PURPOSE: The National Science Foundation (NSF) aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, mathematics, and engineering in the United States and to reinforce its diversity. NSF awards three-year Graduate Research Fellowships for doctoral candidates in these fields.

Additional awards are also offered for Women in Engineering (WENG) and Women in Computer and Information Science (WICS). (See "Other NSF Opportunities" below.)


  • Chemistry
    Computer and Information Science and Engineering
    Life Sciences
    Materials Research
    Mathematical Sciences
    Physics and Astronomy
    Social Sciences
    STEM Education and Learning

ELIGIBILITY: NSF Graduate Fellowships are open only to individuals who are at the time of application, citizens or nationals of the United States or permanent resident aliens of the United States.

NSF Graduate Fellowships: Fellowships are intended for individuals in the early stages of their graduate study. In most cases, an individual has three opportunities to apply: during the senior year of college, the first year of graduate school, and the beginning of the second year of graduate school.


Evaluation of applicants is based on all available evidence of ability, including academic records, recommendations regarding each applicant's qualifications, and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores.

CONDITIONS OF APPOINTMENT: Fellows are required to engage in full-time in programs leading to graduate degrees in disciplines supported by NSF. Such programs may include a reasonable amount of teaching or similar activities as, in the institution's opinion, contribute to the Fellow's academic progress. Recipients of new, three-year awards must complete fellowship tenure beginning of the 2013 fall term. With prior Foundation approval, a Fellow may reserve any two years over the five-year period to use an alternative means of support or to engage in activities other than graduate study.


  1. $30,000
  2. Cost-of-education allowance of $12,000 per tenure year to include tuition and fees


  • November 13, 2012: Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering; Materials Research
    November 14, 2012: Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy
    November 16, 2012: Social Sciences; Psychology; STEM Education and Learning
    November 19, 2012: Life Sciences; Geosciences

Other NSF opportunities: Eligibility for the Women in Engineering (WENG) and Women in Computer and Information Science (WICS) awards is limited to women who intend to pursue graduate degrees in one of the fields listed under the headings "Engineering" or "Computer and Information Science and Engineering" in the "Fields of Specialization List" of the NSF program announcement. Aside from this field restriction, other eligibility criteria are the same as for applicants in other fields.

Using the World Wide Web, individuals may submit an application electronically using NSF's Fastlane.

Via the NSF Home Pages, individuals can obtain detailed information on the NSF Fellowship Programs and pull up the application forms in printable blank forms.