NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Who is eligible?
Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident; graduating seniors and first- or second-year graduate students may apply. Applicants should be attending or planning to attend a research-based masters-level or doctoral program in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. Current graduate students can only apply once, in either their first or second year of the graduate program.
When is the Deadline?
Campus Deadline: Mid-September
GRFP Deadline: Late October/Early November (Varies by discipline)
The fellowship emphasizes research-based study, not practice-oriented programs, and supports up to three years of graduate studies, providing an annual stipend of $34,000. Applications are evaluated based on criteria of “Intellectual Merit” and the potential “Broader Impacts” of the student’s prospective research for societal betterment.
How Do I Apply?
Students apply through the online FastLane system, paying particular attention to formatting particulars for uploaded essays.
Three-page “Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement,” and a “Graduate Research Plan Statement.”
What happens after I submit
an application?
Awards are announced in early April
What's next?
In the 2017 competition cycle, NSF received over 13,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers.

“As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.”

Seek out additional information on the NSF GRFP webpage.