NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

For current Fellows: The NSF GRFP grant number is: DGE-2139841

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program GRFP provides three years of support (over a five-year period) to students in STEM fields. Applicants apply for this award independently. They are not required to notify Yale or go through any internal application process. However, in addition to any support offered by their adviser or department, applicants are encouraged to contact the Graduate Writing Lab for help with the essays.


  • Limited to students in their first or second year of graduate school (all years of graduate study, not just the current graduate program, are considered). 
  • No student with a master’s degree is eligible to apply, so students who decide to apply in their second year of graduate school need to make sure they do not receive a Yale master’s degree en route after their first year of study. 
  • Students may only apply once (in either their first or second year) once they start graduate school.
  • Students who received a joint BA/MA or BS/MS as an undergraduate are eligible to apply in the first year of graduate school only if they moved directly from the combined program to their current graduate program, and only if they did not previously apply as an undergraduate. 

In preparing an application for the GRFP, applicants are asked to remember that this is an award that focuses on the promise of the applicant to do transformative work in the future, to diversify the STEM workforce, and to promote STEM education. The project proposed by the applicant is a critical piece of the application, but no less important are the qualities and experiences of the applicant that speak to these outcomes. Applicants are not required to carry out the project proposed in the application, but should propose a project that could reasonably be done in their lab and with the adviser that they have chosen to work with.

All applicants are urged to carefully review the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact criteria that are used by the NSF to evaluate all NSF grant applications, and to review GRFP guidelines specifically to see how these criteria are applied to GRFP applications.

Contact us

Applicants with questions about the fellowship can contact Associate Dean Robert Harper-Mangels.