The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers fellowships to students in the early stages of pursuing a research based Master's or Ph.D. degree. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) affords our nation's research leaders of tomorrow exceptional funding with 3 years of graduate support worth thousands of dollars.

National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)

Award Info

GRFP Fellows Receive the Following:


 You are eligible to apply for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship if you:

  • Are a US citizen, US national or permanent resident alien; and
  • Are a graduating senior, or have completed a B.A./B.S. degree, or are in the first year or the first semester of the second year in graduate school at the time of the application deadline; and
  • Are pursuing a research-based master's or doctoral degree in GRFP-supported disciplines, including: chemistry, computer and information science and engineering, engineering, geosciences, life sciences, mathematics, physics and anatomy, psychology, social sciences and STEM education.
  • Applicants who have completed more than twelve months of graduate study may be considered eligible if they have had an interruption in graduate study of at least two consecutive years prior to August 2015.  To be eligible, applicants must not have attended graduate school for two years prior to August 1, 2015.  A statement describing the extenuating circumstance is required in the application.

Application Process

NSF GRFP Proposals are evaluated on two merit review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts

Intellectual Merit

  • Ability to plan and conduct research
  • Excellence when working both independently and on a team
  • Aptitude in interpreting and communicating research findings

 Broader Impacts – Activities and projects that:

  • Integrate research and education
  • Communicate your methodology and findings to a diverse audience
  • Encourage diversity and enable full participation
  • Enhance global scientific and technical understanding
  • Benefit society

Contact Info

For more information about the NSF GRFP and resources available for UCI applicants, please contact:

Celina Mojica
Director of Postdoctoral Affairs and External Funding


Resources at UC Irvine

Take advantage of the various on-campus resources to assist you as you prepare, write and improve the caliber of your fellowship application.  Funding workshops provide students with an overview of the NSF GRFP, writing tips on the application essays, and tips from fellow students and faculty reviewers.  Writing consultants at the Graduate Resource Center assist students in polishing their writing by providing comments and suggestions on grammar and clarity.

  • Funding Workshops at the Graduate Resource Center (GRC)*

Workshop topics for fall 2015 include:

  • September 28, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. - NSF GRFP Info Session
  • September 29, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Writing for the NSF GRFP: "Personal Statement, Relevant Background and Future Goals" 
  • September 30, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Writing for the NSF GRFP: "Graduate Research Essay"
  • October 1, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Advice from the Experts: NSF GRFP Faculty Reviewer Panel The Fellowship Application Experience
  • October 6, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - The Fellowship Application Experience
  • October 15, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - SPECIAL EVENT: Broader Impacts Fair
  • Graduate Division and GRC Resources:
    • Dr. Sandra Loughlin holds fellowship advising hours every week at the GRC. She is available to discuss application questions and provide feedback on fellowship applications. Schedule an appointment by calling 949-824-3849.
    • Dr. Celina Mojica will be available to discuss application questions and provide feedback on applications. Please email to schedule an appointment.
    • Writing Consultants at the GRC
      • Due to high demand, students are strongly encouraged to make an appointment by calling 949-824-3849.
    • Fellowship Application Samples: Students may view successful NSF GRFP applications at the GRC.

The GRC is located at 3100 Gateway Student Center.  Click here for a map and directions from Ring Road.

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