Carnegie Mellon University

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Seminars

The Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education will be hosting a series of seminars to help students understand, prepare for, and write for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship application process. Some materials will be provided below following the seminars.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Application Process

Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP): Program Solicitation


NSF GRFP Information Sessions

Dr. Susan Finger, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, Associate Dean of IDeATe
This presentation focuses on the overall Graduate Research Fellowship Program Application, covering all elements including but not limited to the general information, eligibility, summary of essay requirements, faculty recommendations and support for the submission of the application. 

Dr. Susan Finger - NSF GRFP Presentation [pdf]

GRFP Essay Prompts [pdf]
GRFP Recommendation Example [pdf]

GRFP Checklist [pdf]


Writing the GRFP Essays: Personal and Research Statements

The graduate research fellowship proposal (GRFP) requires two essays: (1) A personal, relevant background, and future goals statement, and (2) A research statement.  These essays have some unique requirements.  In this workshop, we will look at examples from more and less successful essays and discuss strategies and techniques that will help you create a competitive application.

The GRFP Personal Statement Peer Review Workshops

Students must have attended the "Writing the GRFP Essays: Personal and Research Statements" presentation on September 15, 2016 to be able to register for this workshop.

If you have a time conflict with the first requirement please contact Suzie Laurich-McIntyre, Ph.D. at

In this workshop, participants will bring in copies of their GRFP personal statement (including relevant background and future goals) to receive feedback.  We divide participants into groups consisting of three peers and one tutor from the Global Communication Center.  Each participant will receive specific advice and will have the opportunity to review peers’ drafts, which can lead to new insights and increased understanding of the personal statement genre.  To allow time for personal attention, these peer review sessions are limited to 24 participants.  Registration instructions for these sessions will be provided at the seminar on Writing the GRFP Essays.  These workshops are open to CMU students only.