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NSF 14-107

Dear Colleague Letter - NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program - Invitation for Reviewers

August 7, 2014

Dear Colleague,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers, and other professionals with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate education expertise, to serve as reviewers for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). GRFP supports fellowships in all STEM discipline areas including STEM education research. Service as a GRFP reviewer is an excellent opportunity for individuals to apply their research and career expertise to help identify future leaders in the fields of science and engineering. Reviewers gain experience that enhances their ability to mentor students on preparing GRFP applications and to write effective letters of recommendation.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is the country's oldest national fellowship program directly supporting graduate students in STEM fields. Since 1952, NSF has awarded more than 48,000 Graduate Research Fellowships. The GRFP has a long history of identifying fellowship recipients who have the potential to achieve high levels of success in their future STEM careers. The hallmark features of the program are: 1) the award of fellowships to individuals on the basis of merit and potential, and 2) the freedom and flexibility provided to Fellows to define their own research and choose the accredited U.S. graduate institution that they will attend.

NSF seeks diverse panels composed of outstanding researchers and educators from a wide range of institutions, geographic locations, and backgrounds. NSF is particularly interested in recruiting STEM faculty and graduate education experts to be GRFP reviewers from Minority-Serving Institutions and predominantly undergraduate institutions to increase awareness of and participation in the GRFP opportunity at these institutions.

NSF welcomes both new and returning panelists to evaluate the GRFP applications. The entire 2015 panel process will be conducted online, with no travel requirements.  Panelists will convene for a virtual orientation session (webinar) in late November, and will be granted access to an assigned pool of applications to read and submit written reviews online during the month of December. In January 2015, panels will convene by field of study online for two virtual panel sessions scheduled on two different days.

If you would like to be considered as a panelist for the GRFP panels, please go to to register in the panelist system before August 15 to be considered for the 2015 GRFP review.   If you have not served as a panelist for the GRFP before, you may create a new profile by clicking the “Create New Account” link. If you have registered as a GRFP panelist in the past, please update your profile by logging in using your email address and password. Once logged in, please upload a PDF copy of either your CV or your NSF BioSketch. Creating a panelist profile does not commit you to serving as a GRFP panelist. Based on anticipated needs, NSF will send formal invitations to potential registered panelists in our database in late September.

NSF relies heavily on the expertise of the research and education community in making fellowship recommendations. The success of the merit review system depends on the willingness of expert reviewers to give their time to the process.

Questions should be addressed to and additional information on the GRF program can be found at


Valerie Wilson,
Acting Division Director
Division of Graduate Education
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation