The NSF GRF Program Solicitation contains the official eligibility guidelines for the upcoming competition. All applicants are expected to read the NSF GRF Program Solicitation and understand the eligibility guidelines.
Applicants are expected to self-certify that they are eligible to receive the Fellowship by taking Eligibility questionnaire.
To be eligible, an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria by the application deadline:
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
- Intend to enroll or be enrolled in a research-based master’s or doctoral degree program in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education
- Have never previously accepted a Graduate Research Fellowship
- If previously offered a Graduate Research Fellowship, have declined by the acceptance deadline
- Have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program
- Have never earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field
- Have never earned a master’s or professional degree in any field, or completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program, unless (i) returning to graduate study after an interruption of two or more consecutive years immediately preceding the application deadline, and; (ii) not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the application deadline
- Not be a current NSF employee
The GRF Program Solicitation contains the official eligibility criteria for the GRFP competition. All applicants should read the program solicitation carefully before applying.
With the exception of joint Master’s-Bachelor’s degree holders, Master’s- or professional degree-holders in any field AND individuals who have completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program must meet both the following requirements:
- Two or more consecutive years between most recent graduate study and application deadline; AND
- Not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the application deadline
Joint Master’s-Bachelor’s degree holders must enroll in a PhD program in the semester immediately following graduation to be eligible to apply for the GRFP
The following categories are always ineligible for the GRFP:
- Those who do not have US citizenship, US national status or permanent resident status by the application deadline
- Those who have earned any graduate or professional degree by fall, except 1) applicants who have completed a joint baccalaureate-master’s (BS/MS) program and have not completed any further graduate study outside the joint program or 2) applicants who have an interruption of at least two consecutive years prior to the application deadline (may have earned a Master’s degree) and have completed no additional graduate study by application deadline
- Those who were previously offered a fellowship from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program and accepted it
- Those who 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