The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is the country’s oldest fellowship program that directly supports graduate students in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. In March 1951, Alan T. Waterman , the chief scientist at the Office of Naval Research, was appointed by President Truman to become the first Director of the National Science Foundation. Waterman defined the Foundation’s policy role as “one of advocating a research support program, improving government-university relations, and compiling reliable information on scientific research and manpower.” In 1951, Congress appropriated only $151,000 for the agency to start administrative operations. Very early on, the Foundation created the Division of Graduate Education (DGE) to be responsible for fellowships and scholarships for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. The GRFP was established early in the foundation's history, to encourage the best basic research and ensure a comprehensive research program.
Present an original research topic that you would like to pursue in graduate school. Describe the research idea, your general approach, as well as any unique resources that may be needed for accomplishing the research goal (. access to national facilities or collections, collaborations, overseas work, etc). You may choose to include important literature citations. Address the potential of the research to advance knowledge and understanding within science as well as the potential for broader impacts on society. The research discussed must be in a field listed in the Solicitation (Section X, Fields of Study).