Preparing a Competitive Application for NSF's GRFP

About the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The NSF GRFP application period is now open! The NSF GRFP provides fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering. STEM graduate students in the following fields are eligible to apply: Life Sciences, Geosciences Social Sciences, Psychology, STEM Education and Learning Mathematical Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Engineering, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and Materials Research. The program provides three years of support for graduate study that is in a field within NSF's mission and that leads to a research-based doctoral degree. The NSF expects to award 2,000 graduate research fellowships under this program solicitation pending availability of funds.

The program goals are 1) to select, recognize, and financially support individuals early in their careers with the demonstrated potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers, and 2) to broaden participation in science and engineering of underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. To learn more about the NSF GRFP, visit https://www.nsfgrfp.org/.

Past Awardees have said that Winning the NSF GRFP . . .


- “bestowed me with flexibility in defining my research scope as I joined my advisor's lab.”
- “has been a tremendous support financially as a graduate student.”
- “jump-started my graduate student career, helping me define my research project and post-graduation career interests.”
- “gave me access to opportunities that otherwise might have been out-of-reach.”
- “gave me a small but sweet taste of scientific independence.”
- “allowed me to work with the PI that I wanted to work with.”
- “gave me the freedom to more thoroughly enjoy my research and even appreciate the challenges associated with it.”
- “gave me more of an appreciation for broader impacts in the scientific community.”


Summer 2017 GRFP Presentation and Workshop Series

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is offering a presentation and series of supplemental workshops on the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Additionally, graduate students can request a consultation with a current GRFP Fellow or a Graduate Fellowship Coach to receive feedback on their GRFP application (see below for more details). Please contact Dr. Kiri Kilpatrick at kiri.kilpatrick@rice.edu for questions regarding GRFP university-sponsored programs.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (Presentation)
Dr. Joff Silberg, BioSciences/SSPB and Dr. Kiri Kilpatrick, GPS
Date and Time: June 8, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Duncan Hall 1064 
This presentation will provide a high-level overview of the GRFP, review the new eligibility criteria for graduate students, and introduce resources at Rice to help students craft a competitive application.

NSF GRFP: From A Reviewer's Perspective 
Dr. Joff Silberg, BioSciences/SSPB and Dr. Kiri Kilpatrick, GPS
Date and Time: July 11, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Dell Butcher 180 
We will provide a brief overview of the NSF GRFP application and dive into what the selection committee is looking for in a GRFP applicant. We will evaluate past reviewers' comments for those that have previously applied for the NSF GRFP. 

Register for NSF GRFP Workshops at http://graduate.rice.edu/nsfgrfpworkshopsYou will be asked to log in with your Rice NetID.

*NSF GRFP workshops and consultation services are only open to Rice University students. 


GRFP Consultation Services

Graduate students can request a consultation with a current Rice GRFP Fellow or a Graduate Fellowship Coach to receive feedback on their GRFP application.  GRFP Mentors provide assistance with guideline interpretation, brainstorming, and creating an application strategy.  After working with a faculty member in your department to write a draft of your application, you can schedule an appointment to have your application reviewed by a Graduate Fellowship Coach.  Graduate Fellowship Coaches will provide specific feedback and direction on your application and revise advanced drafts.  Please contact Dr. Kiri Kilpatrick (kiri.kilpatrick@rice.edu) if you have questions or submit a request for a GRFP Mentor or a Graduate Fellowship Coach here.

GRFP Mentoring with Current Rice GRFP Fellows
Assistance with guideline interpretation, brainstorming, and general application strategy
Dates: July - October 20
Location: Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communication (CWOVC), Fondren Library 200 (GRFP Mentors will video conference as well)

Graduate Fellowship Coaching
Specific feedback and guidance on GRFP applications
Dates: June 12 - October 20
Location: Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communication (CWOVC), Fondren Library 200 (Graduate Fellowship Coaches will video conference as well)

To request a meeting with a GRFP Mentor or a Graduate Fellowship Coach, please fill out this form. You will be asked to log in with your Rice NetID.