Syracuse University

Center for Fellowship & Scholarship Advising

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

About the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

The NSF GRFP provides financial support for three years of Ph.D. or Master’s study in the sciences. The award is intended to support innovative research with a broader impact.
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is intended to recognize and support outstanding graduate students by providing 3 years of support for the completion of research-based MA and PhD programs in supported fields at US institutions. Supported fields include STEM disciplines, as well as psychology, social sciences, and STEM education. The GRFP “helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity,” and in support of these goals, applications from under-represented populations are particularly welcome. 30 Nobel Laureates and 440 members of the National Academy of Science have been past recipients of the GRFP; the program seeks individuals that show the potential for innovation and transformation in their chosen field.

The fellowship includes a $34,000-per-year stipend for three years, and a tuition waiver via a $12,000 annual cost-of-education allowance that is awarded to the graduate institution. Fellows are also eligible to apply for additional research funding support, as well as supplemental funding for researchers with disabilities. Leave provision for dependent care issues is also offered.

** Please Note: Students who apply after starting graduate school are eligible to apply only once. Students should be strategic in deciding what year to apply for the fellowship. Students who apply as a senior undergraduate can apply once more as a graduate student. For more information, please refer to the program’s FAQ page about this change:

Special Location of award, if applicable:

Eligible applicants:

• are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents

Individuals are typically eligible to apply:
• as an undergraduate senior or post-baccalaureate, before beginning graduate training
• as a first- or second-year graduate student (has not completed more than 12 months of full-time graduate study)
NOTE: as of the 2017 competition, NSF will limit graduate students to only one application to the GRFP, submitted either in the first year or second year of graduate school.
• after an interruption in graduate study of at least two consecutive years prior to November 1 of the year the application is submitted, and having completed not additional graduate study as of August 1 of the year the application is submitted

•Applicants do not already have to be accepted into a graduate program when applying, but must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of the award.

•Fields of study: life sciences, geosciences, computer and information science, engineering, materials research, psychology, social sciences, STEM education and learning, chemistry, mathematics, physics, astronomy. Not eligible: professional practice degrees

Student year:

Student year at time of application:  Graduate or Senior

University endorsement required?


Citizenship requirement:

U.S. citizen or permanent resident

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship application process:

• Read the official GRFP solicitation for eligibility requirements.
• Create an account in FastLane GRFP.
• Note the deadline for your field of study.
• Attend campus interest session for NSF GRFP.

•Ask 3-5 faculty to write recommendation letters (see suggestions here: Follow instructions on the FastLane application to register your recommenders with NSF GRFP. Your writers will submit letters directly to FastLane GRFP.
•Draft the two required statements, paying attention to the prompts and review criteria provided by NSF GRFP. Remember, you must address both review criteria–intellectual merit and broader impacts–in both of your statements.
•Meet with your faculty mentor to discuss your application and statements.
•Attend campus writing workshops to hone your statement drafts.
•Complete the entire application, including uploading your transcript and your final statements, and submit 1-2 days before your discipline’s deadline.

Advising contact:

Jolynn Parker  Email:
More Information:

Enter any terms you are interested, such as “Government” or “Biotechnology”,