The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Funds three years of graduate school in STEM, psychology, and social sciences.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship: At a Glance


  • U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents
  • Fourth-year students and recent graduates
  • Majors: STEM, STEM education, psychology, and social sciences 
  • Intent to enroll in a research-based master’s or Ph.D. program in the U.S. (n.b. does not support MD/PhD)

Selection Criteria:

  • Potential to advance knowledge within the field, or across different fields
  • Well-reasoned, well-organized, creative and sound research project
  • Adequate qualifications and resources to conduct the proposed project
  • Potential to benefit society and advance desired societal outcomes

Candidates for the NSF GRFP can affirm the following statements:

  • I seek a career in which I can advance research and benefit society.
  • I possess adequate preparation and experience to succeed in my proposed graduate program.
  • I am able to produce a compelling research proposal.
  • I have engaged in research, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, outreach, service, and/or leadership activities that have benefited society and/or engaged people from diverse backgrounds.

Extensive Description

What is the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)? The Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and social science disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. Fellowships provide the student with a three-year annual stipend of $37,000 along with a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), as well as access to opportunities for professional development available to NSF-supported graduate students.

Since 1952, NSF has funded over 60,000 Graduate Research Fellowships. To build fully upon the strength and creativity of a diverse society, women, under-represented minorities, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply. NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. 

Merit Review Criteria: All GRFP applications are evaluated using NSF’s two merit review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. In order to present a competitive application, you must address both merit review criteria thoroughly. The Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement, and the Graduate Research Statement should both reflect these criteria. Please consult further information posted here.

Deadline Information

Throughout October 2023.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria by the application deadline:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • Intend to enroll or be enrolled full-time in a research-based graduate degree program in an eligible Field of Study
  • Undergraduate seniors and bachelor's degree holders may apply before enrolling in a degree-granting graduate program
  • Individuals pursuing a joint bachelor's-master's degree must have completed three years in the joint program and are limited to one GRFP application
For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Jenna Sarchio