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NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports promising graduate students in NSF-supported STEM and social science disciplines who are pursuing research-based graduate degrees at accredited US institutions.

NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals will be crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation's technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.

NSF Graduate Research Fellows receive:*

  • A three-year annual stipend of $34,000/year
  • A $12,000 education allowance for tuition & fees, tenable at any accredited US institution
  • Opportunities for international research and professional development
  • Access to XSEDE cyberinfrastructure resources (including supercomputing time)
  • The increased freedom that comes with having your own graduate funds
*Be sure to read the annual NSF GRFP Solicitation completely for official details and criteria.

Who should apply?

Undergraduates and 1st or 2nd year graduate students with significant research experience and the potential, skill and drive to significantly advance knowledge and benefit society through teaching, research and innovations in STEM.

The Foundation welcomes applications from all qualified individuals and encourages women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.

To be eligible, you must:**
  • Be a rising senior, or 1st or 2nd year graduate student
  • Be a US citizen, US national, or permanent resident
  • Intend to pursue a research-based Master's or Ph.D. program in an NSF-supported field
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program at an accredited US graduate institution by fall of next year.
  • Have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent) by start of current academic year.
Eligible fields of study are: Chemistry, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning Research.

**Note: NSF recently announced new eligibility guidelines for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Please read these carefully before starting your application.

Application Process

Application opens: Late July / Early August
The NSF GRFP application opens each summer when the NSF releases a new program solicitation.

More information about the current year's competition, application resources, and guidelines are available on our Blackboard Site (sign-up here).

Info Sessions and Workshops: July-September.
Check our events page and newsletter for dates and registration information.
Can't make it to one of our workshops or want to learn more about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program? Check out the videos and tutorials at the bottom of this page to help you get started!

Campus Faculty Review Deadline: Monday, October 1
More information and submission instructions available on the Fellowships Blackboard/Learn page and award announcement.

National Deadlines: late October (depending on field)

Learn More

We encourage all applicants to take advantage of the many on-campus and external resources to help you prepare, write and improve the caliber of your fellowship application.

Related Awards:
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)DOD Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART)

Last updated: May 2018

Fields of Study:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics


  • United States

Program Type:

  • Research
  • Study


  • US Citizen
  • US National or Permanent Resident

Program Length:

  • Up to Three Years


  • October  

Special Considerations:

  • Underrepresented racial or ethnic group
  • Female
  • Disabilities

Degree Level:

  • Post UG
  • Graduate


  • $34,000 stipend + $12,000 cost of education allowance

Fellowship Videos

NSF GRFP Overview Webinar

How to Apply for the GRFP - from the NSF GRFP Operation Center