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National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

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The NSF GRFP aims to ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the U.S. by providing funding for outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM fields. It is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind and supports future leaders and contributors to the scientific community. The GRFP provides funding for 3 years in support of graduate education of a $37,000 annual living stipend and $16,000 annually for tuition and fees that is awarded to the graduate institution. Applicants can apply as graduating seniors or as first-year graduate students.

Scholarship Amount

$37,000/year living stipend and $16,000/year for tuition purposes

Annual Number of Scholarships Awarded

  • ~2,000 per year


  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a U.S. permanent resident
  • Have completed no more than one academic year of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent)
  • Have never earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field
  • Have never earned a master’s or professional degree in any field or completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program, unless (i) returning to graduate study after an interruption of two or more consecutive years immediately preceding the application deadline, and; (ii) not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the application deadline
  • Be in an eligible program at a U.S. graduate institution by fall following selection OR be at an early stage in your graduate career
  • Intend to pursue a research-based Master’s or Ph.D. program in a GRFP-supported field:
    • Chemistry
    • Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering
    • Engineering
    • Geosciences
    • Life Sciences
    • Materials Research
    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Psychology
    • Social Sciences
    • STEM Education and Learning Research

NOTE: Graduate students are limited to only one application to the GRFP, submitted either in the first year or in the second year of graduate school

Selection Criteria

  • Intellectual Merit
    • The potential to advance knowledge
  • Broader Impacts
    • The potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes
  • Creativity/Originality in proposed activity
  • Proposed activity plan that is well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on sound rationale
  • Ability of the individual, team or organization to conduct the proposed activities
  • Adequate resources available to the PI to carry out the proposed activities

Application Material

  • NSF GRFP Application
    • Personal Statement
    • Future Goals Statement
    • Graduate Research Plan Statement
  • CV/Resume
  • Transcripts
  • 2-5 letters of recommendation


National Deadline:

NSF GRFP Application Deadline Dependent on Area of Study:

Life Science: 10-16-2023 by 5 pm MST

Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning: 10-17-2023 by 5 pm MST

Engineering: 10-19-2023 by 5 pm MST

Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy: 10-20-2023 by 5 pm MST


Late July/Early August: NSF GRFP Application Opens

Late October 2023: National Deadline

  • NOTE: Specific deadline is dependent upon area of study

Early April: Notification of selection

Length of Scholarship

3 years

Scholarship Website


Contact Information

Matthew Plooster

Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships: