The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) solicitation has been published and a new website launched (http://www.nsfgrfp.org/. Michigan Tech students have historically done well with a 20% success rate (national average) of being funded through the GRFP. With a goal of reaching 30% success rate, the Research Development Office will be sponsoring a series of workshops and seminars aimed at advising current or prospective Michigan Tech graduate students in developing competitive GRFP application packages.
NSF provides a stipend of $32,000 (potentially $34,000 for 2015) to the Fellow and a cost-of-education allowance of $12,000 to the graduate degree-granting institution for each Fellow utilizing the fellowship support in a fellowship year.
Please encourage faculty and advisors to forward me (firstname.lastname@example.org) names of your top students for our office to invite to participate in our NSF GRFP workshops/seminars. More specifically, our office will send out a special/individual invite letting students know they have been identified by a faculty/chair/dean (name inserted) as “a competitive candidate” for the NSF GRFP. The invite is often received as recognition in itself, as it should be. In the past, this type of invitation has given students the confidence and motivation to put the time and effort into applying. And of course, it is also a strategic move to maximize faculty and our office’s time in advising students most likely to succeed. In addition, NSF has made it clear that the practice of requiring all students to apply to the NSF GRFP for the purpose of gaining proposal development experience is not a practice the agency endorses or encourages.
Note students who already have internal University/department funding are strongly encouraged to apply. This in turn will free up internal funds for less competitive students.