To better reflect our mission and our practice, the National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC) has officially changed its name to
Graduate Fellowships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Diversity, or GFSD.
To assist in their recruitment, University Members may access the GFSD applicant database for a fee. See University FAQs.
Number of Awards:
Online applications open in late August and close around Dec. 1.
Initial support may be for two or three years, or for a full six years, depending on the employer-sponsor. If the initial support is for the shorter period, it may be extended up to six years at the discretion of the employer.
The charge to the employer for each student supported is $27,000 annually, of which $20,000 is the fellow's expense allowance and $7,000 is GFSD's fee to support its operations. The charge is subject to change at the discretion of the GFSD Board of Directors.
Fields of Study:
Though the fields supported can vary annually depending on employer needs, in general GFSD covers the following: Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Materials Science, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and their subdisciplines, and related engineering fields: Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Environmental, Mechanical.
Location or Type of Institution: Any participating GFSD University or College
Eligibility: GFSD welcomes applications from any qualified U.S. citizen who has the ability to pursue graduate work at an GFSD univresity associate. Applicants at any stage of their graduate program may apply, as long as they will be available to accept two summers of paid internship. Those who already possess a doctoral degree are ineligible.
Employers may nominate GFSD fellows directly, obviating the selection process. These fellows may enroll for either a Master's or a PhD degree.
Selection GFSD employers select fellows based the following factors, not in order:
Using these criteria, employers review the pool of applicants and advise GFSD of which students the employer wishes to support. GFSD then makes the award.
Applicants must be accepted at a participating GFSD-member university or college and progress through a full-time study program leading to a graduate degree in the physical sciences or related engineering fields. Fellows must complete one or two summer internships, as the sponsoring employer requires. To continue in good standing, fellows must submit a transcript annually as well as any forms and information that GFSD requests. Fellows must perform satisfactorily in their summer internship and during the academic year. A fellow who switches his or her field of study to one not of interest to the sponsoring employer will likely have support terminated.
National Security Agency (NSA): Requires Fellows to pass a background investigation.
Apply at the link on the home page.
Contact Tech Support at email@example.com if you have questions.
GFSD requires a minimum of three letters of recommendation from professors and employers familiar with your work in your discipline. If at all possible, at least one letter should be from someone who has observed or supervised your participation in research. Provide your recommendation forms to your recommenders as early as possible. We suggest you provide them with a narrative of what you accomplished in class or employment with accompanying grades, research results, etc.
Go to the GRE Web site or call (609) 771-7670. Request that your GRE scores be sent to GFSD at code R4417. Try your best to meet the online application deadline. Have your scores sent as soon as possible.
In addition to the required official GRE scores from ETS, we suggest that you email a copy of your score card to GFSD at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help to ensure that GFSD has your GRE scores when the review process begins.
You can prepare to complete the GFSD application by having at hand the following information and materials:
- Institutions of higher education from which you have received or will receive a degree:
Name of institution and address; dates attended, date graduated, major, overall GPA, GPA in major, and GPA Scale of Institution.
- Employment History
(Maximum of three professional positions):
Dates from and to, employer's name, employer's address, supervisor's name, supervisor's title, your title, reason for leaving, and a brief description of duties. Discuss any research projects in which you participated and your role.
- Professional or Technical References (minimum of three maximum of five):
Begin thinking of the professors and employers who will give you a recommendation. Discuss with them the importance of a good evaluation and ask whether they will write such an evaluation for you. Once you enter your recommenders in the application they will receive an email about how to enter their recommendation.
- Scholarships, honors and awards you have received: title, date, and from which organization
- Publications, presentations, poster sessions, etc., created or presented by you:
(use standard bibliography format)
- Research Experience:
Include on-campus research with a faculty member, summer research institutes, and other experiences outside of course work. Include a paragraph on each describing the nature of research, your role, and whether you presented or published. This is an especially important part of the application.
- Personal statement and professional goals:
Explain why you want to go to graduate school, what are your expectations regarding the GFSD and its mentoring support, what will be your graduate program, etc.
GFSD provides the applicant database to employer members and to university members. (A university may contact you even though you have not applied to that university. If you would rather not have your name made available to universities, let GFSD know and we will remove it from that database.)
Each employer identifies the students it wishes to select and support for a fellowship. The executive director of GFSD calls those students and sends an award letter giving a specified period within which the student must confirm acceptance of the offer or decline. GFSD provides a letter to graduate departments that the student can use to inform the university that he or she has been offered a fellowship. It is up to the university whether to admit and accept the student as a GFSD Fellow, knowing the university will be responsible for tuition and fees.
If a student receives and accepts an GFSD Fellowship, it is reserved for that student until the student receives acceptance from one of the participating universities as a GFSD Fellow. A student who receives another national fellowship offer should call GFSD to discuss and compare the two programs. The student may be able to accept both by deferring one. Next, the student should discuss the offers with the advisor and graduate department.
GFSD announces the end of the recruitment season as soon as it has filled available fellowship slots. This may not occur until mid-April or later.
Note: selection of fellows is made not by GFSD, but by an employer who uses criteria in addition to academic excellence; for example, the particular research specialty and the availability of funding. Thus students who are not selected for GFSD fellowship need not feel that their academic work or research potential have necessarily been judged to be inferior to those who are selected.