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Jennifer Wang

Department of Psychology

University of Wisconsin

341A Graff Main Hall

La Crosse, WI 54601

NSF Graduate Fellowship Advice (Last Updated: 9/19/2012)

This page is meant to be a resource for students applying for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). I received the NSF Fellowship in 2008 and an Honorable Mention in 2007.

Email me if you know of other sites that could be included!

General Advice and Information

NSF GRFP Homepage. The official homepage for rules and eligibility of the NSF fellowship. Also includes helpful tips.

Daniel Boye, Shila Garg, and Gerald Golden's (Davidson) The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship: A Missed Opportunity for Many. Older yet still useful general information.

Cornell University Astronomy's Fellowships and Funding Page. Superb advice and useful checklist.

Evan M. Harrell and Michael Lacey's (Georgia Tech) How to Win a Fellowship for Graduate Study in Mathematics. Advice from mathematics chairs.

Johns Hopkins University Guide to Applying for the NSF Predoctoral Fellowship. Very thorough guide that includes resources like links to review sheets.

Ohio State University Tips for Linguistics Students on Writing a Grant Proposal. Geared towards the general grant proposal process but makes references to the NSF fellowship.

University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) Graduate Division's NSF Spreadsheet. Quick reference list comparing the NSF to the Jacob K. Javits and Ford Foundation Fellowships.

University of Missouri Graduate School's National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. A must-visit; includes a helpful task checklist and detailed essay guides.

Yale Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program's NSF Application Guidebook. General tips.

Advice from Past Award and HM Recipients

Keith Jacks Gamble's Advice for Applicants to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Getting the NSF Fellowship the second time around is really possible!

Michael Kiparsky's (Chronicle Careers) How to Win a Graduate Fellowship. Great big picture advice.

Neha's How to Apply for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Geared towards computer science; very sound advice for all disciplines.

Philip Guo's Advice for Applying for Graduate Fellowships. One of the most helpful sites I've found detailing the graduate fellowship process. Personal yet informative, also offers advice on the NDSEG and Hertz Fellowships.

Alex Lang's NSF Fellowship Advice Well organized site featuring example essays.

Rachel C. Smith's National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Page. Includes actual example essays and ratings.

Jean Yang's CS Grad School Part 3: Fellowships. Includes winning NSF essays.


Grad Cafe NSF GRFP. Lots of chit chat, panic, and speculation but interesting (and very entertaining) to read other student's experiences and perspectives. Recommended graduate admissions community. Check out the 2008-09 and 2007-08 threads as well.

MetaFiller: Advice for the NSF GRFP? I definitely agree with the post about being as specific and clear as possible in the proposal.


Katie E. Wharton's Advice for Graduate Students - Paying taxes on your fellowship. Fellowship taxes are confusing. This is a helpful starting point; make sure you also talk to other people as well.

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