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The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) aims to support the variety, vibrancy, and quality of the American workforce in science and engineering.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Outstanding graduate students seeking full-time, research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) or STEM teaching are recognized and supported by this program.

For those who have shown they have the potential to make important contributions to STEM education or research, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) offers three years of funding throughout the course of a five-year fellowship tenure to support graduate study

The NSF aggressively promotes the submission of applications from all levels of diverse STEM talent.

About the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

A nationwide program run by the National Science Foundation, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards fellowships to individuals chosen early in their graduate careers on the basis of their proven ability to make major contributions to STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—or to STEM education.

Support for graduate study leading to a research-based master’s or doctorate degree in STEM or STEM teaching is offered for three years over a five-year period.

The initiative aims to:

1) identify, honor, and provide financial support to early-career individuals who have the potential to be highly accomplished scientists and engineers

2) increase the number of people from different backgrounds who participate in STEM fields. The NSF aggressively promotes the submission of applications from all levels of diverse STEM talent.

A key component of NSF’s broader plan to create the globally engaged workforce required to maintain the country’s leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation is GRFP.

Many people who have produced revolutionary breakthrough discoveries in science and engineering, rose to prominence in their chosen fields and won Nobel Prizes are among the many people who have been recognized as NSF Fellows.



The requirements for applicants are as follows: they must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States;

  • They must be enrolled in an accredited graduate program in the United States with a U.S. campus by the fall of the application period
  • They must have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent)
  • They must meet the requirements for the extenuating circumstance listed in Section IV of the Program Solicitation.
  • Fulfill every additional qualifying condition listed in the most recent program solicitation.

Fields of Study

Panels are formed to assess applications when a primary Field of Study has been chosen. The choice of a primary Field of Study establishes the deadline for applications, the panel responsible for evaluating them, and the Field of Study that will be assigned to the recipients.

If an applicant’s field of study is not listed under each primary field of study, they may choose “other”. Candidates should only use the “other” field of study option if their intended area of study is not covered by one of the fields below.

This category should not be used to designate a field of study that is more specialized than those that are mentioned.


  • Chemical Catalysis
  • Chemical Measurement and Imaging
  • Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanism
  • Chemical Synthesis
  • Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods
  • Chemistry of Life Processes
  • Environmental Chemical Systems
  • Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry
  • Sustainable Chemistry

Computer and Information Sciences & Engineering

  • Algorithms and Theoretical Foundations
  • Bioinformatics and other Informatics
  • Communication and Information Theory
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Security and Privacy
  • Computer Systems and Embedded Systems
  • Data Mining and Information Retrieval
  • Databases
  • Formal Methods, Verification, and Programming Languages
  • Graphics and Visualization
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Robotics and Computer Vision
  • Software Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Energy Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering & Operations Research
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Optical Engineering
  • Polymer Engineering
  • Systems Engineering


  • Aeronomy
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Chemical Oceanography
  • Climate and Large-Scale Atmospheric Dynamics
  • Geobiology
  • Geochemistry
  • Geodynamics
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysics
  • Glaciology
  • Hydrology
  • Magnetospheric Physics
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Geology and Geophysics
  • Paleoclimate
  • Paleontology and Paleobiology
  • Petrology
  • Physical and Dynamic Meteorology
  • Physical Oceanography
  • Sedimentary Geology
  • Solar Physics
  • Tectonics

Life Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Microbial Biology
  • Neurosciences
  • Organismal Biology
  • Physiology
  • Proteomics
  • Structural Biology
  • Systematics and Biodiversity
  • Systems and Molecular Biology

Materials Research

  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics
  • Chemistry of Materials
  • Electronic Materials
  • Materials Theory
  • Metallic Materials
  • Photonic Materials
  • Physics of Materials
  • Polymers

Mathematical Sciences

  • Algebra, Number Theory, and Combinatorics
  • Analysis
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biostatistics
  • Computational and Data-enabled Science
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computational Statistics
  • Geometric Analysis
  • Logic or Foundations of Mathematics
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Probability
  • Statistics
  • Topology

Physics & Astronomy

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Physics of Living Systems
  • Plasma Physics
  • Solid State
  • Theoretical Physics


  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Comparative Psychology
  • Computational Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational
  • Neuropsychology
  • Perception and Psychophysics
  • Personality and Individual Differences
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Social/Affective Neuroscience
  • Quantitative Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Social Sciences

  • Archaeology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Communications
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Decision Making and Risk Analysis
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • International Relations
  • Law and Social Science
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Linguistics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • Public Policy
  • Science Policy
  • Sociology
  • Urban and Regional Planning

Stem Education and Learning Research

  • Engineering Education
  • Science Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Technology Education


Application Review and Selection Process

Panel Assess will assess applications received in response to this program solicitation online. Professional graduate education specialists, as well as disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers, assess and rank the applications as part of the application evaluation process.

The evaluation of applicants is based on their proven ability to further knowledge, accomplish notable research goals, and contribute to their disciplines over the course of their careers.

Reviewers are requested to evaluate applications in a holistic, all-encompassing manner, taking into account all relevant aspects of the application, such as the applicant’s leadership, outreach, service, and future plans, as well as their individual competencies, experiences, and other qualities.

The objective is to attract and maintain a diverse group of early-career professionals who have the potential to make significant contributions, successes, and wider effects in STEM and STEM education.

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