The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF's mission of promoting the progress of science; advancing the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and securing the national defense. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. The ranks of NSF Fellows include individuals who have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering research and have become leaders in their chosen careers and Nobel laureates.

Click here to see past and present NSF Fellows from the IPN.

What is the National Science Foundation?

Per the NSF website: The NSF is the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. They are tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in areas from astronomy to geology to zoology. So, in addition to funding research in the traditional academic areas, the agency also supports "high-risk, high pay-off" ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but which the public will take for granted tomorrow. In every case, they ensure that research is fully integrated with education so that today's revolutionary work will also be training tomorrow's top scientists and engineers.

How does the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) work?

The GRFP provide 3 years of financial support (within 5 years of the receipt of the award) to awardees. The award is $32,000 (as of summer 2015, assuming the NSF budget is approved, $34,000) per year. It will cover a stipend (living expenses) and tuition for your second year coursework. Later, when you’re finished with courses, the funds previously allotted to pay for tuition will be split between paying for enrollment in thesis research and related costs. research supplies/travel/conferences.
For example, past IPN awardees have used their funds for new computers, travel to domestic and international conferences, registration fees for scientific organizations, etc.