GRFP Essay Insights: Application Resources for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
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Advice from GRFP Panel Reviewers

2013 Note: This page contains quotes from previous years' GRFP panel reviewers. Thus their "advice" may not be directly applicable to this year's changes. Like any other GRFP essay advice you may find on the web, read critically, consult your mentor, and only use suggestions that make sense to you based on this year's instructions.

Are Panel Members Allowed to Offer Advice?

NSF GRFP reviewers are not allowed to disclose their panel assignment or details about the review process. However, panel members are allowed to tell applicants, in general terms, what reviewers seek in a competitive application packet. Keep in mind that panel perceptions may vary by field of study. In other words, GRFP reviewers from the life sciences may differ from those in engineering or the social sciences. That said, based on my experience, and what others have said to me, I believe that panelists across disciplines share similar impressions about "what it takes" to have a highly GRFP competitive application.

General GRFP Essay Advice

Previous Research Experiences:

Research Topic:

Broader Impacts:

Tip for finding GRFP essay advice: Contact an experienced GRFP Resource Person ( to learn more about the program.

Thanks to all the current and former GRFP panelists who shared their impressions with me.

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Advice from Fellows

…once you finish the NSF GRFP application, your graduate apps will be a snap.

Adam Daily

'12 Fellow, Biomedical Engineering

University of Texas at Austin


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Updated September 4, 2013 | Site content and handouts created by Robin G. Walker, PhD
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