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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.

*Let us know you're interested by filling out this NSF GRFP Interest Form.* 

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?

Undergraduate seniors 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. These especially impact BS-MS joint degree students or graduates, as well as masters degree program students and graduates. Please read these carefully before starting your application. Further clarification on specific eligibility considerations related to master's degrees can be found in the GRFP Frequently Asked Questions.

Application Process

Application opens: July/August
The NSF GRFP application opens each summer when the NSF releases a new program solicitation, usually in late July.

More information about the current year's competition, application resources, and guidelines are available in the Drexel GRFP Handbook (Drexel login required; email for alumni access).

Info Sessions and Workshops: June-September.
Check our events page for dates and registration information.
Can't make it to one of our info sessions or want to learn more about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program? Check out the resources on!

Current applicants are encouraged to attend a GRFP Application Workshop. Workshop participants will receive access to sample essays, worksheets, supporting materials, and opportunities for peer feedback. Please review the NSF GRFP website before attending an application workshop to gain a basic understanding of the program.

Campus Faculty Review Deadline: Week 2 of Fall Term
Drexel students and alumni can submit drafts of the GRFP application essays to be reviewed by faculty with NSF experience. More information and submission instructions available in the Drexel GRFP Handbook (Drexel login required; email for alumni access).

To submit essays for anonymous internal review, submit a GRFP Campus Review Form and upload both essays in a single document (.doc/.docx) by September 26, 2022 at 5 pm.

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: April 2022

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  

    campus deadline
    Contact DFO for more information

Special Considerations:

  • Underrepresented racial or ethnic group
  • Female
  • Disabilities

Degree Level:

  • Post UG
  • Graduate


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