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NSF 16-024

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) and Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP)

  1. What is the goal of the program?
  2. What are the benefits to NSF Graduate Fellows?
  3. Who are the NSF partners?
  4. Who are eligible?
  5. What degree programs are eligible?
  6. How many applications can be submitted per Fellow per year?
  7. What is the minimum and maximum duration?
  8. What is the level of funding provided to Fellow awardees?
  9. What does the GROW or GRIP allowance from NSF cover?
  10. If awarded, when is the funding dispersed?
  11. How many awards will be made each year?
  12. Do Graduate Fellows on tenure still receive their GRFP stipend when participating in the program?
  13. What are the application due dates?
  14. When are awards announced?
  15. Who reviews the application?
  16. What criteria does NSF use to evaluate applications?
  17. What criteria do the partner organizations/agencies use to evaluate applications?
  18. If awarded, when can I begin the collaboration?
  19. Are there additional application or requirements?
  20. By when must I complete the trip/internship?
  21. Must the research collaboration/internship occur in one trip, or can I participate in multiple trips/internship periods?
  22. What are the reporting requirements?
  23. Where can I find more information?

  1. What is the goal of the program?

    GROW: To provide professional development experiences to NSF Graduate Research Fellows through international research opportunities developed in partnership with counterpart agencies around the world. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a critical program in NSF's overall strategy to develop the globally-engaged workforce necessary to ensure the Nation's leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation.

    GRIP: To provide professional development experiences to NSF Graduate Research Fellows through research internships developed in partnership with Federal Agencies.

  2. What are the benefits to NSF Graduate Fellows?

    GROW: NSF Graduate Research Fellows engage in international research collaborations with investigators in partner countries, gaining an international experience that contributes to their preparation to enter a globally-engaged science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce.

    GRIP: NSF Graduate Research Fellows participate in mission-related, collaborative research under the guidance of host research mentors at U.S. federal facilities and national laboratories, developing expertise in STEM areas of national need and preparing for an array of career options.

  3. Who are the NSF partners?

    GROW: NSF counterpart international organizations and agencies.

    GRIP: U.S. Federal Agencies.

  4. Who are eligible?

    GROW: Active NSF Graduate Research Fellows (on tenure or reserve) who have completed at least one year of their graduate program at the time of application and will retain their active status for at least 12 months following the application submission deadline.

    GRIP: Active NSF Graduate Research Fellows (on tenure or reserve) who have completed at least one year of their graduate program at the time of application and will retain their active status for at least 12 months following the application submission deadline. For some internship opportunities, Fellows must also be able to pass background and/or security checks.

  5. What degree programs are eligible?

    GROW: MS and PhD

    GRIP: MS and PhD

  6. How many applications can be submitted per Fellow per year?
  7. GROW: Only one (1)

    GRIP: Maximum of one (1) application per partner agency and maximum of two (2) partner agencies for each submission deadline (2 submission deadlines per year).

  8. What is the minimum and maximum duration?

    GROW: 2-12 months (minimum duration varies by country)

    GRIP: 2-12 months

  9. What is the level of funding provided to Fellow awardees?

    GROW: $5,000 travel allowance from NSF plus in-country support provided by partner organization (amount and type varies by partner)

    GRIP: $5,000 internship allowance from NSF. Support provided by partner agency varies.

  10. What does the GROW or GRIP allowance from NSF cover?

    GROW: Travel and research costs associated with the international research collaboration. Allowable expenses include travel to host country and institution, visa applications, field permits, research supplies, excess luggage, travel and health insurance, and other travel-related costs.

    GRIP: Allowable expenses include, but are not limited to, travel to host site and agency, visa applications (if applicable), field permits, research supplies, excess luggage, travel and health insurance, per diem, and other travel-related costs.

  11. If awarded, when is the funding dispersed?

    GROW: Allowances are provided to successful applicants (via their GRFP institution) as part of the GRFP summer funding increment. In-country support from the partner organization is dispensed according to a schedule determined by the partner.

