The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is intended to provide support for those at the beginning of their graduate career and individuals seeking to reenter graduate studies following an interruption of at least two consecutive years. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission. The GRFP provides up to three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. The GRFP supports over 100 sub disciplines, including social sciences and psychology as well as the hard sciences. For the 2019 competition, NSF received over 12,000 applications and made approximately 2,000 award offers.

The GRFP encourages applications from underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans, in order to broaden and diversify those participating in science and engineering.

General Eligibility

Please see the program website and the corresponding annual NSF GRFP Program Solicitation for specific eligibility requirements.

  • Class year: Graduating seniors and first-year and second-year graduate students
  • Citizenship: U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident

Other eligibility guidelines:

  • Candidates must intend to enroll or be enrolled full-time in a research-based graduate degree program in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education as outlined in the corresponding annual NSF GRFP Program Solicitation.

Application Process

All applicants must read the corresponding annual NSF GRFP Program Solicitation before starting a GRFP application. The Program Solicitation contains important information about application terms and conditions, eligibility requirements, application instructions, and the Merit Review Criteria. Candidates should also pay careful attention to the application preparation instructions in the FastLane application module.  

Application deadlines will be determined by the primary field of study listed on the Proposed Field of Study section of the application. 

Learn More

Candidates are encouraged to consult with a faculty mentor or advisor in their field of study for assistance with preparing application materials. For additional information, contact the Fellowships and Scholarships Program at, or schedule a Fellowships & Scholarships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Sr. Assistant Director for Fellowships & Scholarships, through Handshake (login required). 

Davidson NSF GRFP Recipients

2019 - Akanksha Das, Kathryn, Greene, Linnea Ng, Phoebe Parrish, Erica Shook

2017 - Sarah Friedensen, James Harden

2016 - Catherine Doyle

2015 - Madeleine Kern, Clinton Smith

2014 - Damian Keith White, Justin Strickland, Eric Sawyer, Katherine Virginia Richeson (Honorable Mention), Pallavi Penumetcha (Honorable Mention), Marja (Beth) Mundy, Madeleine MacKenzie Kern (Honorable Mention), Mary Elizabeth Gearing (Honorable Mention), Kelvin Bates

2013 - Leland Taylor, Kathryn Tate Stevenson (Honorable Mention), Beth Mundy (Honorable Mention), Robin Fropf, Alexander Michael Kowaleski (Honorable Mention), Justin Godinho (Honorable Mention)

2012 - Alison Rauh, Nadia Brashier

2011 - Natasha Meyer, Evan Eskew, Kelli Carroll

2010 - Leigh Anne Harden

2008 - Will DeLoache

2006 - Barratt Park

2005 - Rachel Jakab, Nelon Kirkland

2004 - Rachel McCord, Susan Robison

2003 - Kristine G. Dattelbaum

2002 - John D. Wilson

1999 - William B. Bradshaw

1997 - Elena F. Berman

1984 - Lynmarie A. Posey

1977 - Thomas E. Cooper, Peyton J. Marshall, Thomas C. Pinckney

1974 - Albert S. Kyle

1972 - William H. Beckmann

1971 - Robert S. Harris, Thomas R. Opie

1970 - Joseph P. Hughes, Leon S. Newman

1968 - Michael L. May, Thomas E. Peddicord

1966 - Julian D. Ellett

1964 - Henry G. Edmunds