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National Science Foundation

university fellowships committee

To promote the progress of science in the United States, the National Science Foundation awards approximately 540 new three-year Graduate Fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for advanced training in the sciences. Sixty additional fellowships will be awarded in the minority Graduate Fellowship program. Minority candidates are defined by the NSF as Native Americans, Alaskan Natives (Eskimo or Aleut), Black Americans, Mexican American/Chicanos, or Puerto Ricans. Approximately 1,000 Fellows will be supported on continuations of Graduate Fellowships previously awarded. A stipend of approximately $1,200 per month is awarded, plus $8,600 toward tuition and fees. In addition, a limited allowance for travel is available.

NSF Graduate Fellowships are awarded for study leading to Master's or Doctoral degrees in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, and social sciences; and the history and philosophy of science. Awards are not made in clinical, education, or business fields, in history or social work, for work leading to medical, dental, law, or public health degrees, nor for study in joint science-professional degree programs. Awards are made, however, to those pursuing Master's or Doctoral degrees in public affairs.

New fellowships will be awarded for periods of three years, with the second and third years to be approved by the Foundation on certification by the fellowship institution of the student's satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree in science. Recipients of new three-year awards must begin fellowship studies no later than the beginning of the next Fall term, but may use the remaining two years of support within a four-year period following the first year. This flexibility will enable recipients to engage in other institutionally-approved activities that contribute to their training.

NSF Graduate Fellowships will support study at any nonprofit U.S. or nonprofit foreign institution of higher education. However, applicants planning to study outside the United States must state specifically the particular scientific benefits that would accrue from attendance at the proposed foreign institutions. Minority Graduate Fellowships will support study only in nonprofit institutions of higher learning within the United States. Those offered an award will be required to submit to the National Science Foundation appropriate evidence of admittance for study to a graduate degree program.

To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens, and either college seniors or graduate students who have not completed more than 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of graduate study.

Those interested should consult with the Boston College Campus Coordinator for the NSF Fellowships, or they may consult with their faculty advisor or department chair. Selection is based upon all available evidence of ability, including academic records, four letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. Both the General aptitude and one advanced test of the GRE must be taken no later than December. NSF will pay the GRE test fees for applicants who register for the December test, provided the NSF application is the primary purpose for taking the exam.

The normal procedure is first to submit a short screening application, which is available from the BC Coordinator for the NSF and is due by November 1. After the NSF Fellowship office has decided the candidate is eligible, a full application form will be sent directly to the applicant. The deadline for submission of the regular application form is December 1. Note that minority candidates may apply in both programs, and that the programs have separate application forms.

Students interested in the NSF Fellowship should also look at the opportunities offered by the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship.

To get additional information about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and the application process before talking with the Campus Coordinator, consult the NSF Graduate Fellowship web site.