National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

GRFP Eligibility

The 2015 GRFP Program Solicitation will contain the official eligibility guidelines for the upcoming competition. All applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Program Solicitation to understand the eligibility guidelines.

Applicants must self-certify that they are eligible to receive the Fellowship.

In this section:

 

GRFP Eligibility at a Glance

To be eligible for the NSF GRFP, you must:

  • be a US citizen, US national, or permanent resident
  • intend to pursue a research-based Master's or Ph.D. program in an NSF-supported field
  • be enrolled in an eligible program at an accredited United States graduate institution by Fall 2015
  • have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent) as of August 1, 2014
  • meet all other eligibility requirements as set forth in the current Program Solicitation

The "no more than twelve months" limit applies to your entire post-baccalaureate career, not just your current program. If you have completed less than twelve months of your Ph.D. but have previously completed a Master's degree, you would not be eligible for the GRFP, unless you meet the criteria for an extenuating circumstance as described in Section IV of the Program Solicitation.

The complete set of GRFP eligibility guidelines is published in the Program Solicitation. We strongly encourage all applicants to read the program solicitation carefully before applying. The 2015 solicitation will contains the official and only eligibility criteria for the 2015 GRFP competition.

The following categories are always ineligible for the GRFP:

  • Those who were previously awarded a fellowship from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program and accepted it.
  • Those who have declined the offer of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and who did not notify NSF by the published deadline for accepting the Fellowship.
  • Current NSF employees.

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When should I apply for the GRFP?

Applicants for the 2015 GRFP must have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent as of August 1, 2014. Individuals are typically eligible to apply:

  • During the senior year of an undergraduate program
  • After completing their undergraduate program but prior to entering graduate school
  • During the first year of graduate school
  • Prior to completing the Fall term of the second year of a full-time graduate program.

Students in joint BS/MS programs are typically eligible to apply in the fourth year of a four-year joint program, in the fourth or fifth year of a five-year program, and prior to completing any additional graduate study by August 1. Completion of any additional graduate study after the joint program would disqualify an applicant.

Part-time students, or those who have a combination of part- and full-time graduate study, are allowed to have completed up to 24 semester credits or 36 quarter credits of  graduate study.

If they applied in the past, applicantd may re-apply for the GRFP as long as they meet the eligibility guidelines in the current Program Solicitation. We encourage applicants to apply to the GRFP as early in their career as possible.

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Can I apply for the GRFP if I have not been accepted to a graduate program, and do not yet know where I will be attending graduate school?

Individuals do not need to be accepted into a graduate program in order to apply for the GRFP. Current undergraduate seniors who are planning to begin graduate study in an NSF-supported field in Fall 2015 are strongly encouraged to apply.

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What if I have completed more than 12 months of graduate study?

The twelve-month limit applies to the entire graduate career. All post-baccalaureate, graduate level study counts towards this limit, including all Master's and Ph.D. programs, graduate-level coursework completed outside a degree program, and both full-time and part-time study.

If you have completed more than twelve months of graduate study, you may be considered eligible if you have an interruption of at least two consecutive years prior to November 2014, and you completed no additional graduate study by August 1, 2015.

For example, if you earned a Master’s degree in 2010 and are currently applying to PhD programs (with a planned Fall 2015 start date), you would meet the criteria for an extenuating circumstance. If you earned a Master’s degree in 2010 and started a PhD program in Fall 2013, however, you would not meet the eligibility requirements, on account of having completed additional graduate study after the interruption.

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What fields of study are eligible for the GRFP?

 

NSF supports a broad range of fields. A list of eligible fields of study will be available in the appendix of the 2015 Program Solicitation (available around late July-early August 2014). If you do not see a Field of Study that lists your actual subject area, please choose the primary field by your discipline, and the subfield by your major area of emphasis.  For example, if you study Agriculture or Agronomy, you would select Life Sciences, and then choose a subfield, such as as “Biochemistry,” “Genomics”, or “Organismal Biology” depending on  what area you are planning to emphasize in your graduate study.

The following programs and areas of study are not eligible:

  • Practice-oriented, professional degree programs (MBA, MSW, MPH, ED, etc.)
  • Joint science-professional programs (MD/PhD, JD/PhD, etc.)
  • Business administration or management
  • Social work
  • Education (except research-focused STEM education programs)
  • History (except for history of science)
  • Public health programs
  • Medical programs
  • Dental programs
  • Research with disease-related goals, including the etiology, diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental disease, abnormality or malfunction.

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What categories of individuals are always ineligible for the GRFP?

If you are not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident at the time of application you are ineligible. Foreign nationals who are in the U.S. on a student visa are not eligible to apply.

If you have received and accepted a GRFP award, you cannot apply for a second GRFP award.

If you did not notify NSF of your intention to accept/decline the fellowship by the published deadline for accepting the fellowship, you are not eligible to apply for another GRFP award.

If you  plan to pursue a joint science-professional degree program (such as an MD/Ph.D. or JD/Ph.D.) in Fall 2014, you are ineligible for the GRFP, even if you are proposing to use the GRFP only for the Ph.D. part of your program.

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Questions About Eligibility

The official GRFP eligibility guidelines are published in the Program Solicitation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read them carefully.

Please call the GRF Operations Center at (866) 673-4737 or e-mail info@nsfgrfp.org if you have questions about the eligibility guidelines.

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Fellow Carol Reiley (front) from the Johns Hopkins University explores a method to automatically assess surgical skill through developing a “language of surgery” based on raw motions recorded by a da Vinci surgical system.  Photo credits: Michael Ciesielski and Michael Anft.

Fellow Carol Reiley (front) from the Johns Hopkins University explores a method to automatically assess surgical skill through developing a “language of surgery” based on raw motions recorded by a da Vinci surgical system.  Photo credits: Michael Ciesielski and Michael Anft.

 

Additional Questions?

GRF Operation Center Helpdesk:

(866) 673-4737

info@nsfgrfp.org

Information for current NSF Fellows:

grfp@nsf.gov

 

 

 

 


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Operations Center Administered by: American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
1818 N Street NW, Suite 600 Washington, DC 20036 | 866-NSF-GRFP, 866-673-4737
(toll-free from the US and Canada) or 202-331-3542 (international) | info@nsfgrfp.org