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The NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program aims to develop scientific leaders. This year, nearly 25,000 people will apply—but only about 10% will win.  

To make your application stand out, you need a Roadmap to the Fellowship.

You’ll learn a storytelling approach that captures the reviewers’ attention.  

And you’ll get essay templates to produce a compelling document.

New applicants: follow the map to a highly competitive application in 6 weeks.

Repeat applicants: start from your previous application to complete the work in 10 days.

Along the way, you’ll learn:

  • How to select and describe events that show your motivation, preparation, and goals.
  • How to set those events into a memorable plot that demonstrates your intellectual merit.
  • How to demonstrate the broader impacts of your work.
  • How to make your document so easy to read that reviewers can’t miss the important details.
  • How to get dazzling letters of reference.

Five Blended Learning Modules

Each module starts with tip sheets and worksheets, along with two short videos to introduce principles. Then, there’s a live webinar where we demonstrate how to apply this to your application. Afterwards, you’ll download guides and worksheets, and do your homework.


Each step starts with two videos that introduce concepts; next, you’ll attend a live webinar that shows how to incorporate them into your application.  You’ll get worksheets and tip sheets to help, and we have weekly office hours for you to ask questions.



In this section we comment on some of the more minor aspects of the application process. Sometimes these small details make all the difference in whether you succeed or fail. If there are other topics you’d like us to address, let us know and we’ll blog about it.