The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers fellowships to students in their early stages of pursuing a research based Master's or Ph.D. degree. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) it 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:

  • Three years of support
    • $32,000 annual stipend
    • $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to institution
  • Supercomputer access


 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 (mid- November); and
  • Are pursuing a research-based master's or doctoral degree in the 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.

NEW TO 2014 NSF GRFP: 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 November 2013.  To be eligible, applicants must not have attended graduate school for two years prior to August 1, 2013.  A statement describing the extenuarting 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:

Michelle Lee
Graduate Extramural Support Director

Resources at UC Irvine

Take advantage of the various on-campus resources to assist 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 tutors 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 2013 include:

  • October 8, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. - NSF GRFP Info Session
  • October 9, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Writing for the NSF GRFP: "Personal Statement, Relevant Background and Future Goals" 
  • October 10, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Writing for the NSF GRFP: "Graduate Research Essay"
  • October 14, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - The Fellowship Application Experience
  • October 15, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Advice from the Experts: NSF GRFP Faculty Reviewer Panel
  • October 17, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - SPECIAL EVENT: Broader Impacts Fair
  • Writing Tutors 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.
  • Faculty NSF GRFP Workshops - Monday, October 7 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. at the GRC
  • Faculty are encouraged to attend the Faculty NSF GRFP Workshop
  • Presentation occurs during fall quarter, and is repeated in the spring.
  • Presentation topics include:
    • Overview of the GRFP
    • Best Practices
    • Broader Impacts Discussion
    • Faculty Reviewer Tips

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

Important Links & Resources