National Science Foundation – Graduate Research Fellowship Program (E)

Fellowship details

Application Status
application status icon
3 years of support
Citizenship Requirements
U.S. Citizen


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 three years of graduate support worth thousands of dollars.

Award Information

GRFP Fellows Receive the Following:

Eligibility Criteria

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

  • Are a U.S. citizen, U.S. 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
  • Did not previously apply to NSF GRFP as a graduate student*; 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 of the year they are applying. To be eligible, applicants must not have attended graduate school for two years prior to August 1 of the year applying. Applicants also cannot be entering a graduate program in the fall of the year they are applying to the NSF GRFP. A statement describing the extenuating circumstance is required in the application.

*Note: Beginning in the 2017 cycle, graduate students only have one opportunity to apply.

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


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

Kayleigh Anderson-Natale
Postdoctoral and Professional Development Manager


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. Some Schools and/or graduate programs provide resources to students applying for the NSF GRFP.

Graduate Division and GRC Resources:
  • Summer and Fall quarter workshops at the GRC.
  • Dr. Kayleigh Anderson-Natale 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 or email (
  • IDr. Celina Mojica is also 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 online.
  • Fellowship Application SamplesStudents 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.

Resources and Links

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