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National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

Varies according to field of study; late October - early November, 2017
Social Science
United States
2 or More Years

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships recognize and support outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. (These fields include many social science disciplines, such as Psychology, International Relations, Economics, Sociology, Public Policy, and many more)

Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship candidates must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents and:

  • be enrolled in a research-focused master’s or Ph.D. program in an NSF-supported field at an accredited U.S. graduate institution in the fall of the year of application;
  • have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent); and
  • meet all other eligibility requirements as set forth in the NSF’s annual program announcement.

The “no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study” limitation applies to a candidate’s entire post-baccalaureate career, and not just a current program.

NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.  Applications will be reviewed by panels of disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and other professional experts in graduate education.  Each application is reviewed independently on the basis of merit using all available information in the completed application, paying special attention to both intellectual merit and broader impact review criteria. 

Change to eligibility: Effective as of the 2017 competition (Fall 2016 deadlines), NSF will limit graduate students to only one application to the GRFP, submitted either in the first year or in the second year of graduate school. No change is made to the eligibility of undergraduates, of bachelor's degree holders without any graduate study, or of individuals who have had an interruption in graduate study of at least two consecutive years