    GRIP: Allowances are provided to successful applicants (via their GRFP institution) as part of the GRFP summer or fall funding increments.

  12. How many awards will be made each year?

    GROW: Up to 400

    GRIP: Up to 75

  13. Do Graduate Fellows on tenure still receive their GRFP stipend when participating in the program?

    GROW: Yes

    GRIP: Yes

  14. What are the application due dates?

    GROW: One (1) deadline: December 4

    GRIP: Two (2) Deadlines: December 4 and May 6

  15. When are awards announced?

    GROW: April-May

    GRIP: Within 3 to 6 months from the submission deadline

  16. Who reviews the application?

    GROW: NSF and international partner(s)

    GRIP: NSF and federal agency partner(s)

  17. What criteria does NSF use to evaluate applications?

    GROW: NSF's Merit Review Criteria (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts) as well as GROW programmatic review criteria:

    • Potential for true intellectual collaboration with the international research partner, engaging the expertise, specialized skills and/or facilities of the collaborator, and
    • Potential opportunities for effective research and career development for the Graduate Research Fellow.

    GRIP: NSF's Merit Review Criteria (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts) as well as GRIP programmatic review criteria:

    • The potential opportunities for effective research collaboration;
    • The potential for effective professional development for the Fellow;
    • The potential for effective career development/opportunities;
    • Any agency-specific criteria (see proposed host agency website).
  18. What criteria do the partner organizations/agencies use to evaluate applications?

    GROW: Varies among partner organizations. See GROW website (https://www.nsf.gov/grow) for details.

    GRIP: See GRIP website (https://www.nsf.gov/grip) for details.

    • The Fellow's expertise and research interests fit within the scope of the Agency's mission and those of the specific projects proposed.
    • Potential match with Agency host researcher.
    • Any other partner agency specific criteria.
  19. If awarded, when can I begin the collaboration?

    GROW: After June 1 of the award year. Travel must be coordinated with partner organization and international host.

    GRIP: Because the review, selection, and placement process is anticipated to take six (6) months, Fellows are encouraged to submit according to the following timelines:

    Submission Deadline Anticipated Placement

    December 4 Summer of the award year

    May 6 Winter of the award year

  20. Are there additional application or requirements?

    GROW: Yes. Some partners may request additional documentation or application materials. Depending on the country and length of stay, additional travel documents (e.g., visas) may be required. GROW Fellows must comply with the terms of the Fly America Act.

    GRIP: Yes. NSF Graduate Research Fellows that are accepted for GRIP may have to pass a background investigation prior to the start of the internship. In some cases, the background check process may delay the estimated start date. Applicants are also required to develop and submit a professional development plan.

    GRIP Fellows must comply with the terms of the Fly America Act.

  21. By when must I complete the trip/internship?

    GROW: Travel must be completed by August 31 of the subsequent fellowship year or by the end of the Fellow's GRFP Fellowship Period, whichever comes first.

    GRIP: The NSF internship allowance is for use by the Fellow during the internship period identified in the application.

  22. Must the research collaboration/internship occur in one trip, or can I participate in multiple trips/internship periods?

    GROW: The travel allowance provided by NSF may be used to fund multiple trips to the partner country, subject to the approval of the Fellow's GRFP research advisor, institution, and international host, and partner agency.

    GRIP: The research internship supported by GRIP is expected to occur as a single, uninterrupted experience.

  23. What are the reporting requirements?

    GROW: GROW recipients are expected to submit an annual report that details the experience and accomplishments of the GROW collaboration. The report is submitted through the GRFP FastLane Module. GROW partner organizations may have their own reporting requirements as well.

    GRIP: GRIP recipients must submit an Internship Report that details the experience and accomplishments of the internship. The report is submitted through the GRFP FastLane Module. The sponsoring agency may have additional reporting requirements.

  24. Where can I find more information?

    GROW: https://www.nsf.gov/grow; Contact: GROW@nsf.gov

    GRIP: https://www.nsf.gov/grow; Contact: GRIP@nsf.gov