The deadline for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is coming up! Now is the time to direct students to this opportunity. Below we highlight the specifics of this fellowship opportunity, but it is also key to remember that this program supports students on the basis of their potential for significant research achievements in STEM. The application consists of two statements and three supporting letters. The statements include the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals statement (3 pages), and a Graduate Research Plan (2 pages). Although the nature of the first essay is the same no matter the stage of the applicant, the second essay varies substantially among stages and is viewed differently by reviewers.
For undergraduates applying, this essay is intended to reflect the type of project the student would like to do as they look forward to their graduate program, whereas for current graduate students, and especially those beginning their second year of graduate school, the project is typically more specific and better grounded in their current program and broader research plans. In all cases, the application is viewed holistically and evaluated on both the research potential and broader impacts associated with the applicant.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program grants three years of financial support for pursuing a research-based master’s or PhD degree in science technology, engineering, math, or STEM education. Applicants must demonstrate significant achievements in STEM and attend any accredited college or university in the United States or its territories.
- Applicants must be a US citizen, national, or permanent resident
- Applicants can apply while still in their undergraduate program but must be accepted into a graduate degree program by the time they accept the Fellowship
- Applicants can have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study by August 1st but can only apply once as a graduate student, either in their first or second year (see the solicitation for details as this is a new policy in 2017).
- Different fields of study have different deadlines within NSF. Below is the schedule for each field of study
|Fields of Study||2017 Deadlines||2018 Deadlines|
|Life Sciences, Geosciences||October 23||October 22|
|Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Materials Research||October 24||October 23|
|Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning||October 26||October 25|
|Chemistry, mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy||October 27||October 26|
|Reference Letter Submission||November 2||November 1|
|5:00 PM ET||5:00 PM ET|
- $34,000 annual stipend
- Cost of Education allowance of $12,000 to the institution
- Professional development opportunities through Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) and Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP)
- Access to supplemental funding to sustain research while on medical deferral (e.g. maternity/paternity leave)
Read the current solicitation for the full set of guidelines, and for additional questions please reach out to the Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, telephone: 866-NSF-GRFP, 866-673-4737 (toll-free from the US and Canada) or 202-331-3542 (international) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org