The Graduate Research Fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in the relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. See the NSF website for the list of supported fields. NSF Graduate Fellowships are intended for students at or near the beginning of their graduate study. Eligibility is limited to those individuals who, at the time of application, have completed no more than 20 semester hours or equivalent of graduate study in the fields supported by the program. In most cases, an individual has two opportunities to apply: during the senior year of college and in the first year of graduate school. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States.
Applications are reviewed by disciplinary panels of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Panelists will consider the strength of the academic record, the proposed plan of research, previous research experience, the appropriateness of the choice of references and the extent to which they indicate merit, GRE general and subject test scores, and the appropriateness of the choice of institution for fellowship tenure relative to the proposed plan of research. The panelists may also consider contributions to the community, both social and scholarly as well as the unique characteristics of each applicant’s background including, personal, professional, and educational experiences.