 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.

Host Institution:

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.”


To eligible, the applicant must meet all the following criteria:

  • As an undergraduate: Individuals may apply as an undergraduate senior as well as post-baccalaureate, before beginning graduate training.
  • As a graduate student:
  1. Effective as of the 2017 competition (Fall 2016 deadlines), graduate students are limited to only one application to the GRFP, submitted either in the first year or in the second year of graduate school. An exception is provided for first-year graduate students who applied in Fall 2015 to the 2016 GRFP competition; these individuals may apply a second time in Fall 2016 if they are otherwise eligible. All other graduate students are subject to the new eligibility requirements. The community was notified of this change in Dear Colleague Letter NSF 16-050.
  2. Applications that are not reviewed by GRFP (i.e., are withdrawn before the review or are returned without review) do not count toward the one-application limit for graduate students, submitted either in their first year or in their second year of graduate school.
  3. Graduate students may withdraw a submitted GRFP application without it being counted toward the one-application limit if they do so by November 15 of the application year. Any application withdrawn after November 15 of the application year counts toward the one-application limit.
  • As an individual returning to graduate education:
  1. Applicants who have completed more than twelve months of graduate study or have earned a previous graduate or professional degree are eligible only if they have had an interruption in graduate study of at least two consecutive years prior to November 1 of the year the application is submitted. To be eligible, applicants must have completed no additional graduate study by August 1 of that year. Applicants must address the reasons for the interruption in graduate study in the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement.

Instructions for Applying:

To be applying, the applicant may submit an online application through the given link:

Supporting Documents:

  • Personal Statement (3 pages)
  • Research Plan Statement (2 pages)
  • Transcripts (upload electronically)
  • Reference Letters: 3 letter writers required) due November 2nd by 4 pm Applicant-nominated reference writers must submit their letters through the FastLane GRFPApplication Module. Reference letter requirements include:
  1. Institutional (or professional) letterhead, if available
  2. Two (2) page limit
  3. 12-point Times New Roman in the body of the letter
  4. Name and title of reference writer
  5. Department and institution or organization

Award Description:

The NSF expects to award 2,000 Graduate Research Fellowships per fiscal year under this program solicitation pending availability of funds. GRFP Fellows receive the following.

  • 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 institution receives up to a $46,000 award per Fellow who uses the fellowship support in a fellowship year.
  • The Graduate Research Fellowship stipend is currently $34,000 for a 12-month tenure period, prorated in whole month increments of $2,833.
  • The cost-of-education allowance to the institution is currently $12,000 per year of fellowship support.

Detailed Information Link:

Contact Information:

If you have any question about the application, contact: GRF Operations Center, telephone: (866) 673-4737, email: