$37,000 per year for three years of graduate study in a STEM field at any university in the US.



Application Deadline

October 1, 2024 at 9:00 PM

All applicants are expected to use NSF's FastLane Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) process.



Duke Contact

NSF GRFP Coordinating Official

Quick facts

Academic Discipline

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

Eligibility: Citizenship

U.S. Citizen

When to Apply

Senior Year, Young Alumni

Campus Nomination Required?


Sponsoring Foundation Site



The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) aims to support the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States by funding graduate research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), social/behavioral/economic sciences, and STEM education.



The fellowship provides a stipend of $37,000 per year for three years, all of which must be taken in a period of five years. During the fellowship years, graduate institutions are required to exempt students from paying tuition and fees. A total of 2,500 fellowships are awarded each year. 


  1. Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
  2. Intend to enroll or be enrolled full-time in a research-based Master's or doctoral degree program in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education (See Appendix and Section IV.3 for eligible Fields of Study)
  3. Have completed no more than one academic year (according to institution's academic calendar) while enrolled in a graduate degree program
  4. Never previously accepted a Graduate Research Fellowship
  5. Declined any previously offered Graduate Research Fellowship by the acceptance deadline
  6. Never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program
  7. Never earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field
  8. Individuals holding joint Bachelor's-Master's degrees who did not progress directly to a doctoral program the semester following award of the joint degree must apply as returning graduate students (see below)
  9. Individuals with prior graduate enrollment who have: (i) completed more than one academic year in any graduate degree-granting program, (ii) earned a previous master's degree of any kind (including Bachelor's-Master's degree), or (iii) earned a professional degree must meet the following requirements:
    • not enrolled in a graduate degree program at application deadline
    • two or more consecutive years past graduate degree enrollment or completion at the application deadline
  1. Not be a current NSF employee

Selection Criteria

When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
  • Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

  • What is the potential for the proposed activity to:
    1. Advanced knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
    2. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
  • To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  • Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
  • How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
  • Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?