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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
  • An education allowance for tuition & fees, tenable at any accredited US institution
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Access to XSEDE cyberinfrastructure resources (including supercomputing time)
  • The increased freedom that comes with having your own graduate funds
*Please refer to the annual NSF GRFP Solicitation on the official NSF GRFP website 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 Sciences and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology, Social Sciences, and 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 master's 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.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying, let us know by filling out our NSF GRFP Interest Form.


Info Sessions and Workshops: June-September

UREP hosts GRFP info sessions and application workshops during the Summer Term. Check our events page for dates and registration information.

Current applicants are encouraged to attend these 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.

Application opens: July/August

The NSF GRFP application opens each summer when the NSF releases a new program solicitation on its official website, usually in late July.

More information about the current year's competition, application resources, and guidelines are available on our GRFP Resource Site (Drexel login required; alumni and incoming PhD students should email for access).

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.

To submit essays for anonymous internal review, submit a GRFP Campus Review Form and upload both essays in a single document (.doc/.docx) by the campus review deadline listed on our GRFP Resource Site.

National Deadlines: mid-late October (depending on field)

More Information

More information about GRFP, including application resources and sample application materials, is available on the Drexel Fellowships Resource Site (Drexel login required; alumni and incoming PhD students should email for access).

For official program information (which supersedes any information provided here), go to

For information and application assistance, go to

To apply, go to

Related Awards:

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

Last updated: June 2024


  • September 30, 2024 

    campus deadline
    Contact UREP for more information

Fields of Study:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Program Type:

  • Graduate Fellowship
  • Research
  • Study

Program Length:

  • Multi-year

Degree Level:

  • Post UG
  • Graduate


  • United States


  • US Citizen/National
  • US Permanent Resident