The 2014 GRFP Program Solicitation contains 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:
To be eligible for the NSF GRFP, you must:
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 2014 solicitation contains the official and only eligibility criteria for the 2014 GRFP competition.
The following categories are always ineligible for the GRFP:
Applicants for the 2014 GRFP must have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent as of August 1, 2013. Individuals are typically eligible to apply:
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, applicant 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.
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 2014 are strongly encouraged to apply.
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 2013, and you completed no additional graduate study by August 1, 2013.
For example, if you earned a Master’s degree in 2010 and are currently applying to PhD programs (with a planned Fall 2014 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 2012, however, you would not meet the eligibility requirements, on account of having completed additional graduate study after the interruption.
NSF supports a broad range of fields. A list of eligible fields of study can be found in the appendix of the 2014 Program Solicitation. 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 level of emphasis. For example, if you study Agriculture or Agronomy, you would select Life Sciences, and then choose the subfield 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:
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. Individuals who are currently enrolled in joint science-professional degree programs, who meet all other eligibility requirements (such as having completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent) would only be eligible if they elect to transfer to a PhD program if awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship, and would not receive the professional degree as well.
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 email@example.com if you have questions about the eligibility guidelines.
Fellow Carol Reiley (front) from the