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National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships

Scholarship Website

Access the Interest Form Here

National Deadlines: Applications must be received by 5 p.m. CST

Full Proposal Deadline Date: October 19, 2020
Life Sciences

Full Proposal Deadline Date: October 20, 2020
Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning

Full Proposal Deadline Date: October 21, 2020

Full Proposal Deadline Date: October 22, 2020
Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy

The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding future and current graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose. The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship.

Review Criteria:

Applications are reviewed using the following two criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact 

An applicant's intellectual merit is documented by his/her involvement in research and scientific creativity. Examples include, participation in summer research programs, completion of a Senior Honors Thesis, and/or participation in research throughout the academic semester.

An applicant's broader impact is demonstrated by his/her involvement in STEM outreach/education activities and engagement with the scientific community. Examples include, presenting at UH's Undergraduate Research Day, presenting at a conference in your field, volunteering with STEM outreach organizations, and serving as a TA or tutor. Interested applicants are highly encouraged to participate in STEM outreach activities such as the CHAMPS Program or serving as a docent for the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Other Broader Impact Activities:
Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students
SACNAS Conference

Important Notes:
This scholarship does not require university nomination, but it is encouraged that you contact Dr. Ben Rayder should you have any questions regarding the application process for this award.

Eligible candidates should:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident.
  • Plan to pursue or be enrolled in a research-focused Master's or Ph.D. program in an NSF-supported field.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program at an accredited U.S. graduate institution by Fall of the application date.
  • Have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent) as of August of the application date.
  • Eligible fields include: Chemistry, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning Research.
  • The following programs and areas of study are not eligible:           
  • Practice-oriented, professional degree programs (MBA, MSW, MPH, ED, etc.)
  • Joint science-professional programs (MD/PhD, JD/PhD, etc.)
  • Business administration or management
  • Social work
  • Education (except research-focused STEM education programs)
  • History (except for history of science)     
  • Public health programs
  • Medical programs
  • Dental programs
  • Research with disease-related goals, including the etiology,
    diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental disease, abnormality or malfunction.        

Helpful Links:

Non-NSF website with information on applying and other useful resources.

To Apply:

  1. Read the application information available online at the scholarship’s website.
  2. Talk to professors and mentors about securing letters of recommendation.
  3. Schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Ben Rayder should you have any questions regarding the application process for this award.