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Get a grip on the National Science Foundation’s GRFP, GRIP, and GROW fellowships

Arizona State University is home to 49 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows. Of the 49 Fellows, 31 are on tenure, 18 are on reserve, 7 are new awardees, two are part of the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) program and one is a Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) recipient.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, also known as STEM. NSF Fellows typically become globally engaged knowledge experts and leaders who contribute significantly to research, education and innovations in science and engineering. According to NSF-GRFP, fellows are selected by a national competition from a pool of 12,000-16,000 applicants from across the United States and its territories. Success rates for NSF-GRFP applicants range from about 12.5%-16.5% over the last five years. The NSF-GRFP is a highly-sought-after and competitive award because of both the practical benefit and associated prestige of the award. Fellows receive three-years of funding within a five-year fellowship period in the form of an annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. GRFP stated alums include 40 Nobel laureates, Google co-founder Sergey Grin, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and many other notable leaders in STEM fields.

Fellows also have opportunities for additional funding and support from the NSF by applying to the GRIP and GROW programs (available only to current Fellows, on either tenure or reserve). 

The Graduate Research Internship Program provides professional development and funding to Fellows through internships developed in partnerships with federal agencies and national laboratories. “Through GRIP, Fellows participate in mission-related, collaborative research under the guidance of host research mentors at federal facilities and national laboratories. GRIP also provides an additional $5,000 to Fellows to cover travel and other costs associated with the GRIP internship project. Fellows must apply to receive the GRIP award — competing against other NSF-Graduate Research Fellows — and only 75 awards are made available each year. There will be an upcoming interview with a current ASU PhD student and NSF-GRIP recipient who’s using her GRIP award to research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Similar to GRIP (but on an international scale), the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide program provides Fellows with opportunities to engage in international collaborations with investigators in partner countries around the world. Through GROW, Fellows engage in international research with partners developed by the NSF, including counterpart funding organizations in other countries. These counterpart funding organizations may add additional funding, as did Universities Australia, (e.g., $1,500–$2,200 monthly) on top of the $5,000 award that the NSF provides. GROW offers funding for international stays of 2-12 months, with the duration varying by country and partner organization. The NSF is prepared to fund up to 400 GROW awards each year. Like GRIP, however, applicants will be competing against other NSF-Graduate Research Fellows to receive the award.

In addition to the benefits noted above, the Graduate College administers the NSF-GRFP for ASU awardees and provides additional tuition and fees support, health insurance and a $750 allowance per on-tenure year to further support research.

If you want to pursue the NSF-GRFP, contact Joshua Brooks at Joshua.D.Brooks@asu.edu.