Kindly note: This website contains information about GRFP, application process, and insights; all derived from a variety of sources, including the NSF GRFP solicitation, the GRFP website, and best practice recommendations by various authors.

Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The GRFP of NSF is one of the premier graduate fellowship programs in the United States of America (USA). In support of its federal mandate to advance science and engineering in USA, NSF created the GRFP with a goal of nurturing and growing a dynamic and diverse talent pool for the US engineering and scientific community. NSF conducts an annual competition to identify, select, and support exceptional students in its supported disciplines, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), for the GRFP awards. The GRFP supports students early in their graduate careers, including those seeking to, or already pursuing, research-oriented masters or doctoral degree programs at US universities. It additionally seeks to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM graduate studies.

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Reasons to Apply
The GRFP of NSF is considered one of the most prestigious graduate Fellowship awards. The Fellows are selected through a competitive review process. The GRFP award bestows a mark of distinction on the recipient. It not only recognizes the Fellow’s superior academic achievement but also his/her exceptional future potential for research prominence.
Each selected Fellow receives an annual stipend of $34,000 for three years. The stipend is disbursed in monthly installment of $2,833.
The GRFP award includes an annual allowance of $12,000 towards cost of education of each Fellow. It is directly paid to the Fellow’s graduate institution and applies towards his/her tuition and fees.
The Fellows undertake their graduate studies in STEM disciplines under research-oriented masters or doctoral degree programs. Thus, under the mentorship of their graduate advisor, Fellows conduct cutting-edge research in their field of study. Moreover, during their GRFP tenure, the Fellows receive additional opportunities for career development, for example, international research, federal and non-academic internships, etc.
A small subset of applicants, who are unsuccessful in securing a GRFP award, receive Honorable Mention from NSF that is considered a noteworthy achievement.
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The GRFP is a pioneering and preeminent graduate fellowship program in USA. For over half a century of its storied history, the GRFP has supported and mentored students who go on to fulfill their promise by growing into exceptional academic leaders, government professionals, and industry captains, among others. Past GRFP recipients have contributed to their fields through numerous pioneering scientific advances, engineering breakthroughs, and educational innovations. Prior GRFP recipients have been awarded numerous Nobel Prizes (over 30), become highly regarded researchers and academics (over 400 members of the National Academies), corporate titans and book authors, and NASA scientists, among others, and include Steven Chu (United States Secretary of Energy) and Sergey Brin (Founder of Google).
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