National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program*

Gustavus Fellowships Office

Initial Gustavus Deadline: N/A
Tentative Campus Interview: N/A
Final Gustavus Deadline: Early November, varies by discipline
Web site:
Campus Contact: Alisa Rosenthal, Fellowships Coordinator

Application submission deadline vary by discipline, but are generally in the beginning of November. Please refer to the Web site for more information.


The National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1,100 graduate fellowships in this competition. The Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees and is intended for students who are in the early stages of their graduate study. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) invests in graduate education for a cadre of diverse individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation.

Applicants may pursue graduate study at an institution in the United States or affiliate with a foreign institution. Prospective Fellows are responsible for all logistical arrangements required for affiliation with the foreign institution, including handling living arrangements and securing any necessary passports or visas.


The NSF expects to award 1,100 Graduate Research Fellowships under this program solicitation. The Fellow’s affiliated institution receives a $40,500 award to support the Fellow’s stipend and education allowance. (The Graduate Research Fellowship stipend currently is $30,000 for a 12-month tenure period, prorated monthly at $2,500 for shorter periods as approved by NSF. The cost of education allowance currently is $10,500 per tenure year.) Fellows are allowed an additional one-time $1,000 International Research Travel Allowance upon submission of an approved travel request. The planned travel must extend for a continuous 90-day period.


  • Applicants must be United States citizens or nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States.
  • Applicants are expected to have adequate preparation to begin graduate study and research by summer or fall 2010. In most cases, this will be demonstrated by receipt of a bachelor’s degree earned prior to fall 2010.
  • Individuals are typically eligible to apply during the senior year of college, after graduating from college but prior to entering graduate school, during the first year of graduate school, or prior to completing the first term of the second year of graduate school.
  • Applicants must have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent by the August 31st prior to the program submission deadline.
  • All post-baccalaureate, graduate-level study in an NSF-supported field counts toward the allowed twelve months of completed graduate study. This includes all Masters’s and Ph.D. programs in these disciplines.
  • Applicants who have completed part-time graduate study must have completed no more than twenty-four (24) semester hours or its equivalent by August 31st prior to the program submission deadline.
  • Research-oriented work experience in an academic or similar environment that is closely related to the current or proposed program of graduate study may be considered as equivalent to graduate coursework for eligibility purposes. A combination of relevant work experience and coursework may render an applicant ineligible.

Materials for Final Consideration

There is no internal selection process through Gustavus for NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program; however, applicants are encouraged to draw upon the resources of Gustavus’ Gustavus Fellowships Office. A complete application is submitted directly to the National Science Foundation and includes the following items:

  • Completed Official NSF Application submitted electronically using NSF’s FastLane Graduate Research Fellowship Program application module at Thus, applicants must first register as a FastLane user at that Web site. The FastLane Application Module includes the following:
    • Personal Profile
    • Education and Work Experience
    • Planned Graduate Program
    • Personal Statement
    • Previous Research Experience
    • Proposed Plan of Research
    • Three Reference Letters, submitted electronically using NSF’s FastLane Reference Letter submission
    • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Test Scores (optional)
    • Official Academic Transcripts (must be submitted in hard copy to the GRF Operations Center and received by field of study deadline)

Please note that applicants are responsible for all photocopying needed for the internal selection process and as required by the foundation.

*Information derived from