What is the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship?

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Who is Eligible?

Applicants must self-certify that they are eligible to receive the Fellowship. To be eligible, an applicant 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 in STEM or STEM education (See Appendix and Section IV.3 for eligible Fields of Study)
  • Have never previously accepted a GRFP award
  • If previously offered a GRFP award, have declined by the deadline
  • Have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program
  • Have never earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field
  • Have never earned a master's, professional, or bachelor's-master's degree in any field, unless (i) returning to graduate study after an interruption of two (2) or more consecutive years immediately preceding the deadline, and; (ii) are not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the application deadline
  • Not be a current NSF employee

How Do I Apply? 

For information on the application process, including preparing proposals and current NSF policies, please visit the NSF Graduate Fellowship website.

 Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. (EST) local time of applicant's mailing address. Deadline dates are separated by subject:

  • October 18, 2021: Life Sciences
  • October 19, 2021: Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning
  • October 21, 2021: Engineering
  • October 22, 2021: Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy

Further Information

Questions about the Application and Reference Writer Process for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program should be directed to:

GRF Operations Center
1818 N Street NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 866-NSF-GRFP (866-673-4737)
Email: info@nsfgrfp.org
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (EST)