Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity

Website: GFSD


Formerly known as the National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC), was founded in 1989 “To increase the number of American citizens with graduate degrees in STEM fields, emphasizing recruitment of a diverse applicant pool.” Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity (GFSD) is a partnership between federal agencies & laboratories, industry, and higher education institutions.

Graduate Stipend

All GFSD Fellows receive $20,000 in funding to go toward their graduate stipend. Fellowships are renewable annually in discussion with partner agencies and fellowships are typically offered to 3-6 years. (subjected to change)

All GFSD fellow are given an opportunity to participate in paid summer internships at federal agencies or companies. Some agencies require fellows to intern multiple years. Some agencies require security clearance. (Please email if you have any questions.)

GFSD team is available any time if you need support in your graduate education or in your internships. GFSD also has a strong network of current and past fellows who would love to support.


Eligibility: GFSD welcomes applications from any qualified U.S. citizen who has the ability to pursue graduate work at a GFSD university partners. 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.

Selection Process: GFSD employers select fellows based the following factors, not in order:

  • Whether the applicant’s field of study matches the employer’s needs
  • Undergraduate and graduate coursework and grades
  • Research experience at a university or in industry
  • Letters of recommendation from professors and employers. These can be decisive. The most effective letters are from persons who have supervised or observed the applicant’s participation in research.
  • The GRE General tests are required; the Subject test is suggested and may be required by your university.

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.


Student Type
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen

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.
Service Agreement

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 if interested in doing summer internships. 

Contact Information

Contact Tech Support at if you have any questions.