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The National Science Foundation offers approximately 900 graduate fellowships each year, including additional awards for women in engineering and computer and information science. Fellowships provide three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees in science, mathematics and engineering supported by the NSF and are intended for students in the early stages of their graduate study. offering approximately 900 graduate fellowships each year, including awards for women in engineering study.
Eligibility and Qualifications
Fellowships are awarded for graduate study in fields supported by the NSF, including the mathematical, physical, biological, behavioral and social sciences; engineering; the history of science and the philosophy of science; and for research-based PhD degrees in science education. In most cases, an individual has three opportunities to apply: during the senior year of college, prior to or during the first year of graduate school, and at the beginning of the second year of graduate school.
application instructions. A list of supported fields of study is at the end of the document.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S.
Application Procedures and Selection Criteria
All applicants are required to use NSF’s FastLane Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) process. Applications consist of:
- Information Form
- Application Form
- Proposed Plan of Research Form
- Previous Research Experience Form
- Recommendations and transcripts
GRE general and subject tests are no longer required but still highly recommend. NSF will pay the subject test registration fee for those who so request. Be sure to check dates. Scores will be reported only for NSF, to applicants, and to applicants’ undergraduate institutions. The general test is optional.
Competitive NSF applications will have a highly-focused plan of research and study specific to an institution with strength in the appropriate sub-fields. Applicants should work with mentors at Penn and — ideally — consult with those they may work with at their proposed graduate program.
There is no internal Penn process for the NSF, but potential applicants are encouraged to let CURF know when applying and seek help during the application process.
Due to the Federal government shutdown, this opportunity is closed and the site is inaccessible for the duration.
Application materials should be submitted via FastLane by 5:00 p.m. in the applicant’s local time zone according to the following schedule (dependent on proposed field of study):
- October 29: Computer and Information Science Engineering
- October 29: Engineering
- October 29: Materials Research
- October 30: Chemistry
- October 30: Mathematical Sciences
- October 30: Physics and Astronomy
- November 3: Psychology
- November 3: Psychology
- November 3: STEM Education and Learning
- November 4: Geosciences
- November 4: Life Sciences
- November 6: All reference letters by 8pm
Dr. Wallace Genser
Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
The ARCH, 3601 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6224
Please call 215-746-6488 to schedule an appointment