University of Iowa

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors to apply.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program application opens each year in late July or early August. Application deadlines typically fall in late October, but rising seniors and recent alumni who wish to work with the Director of Scholar Development on their GRFP applications are encouraged to reach out as soon as they are aware of their interest in the opportunity.

To access more information about the following topics, click on the links below:

Who should consider applying for the NSF GRFP as an undergraduate?

Any graduating senior or recent alum who is considering a career in basic science or social science research in the following fields and is motivated by:

  • their own deep curiosity for their subject matter, 
  • a legitimate interest in contributing to their discipline or field, and
  • an authentic investment in helping others understand and engage with the value and meaning of their work.

Still not sure if you are a good fit for the competition? Come talk with me before you decide!

Sidenote: The GRFP application process can kickstart inevitable conversations with your PI, professors, and other professionals who are currently working in your chosen field about schools, other fellowships, and letters of recommendation.  Getting into these discussions earlier can really help you and your community of support manage energy and time better heading into the crunch of the fall semester and winter deadline season.

Is there any reason why undergraduates who intend to pursue basic science or social science research as a career should NOT apply for the NSF GRFP?

No! Applying for the GRFP as a graduating senior or alum allows students:

  • to receive a "free" round of feedback from NSF reviewers that does not count change their ability to apply again in graduate school. 



Who UI Undergraduate Fellowships regularly works with current UIowa students and recent alumni on the NSF GRFP process.  Current graduate students are encouraged to work with the University of Iowa's Graduate Student Success Team.  To find more information about UI Grad Student Success and their NSF GRFP Fellowship Community, click here.  

Recent University of Iowa undergraduates* and alumni who have been recognized by the National Science Foundation with fellowships or honorable mentions:

  • Ashley Segura-Roman, 2019 Honorable Mention, Life Sciences - Biochemistry
  • Jorge Moreno, 2018 Fellow, Evolutionary Biology
  • Nathaniel Weger, 2018 Fellow, Industrial Engineering
  • Nicholas McCarty, 2018 Honorable Mention, Synthetic Biology
  • Mallory Tollefson, 2018 Fellow, Biomedical Engineering
  • Rae Corrigan, 2018 Fellow, Computational Chemistry
  • Jill Hauer, 2017 Fellow, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics
  • Lily Jane Doershuk, 2017 Fellow, 2016 Honorable Mention, Biological Anthropology
  • Kathryn Langenfeld, 2016 Fellow, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Ian Nessler, 2016 Fellow, Chemical Engineering
  • Jocelyn Todd, 2015 Fellow, Biomedical Engineering
  • Allyson Mayer, 2015 Fellow, 2014 Honorable Mention, Biochemistry
  • Katherine Hummels, 2015 Fellow, Microbiology
  • Suzannah Harris, 2015 Fellow (2014 alumnae)
  • Sarah Bannon, 2014 Fellow, Psychology
  • Jeffrey Moore, 2014 Fellow, Physics
  • Nicholas Rolston, 2014 Fellow, Physics, Mathematics
  • Jonathan Bachman, 2013 Fellow, Chemical Engineering
  • Kathleen White, 2013 Fellow, Biochemistry, Chemistry 
  • Meredith DeBoom, 2013 Fellow, Geography (2009 alumnae) 
  • Suzanne Carter Squires, 2012 Fellow, Mathematics, Physics
  • Colorado Reed, 2012 Fellow, Computer Science, Physics
  • Maria Drout, 2010 Fellow, Physics, Astronomy
  • James Ankrum, 2008 Fellow, Biomedical Engineering
  • Bill Liechty, 2007 Fellow, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
  • Evan Sengbusch, 2007 Fellow, Physics, Mathematics

If you or someone you know is missing from this list, please contact me at