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TCNJ School of Science Support Program for Student Applicants to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

Fellowship Overview

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship provides a $34,000/yr stipend for 3 years, as well as internship opportunities, international exchange opportunities, greater choice of advisors, prestige, guaranteed support, and more time for research. The fellowship is awarded to an individual, so the award is flexible to carry to any institution.

  • Anticipated # of awards: 2,500
  • Funding rate: 2020 – 2,000 awards out of 13,000 applicants (15% funding rate)
  • Deadlines: October 18-22nd, 2021 (subject dependent)
  • Scholarships for research-based Master’s and PhD degrees
  • 2 chances to apply (senior year undergraduate students, once during 1st or 2nd year of graduate school)
  • Will not support MD/PhD, non-research based Master’s, or medical/professional degrees
  • Fellows have opportunities for outside internships, professional development, and international research funding support
  • Funds are also provided for tuition reimbursement to your institution (up to $12,000/yr)
  • Must be a US citizen, national, or permanent resident and accepted in a grad program by May 1, but no more than 12 months after acceptance, to receive award
  • Many fields of study are applicable

TCNJ School of Science Support Program – Fall 2021

Contact Dr. Jennifer Aleman ( with any questions about these events. All students are welcome but these events will be particularly useful for juniors and seniors. 

  • Application workshop – P117
    • Friday September 10, 12:30-1:30 PM
    • We will go over everything from eligibility, important application details to what reviewers are looking for in your personal statement and research statement.
    • If you cannot attend the workshop, please reach out to Dr. Aleman by email. Materials from the workshop can be shared with you.

Dr. Aleman is also available by appointment to review application materials or answer any general application questions. Please email her at

Deadlines (by 5 PM ET)

  • October 18, 2021 – Life Sciences
  • October 19, 2021 – Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning
  • October 21, 2021 – Engineering
  • October 22, 2021 – Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy
  • October 29, 2021 – all reference letters

Application components

A. application form

  • Personal information, education, and work experience
  • Transcripts (official or unofficial – no password protection, must be electronic files, must include fall semester, and must include the name of your institution)
  • Proposed study/graduate institution
  • Letter writer information
  • Application portal:

B. Graduate Research Plan statement (2 pages)

  • Present an original research topic that you would like to pursue in graduate school (not binding that you join this lab or actually carry out proposed research)
  • Describe the research, approach, resources needed, and literature cited
  • Can be an extension of research you performed with your undergraduate advisor (but must represent a new idea – not completed work or grant proposal)
  • Should read like a two-page research abstract
  • Should relate to your career goals
  • Must address Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts

C. Personal, relevant background, & future goals statement (3 pages)

  • Should show motivation and readiness to pursue advanced studies
  • Include steps taken to gain professional knowledge and skills
  • Highlight experience working independently and on teams
  • Discuss career goals
  • Must address Intellectual Merit and Broader impacts on society

D. At least 3 reference letters – deadline is October 29, 2021

  • Completed and submitted electronically by each reviewer separate from the student’s submitted application

More Information & Resources


Science Complex, P105
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628