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The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) from the National Science Foundation supports outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP selects students with the highest levels of success in their studies and the highest likelihoods of success in their professional careers. A stepping stone to future opportunities, the reputation of a Graduate Research Fellowship from the NSF follows recipients and can help them become leaders who make significant scientific and teaching contributions. Past fellows include Nobel Prize winner and former US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin, and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt.

Graduate Research Fellowships provide recipients a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost-of-education allowance of $12,000, as well as access to professional development opportunities unique to NSF-supported graduate students. Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who will be crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure, national security, and international economic well-being.

This information hub is intended to support students looking for guidance as they prepare their application materials and those wishing to learn about the award for a future application cycle.

For more information about the GRFP, the following video was created by the NSF to provide an overview for the 2019, 2020, and 2021 award cycles. Follow along with the three-year solicitation featured in the video and/or the 2021 competition solicitation.


  • 0:00-4:25 — About the Program
  • 4:25-9:06 — Eligibility Requirements
  • 9:06-11:21 — Application Timeline
  • 11:21-15:38 — Review Criteria
  • 15:38-17:05 — Tips and Resources