Syracuse University

Center for Fellowship & Scholarship Advising

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

About the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

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: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16051/nsf16051.pdf

Special Location of award, if applicable: US academic institution

Eligible applicants:

– are US citizens, US nationals, or permanent residents
– intend to pursue a research-based MA or PhD program in an NSF-supported field
– are undergraduate seniors or graduate students who have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study

University endorsement required?

No

Citizenship requirement:

U.S. citizen or permanent resident

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


Review the official GRFP solicitation that is released in late July/early August to gain a better understanding of the application process and eligibility requirements.

Contact CFSA and your mentor(s) to discuss your plans to apply for the fellowship.

Plan to attend the NSF GRFP interest session organized by CFSA in early fall.

The FastLane application portal opens in early August. Create an account to start working in your application.

Application components include:
– personal, relevant background and future goals statement
– graduate research plan statement
– three reference letters
– transcript(s)

Plan to attend campus writing workshops organized by CFSA 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.

Application deadlines are in October. Specific dates vary by discipline.

Interested? Contact CFSA for more information on how to get started!

Advising contact:

Jolynn Parker  Email:  jmpark02@syr.edu
More Information:  https://www.nsfgrfp.org/

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