Beginning in 2017, graduate students will be allowed to apply only once for the GRFP. Currently, graduate students can apply in their first year and, if they don’t receive a fellowship, may apply again in their second year. Under the new rules, graduate students will be limited to applying only once, in either the first or second year of graduate work.
The new eligibility restriction will apply as soon as a student starts graduate school. NSF’s advice: “You will need to be strategic and consult with your graduate program advisors about the timing of your application to a GRFP competition.”
Eligibility will remain unchanged for undergraduates, bachelor’s degree holders without any graduate study or individuals who have had an interruption in graduate study of at least two consecutive years.