Apply to NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who pursue full-time research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM Education. The GRFP provides three years of support ($37,000/year) over a five-year fellowship period for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. NSF actively encourages women, persons who are members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

This year (as announced in April 2023) NSF awarded 2,556 Graduate Research Fellowships. We anticipate the number that will be awarded in 2024 will be similar.

To apply for a GRF, one must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident who is enrolled or intends to enroll in a research-based STEM or STEM education graduate program. Once in graduate school, a graduate student is eligible to apply only once, in either their first or second year of graduate studies.

This year seven University of Nebraska–Lincoln students were awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship, the highest in at least seven years. We believe that with sufficient support, the number in 2024 can be even higher. Thus, UNL wants to make a major effort this year to mentor students applying for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Students should complete a brief Google Form at to let the GRFP team know they are interested and believe that they are eligible. Interested students will be contacted to discuss support as they prepare an application.

Questions about the NSF GRFP should be sent by email to

Professor Diana Pilson in the School of Biological Sciences will offer an eight-week seminar on how to apply this fall. Dr. Pilson recently completed a rotation at NSF in the Biological Sciences Directorate and had experience running GRFP panels. She will share her knowledge on how to have a competitive application. The mini course is open to any student interested in applying, regardless of major. For graduate students, this is a 1-credit seminar, BIOS 915, Sec. 001, that will meet from August 23 to October 11 on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Brace 105. For most graduate students, the tuition waiver that comes with their assistantship will cover the tuition cost of the seminar.

The survey offers an opportunity to say that they are interested in the seminar. While space is still available, we will send interested students a permission code to register for the seminar.

Eligibility requirements and more details can be found here.