National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Scholarship Value: $37,000
Awards Available: 2500

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 submission of applications from the full spectrum of diverse talent in STEM.

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.

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 $16,000 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 is portable and can be transferred to a different institution of higher education if a Fellow chooses to transfer to another institution after completion of the first Fellowship year.  While the Fellowship is offered to the individual, the Fellowship funds are awarded 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.

Estimated number of awards

2500 Estimated number of awards description- NSF will support at least 2,500 new Graduate Research Fellowships per fiscal year under this program solicitation pending availability of funds.

Applicant Eligibility:

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 
  • Have completed no more than one academic year (according to institution's academic calendar) while enrolled in a graduate degree program
  • Never previously accepted a Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Declined any previously offered Graduate Research Fellowship by the acceptance deadline
  • Never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program
  • 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
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