Location: Bowdoin / Student Fellowships / National / new folder / National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program* - Student Fellowships and Research

Student Fellowships & Research

National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program* - Student Fellowships and Research

Initial Bowdoin Deadline: N/A
Campus Interview: N/A
Submission Deadlines by Discipline:
Interdisciplinary Fields of Study: November 02, 2009
Mathematical Sciences; Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering: November 04, 2009
Social Sciences; Psychology; Geosciences: November 05, 2009
Life Sciences: November 06, 2009
Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy: November 10, 2009
Engineering: November 12, 2009
Web site: www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=6201
Campus Contact: Cindy Stocks, Director of Student Fellowships and Research

*Information derived from www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=6201

The National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1.654 graduate fellowships, pending availability of funds. The Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees and is intended for students who are in the early stages of their graduate study. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) invests in graduate education for a cadre of diverse individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation.

Applicants may pursue graduate study at an institution in the United States or affiliate with a foreign institution. Prospective Fellows are responsible for all logistical arrangements required for affiliation with the foreign institution, including handling living arrangements and securing any necessary passports or visas.

The NSF expects to award 1654 Graduate Research Fellowships under this program solicitation. For each matriculated Fellow, the affiliated institution receives a $40,500 award per Fellow tenure year to cover the costs described below. Fellows Abroad receive direct NSF grant awards up to the same amount per year on tenure. The Graduate Research Fellowship stipend currently is $30,000 for a 12-month tenure period, prorated monthly at $2,500 for shorter periods as approved by NSF. The cost of education allowance currently is $10,500 per tenure year and is to be used by the affiliated institution to cover the costs of educating the Fellow. The affiliated institution is responsible for tuition and required fees in excess of the cost of education allowance. For Fellows Abroad, all tuition and assessed fees will be reimbursed to the Fellow up to a maximum of $10,500 per tenure year. In these cases, the Fellow is responsible for educational expenses beyond the GRFP cost of education allowance. Refer to the Information for Graduate Fellows document for restrictions on the use of the cost-of-education allowance. Fellows are allowed an additional one-time $1,000 International Research Travel Allowance upon submission of an approved travel request. The planned travel must involve a structured research or research dissemination activity approved by NSF. All awards will be for a maximum of three years usable over a five-year period. The anticipated award date is late March 2010.


  • Applicants must be United States citizens or nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States.
  • Applicants are expected to have adequate preparation to begin graduate study and research by summer or fall of the year following their application.
  • Individuals are typically eligible to apply during the senior year of college, after graduating from college and prior to entering graduate school, during the first year of graduate school, or prior to completing the first term of the second year of graduate school.
  • Applicants must have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent by the August 1st prior to the program submission deadline.
  • All post-baccalaureate, graduate-level study in any NSF-supported field counts toward the allowed twelve months of completed graduate study. This includes all Master’s and Ph.D. programs in these disciplines.
  • Applicants who have completed part-time graduate study must have completed no more than twenty-four (24) semester hours or its equivalent by August 31st prior to the program submission deadline.
  • Research-based work experience in an academic or similar environment that is closely related to the current or proposed program of graduate study may be considered as equivalent to graduate coursework for eligibility purposes. A combination of relevant work experience and coursework may render an applicant ineligible.
  • Applicants should be aware that the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs is involved with the campus review process.  Students with serious social or academic violations, such as those that are included as part of their permanent record at Bowdoin, are advised to consult with the Director of Student Fellowships and Research early in the process.  Students may also consult with their dean for guidance.

Materials for Final Consideration. There is no internal selection process through Bowdoin for NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program; however, applicants are encouraged to draw upon the resources of Bowdoin’s Office of Student Fellowships and Research. A complete application is submitted directly to the National Science Foundation and includes the following items:

  • Completed Official NSF Application submitted electronically using NSF’s FastLane Graduate Research Fellowship Program application module at http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/grfp/. Thus, applicants must first register as a FastLane user at that Web site. The FastLane Application Module includes the following:
    • Personal Profile
    • Education and Work Experience
    • Planned Graduate Program
    • Personal Statement
    • Previous Research Experience
    • Proposed Plan of Research
  • Three Reference Letters, submitted electronically using NSF’s FastLane Reference Letter submission
  • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Test Scores (optional)
  • Official Academic Transcripts (must be submitted in hard copy to the GRF Operations Center and received by field of study deadline)

Please note that applicants are responsible for all photocopying needed for the internal selection process and as required by the foundation.

Gabriela Serrato MarksGabriela Serrato Marks '15

As an Earth and oceanographic science major, Gabi blends her love for the ocean with her desire to pursue research and science. She completed an Honors project at Bowdoin with Prof. Michèle LaVigne on deep sea corals and carbon export. Her NSF Fellowship will support her at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MIT-WHOI) joint program in Oceanography as she works toward a PhD in Marine Geology.

Van Nhat Tra

Van Nhat Tra '13

A 2013 graduate who majored in biohemistry and chemistry, Van won this prestigious grant to contribute to her PhD program at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she is working in organic synthesis and chemical biology.

For a comprehensive list of Bowdoin fellowship winners, click here.