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News Release 12-136

NSF Graduate Research Fellows Invited to Take Part in Video Contest

NSF’s oldest program turns 60 this year, and current Fellows are challenged to embrace the future with video creations

GRFP video contest logo.

GRFP video contest logo.

July 18, 2012

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

What do U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt have in common? All received funding for their graduate education through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

GRFP has a long history of supporting outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.

Since 1952, NSF funded over 46,500 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than half a million applicants. More than 30 of them became Nobel laureates, and more than 440 became members of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, NSF Graduate Fellows have a higher Ph.D. completion rate than non-Fellows.

The program is very competitive, offering fellowships to 2,000 students annually in recent years from a pool of about 12,000 applicants.

"This is NSF's signature program," said Gisele Muller-Parker, program director for the GRFP. "These students have demonstrated their potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers. Their ideas and research contribute greatly to advancing science and engineering research and innovation across all disciplines within NSF. Many later credit the support they got through this program as a keystone to their careers as scientists and engineers."

In honor of the program's 60th anniversary, NSF invites Graduate Research Fellows to take part in a video contest titled: "Creating the Future." The contest challenges Fellows to create a short video, not to exceed 90 seconds, that communicates how their NSF-funded research will help shape the future--for themselves, their field or the world.

Submissions are due Sept. 14, and winners--selected by a distinguished panel of judges, as well as by citizens at large in a "People's Choice" category--will be announced in mid-November. Contest winners will be awarded cash prizes. Details on contest rules, eligibility and submission are provided on the GRFP Video Contest webpage.

Also see a NSF special report on the GRFP's 60th anniversary.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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