National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRF)

Upcoming events:

Date/TimeGRF@MU EventDescriptionRegister
April 9
1–2:30 p.m.
Office of Global & National Fellowships Student Panel for Show Me Research WeekHear from undergraduate and graduate students who have applied for and received the NSF GRFP and other research fellowships.MU Engage
April 18
3–4 p.m.
 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Information Session (Online Event)Learn about applying for the 2024-25 NSF GRFP, GRF@MU workshops and other campus resources.MU Engage
Wednesday, April 24
3–4 p.m.
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) 2024-25 Launch EventMeet the MU GRF Coaching Team and learn about applying for the 2024-25 NSF GRFP while enjoying light refreshments and snacks.MU Engage


GRFP Summer BootcampThis 4-week virtual workshop series will give students a strong start to developing a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRF) application. The program will guide students to write the first draft of their NSF GRF application by mid-July with support from the MU GRF Coaching Team, a partnership of Global & National Fellowships, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the Graduate School. Participants will also learn helpful strategies for developing their NSF GRF application in consultation with their faculty research advisor(s).MS Forms Survey

9 – 20
GRFP Sprint WorkshopWorking with the MU GRF Coaches from Global & National Fellowships, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the Graduate School, students will go from blank pages to full application drafts in two weeks. The in-person workshop is held evenings, M-F. The overlap between a GRF application and a graduate school application is significant. Think of the Sprint as a prep course for anyone applying to graduate school in an NSF field. The GRFP Sprint includes access to an asynchronous Canvas course.Registration


The National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of research and innovation in the United States by offering approximately 2,000 graduate fellowships in biological science, technology, engineering, mathematics, physical science, earth science and social science. 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 at the early stages of their graduate study.


Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents near the beginning of their graduate studies. Applicants may apply in their senior year of undergraduate studies or in their first or second year of graduate school. GRFP-supported fields of study include Chemistry, Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning Research.

For detailed eligibility information, check the NSF GRFP website and consult with our office.

What They Are Looking For

Demonstrating potential for significant research contributions looks different for each applicant given the many fields and sub-fields of study NSF GRF recipients pursue. NSF GRFP recipients show their capacity for research excellence and meeting the grant selection criteria through:

  • Collecting a variety of undergraduate research experiences and discussing how each of those experiences has provided transferable skills that qualify them for graduate study.
  • Consulting with a mentor (or mentors) to develop sound methods and methodology for investigating a research question or hypothesis.
  • Communicating how they have improved the public’s understanding of science, engaged people from diverse backgrounds in science education, or possibly directly benefited society in some way through their research.
  • Articulating how they plan to advance knowledge within and beyond their academic discipline in graduate study and throughout their careers.

Application and Selection Timeline

April: Attend GRF information sessions hosted by Global and National Fellowships, Office of Undergraduate Research and the Graduate School

April: Register for the GRF summer bootcamp

June: Attend summer bootcamp and create first drafts of your application

July onward: Revise your application materials

Early August: Application opens

Late October: Application closes (deadlines vary by academic discipline)

Late March/early April: Awards announced

Early May: Fellows accept or decline awards