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Are you a U.S citizen, national or a permanent resident seeking to pursue a research based masters of doctoral degree in STEM but lack funds ? Then, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) is the right scholarship to apply for. In this article we will provide with everything you need to know about the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). Lets get into it.
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) is a prestigious program that provides funding to graduate students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program provides financial support for three years, including an annual stipend of $34,000 and an allowance of $12,000 for tuition and fees.
The NSF GRFP aims to support and encourage diversity and innovation in STEM fields by providing funding to graduate students who have demonstrated the potential to become leaders in their fields. The program is open to U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents who are in their first or second year of graduate study or are planning to begin graduate study in the upcoming academic year.
The NSF GRF Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible, an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria by the application deadline:
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
- Intend to enroll or be enrolled in a research-based master’s or doctoral degree program in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education
- Have never previously accepted a Graduate Research Fellowship
- If previously offered a Graduate Research Fellowship, have declined by the acceptance deadline
- Have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program
- Have never earned a doctoral or terminal degree in any field
- Have never earned a master’s or professional degree in any field, or completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program, unless (i) returning to graduate study after an interruption of two or more consecutive years immediately preceding the application deadline, and; (ii) not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the application deadline
- Not be a current NSF employee
To self certify that you are eligible for the NSF GRFP, you can take the Eligibility Questionnaire.
Also, All applicants are expected to read the NSF GRF Program Solicitation and understand the eligibility guidelines.
Master’s or professional degree holders in any subject who have also finished more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting programme, with the exception of those who hold a combination Master’s-degree, Bachelor’s must satisfy both of the following requirements:
- Two or more consecutive years between most recent graduate study and application deadline; AND
- Not enrolled in a graduate degree program at the application deadline
The NSF GRFP Application Requirement
To apply for the NSF GRFP, applicants must submit a research proposal, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. The research proposal should demonstrate the applicant’s knowledge of their chosen field and outline a research project that is innovative, impactful, and feasible. The personal statement should highlight the applicant’s personal and academic background, their career goals, and their commitment to diversity and outreach.
For detailed information on the Application requirement, check out the Application Resource page of the NSF GRFP platform.
The two merit review standards established by NSF—Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts—are used to assess each GRFP application.
Applicants are examined by scientists, engineers, and other professionals with expertise in graduate education from many disciplinary and multidisciplinary fields. The programme officers in charge of controlling the review procedure choose the reviewers. It is carefully monitored to make sure reviewers are not at odds with the candidates. Applications are evaluated across a wide range of related fields according to the chosen major field of study.
The Merit View Criteria provides details of the application NSF GRFP.
Receiving an NSF GRFP award is a noteworthy accomplishment that may lead to other funding possibilities, research partnerships, and career opportunities. Even those who do not win an award, nevertheless, can still gain from the application process since it offers a chance to hone research concepts, expand professional contacts, and get input from subject matter authorities.
The NSF GRFP offers a variety of professional development options in addition to financial assistance, including access to national conferences and workshops, social gatherings, and mentorship programmes. Additionally, the programme gives fellows the tools and encouragement they need to take part in outreach initiatives including science outreach and community involvement.
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Frequently Asked Questions on National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)
When may I submit an application for the NSF GRFP?
You can apply as an early graduate student or before you start your graduate programme. There are limitations on your ability to apply if you have spent more than a year in a graduate degree programme. To be sure you’re eligible, review the NSF GRFP Solicitation’s Comprehensive Eligibility Criteria.
How do the eligibility rules apply to joint bachelors masters degree programme?
Individuals pursuing a master’s degree simultaneously with the bachelor’s degree (joint bachelor’s-master’s degree) are considered to be graduate students and are limited to one application to NSF GRFP. These individuals can apply either while enrolled in the joint degree program OR as first-year doctoral students shortly after completion of the joint degree (see additional information below). All applicants in joint bachelor’s-master’s degree programs must have completed three years in the joint program as of the application deadline.
I have completed more than one year of graduate year. Are there any conditions under which I might qualify?
Possibly. Individuals who have completed more than one academic year in a degree-granting program, who have earned a previous master’s degree of any kind (including bachelor’s-master’s degree), or who have earned a professional degree (e.g., law, medicine), are eligible only if they have had a continuous interruption in graduate study of at least two consecutive years immediately prior to the application deadline, and are not enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program at the application deadline. This means that you cannot already be enrolled in graduate school at the time of the application deadline. You must address the reasons for the interruption in graduate study in your Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement. See the NSF GRF Program Solicitation for detailed eligibility requirements.
Overall, the NSF GRFP is a highly competitive and prestigious program that provides funding and support to graduate students pursuing research-based degrees in STEM fields. The program seeks to promote diversity and innovation in STEM fields and provides a range of professional development opportunities for awardees. Applying to the program is a valuable experience that can benefit graduate students in a variety of ways, regardless of the outcome.