NSF welcomes both new and returning reviewers each year during the annual GRFP review panel meeting, to evaluate the current competition's applications. GRFP applications are reviewed by disciplinary panels composed of disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers and other professional graduate education experts, who read a selection of applications in their discipline(s) and evaluate them based on the Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, as described in the 2020 GRFP Program Solicitation. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with oversight of the review process.

NSF seeks diverse panels composed of outstanding researchers from a wide range of institutions, geographic locations, and backgrounds.


GRFP Reviewers include:

  • Faculty who work with undergraduate and graduate students
  • Individuals who conduct research in NSF-supported fields
  • Individuals who are able to review interdisciplinary research plans


Panel Process and Overview

The 2020 panel process will be conducted online, with no travel requirements. Reviewers will convene for an orientation session (webinar) in November or December, and will be granted access to an assigned pool of applications to read and review online for a period of several weeks, starting in December. In January, panels will convene online for one virtual panel session.


Flat Rate Fee

NSF will provide a flat rate fee for participation in the virtual panel sessions. Reviewers who are Federal employees, citizens of foreign countries who are not permanent residents, and special visa holders are not entitled to the flat rate payment.


Reviewer Timeline

  • October/November: Invitations issued to reviewers
  • November/December: Online orientation webinars held for all reviewers
  • December: Applications made available for review
  • January: Virtual panel sessions convene


Reviewer Registration

To register to be a potential reviewer, please visit


Contact Information

If you have questions about serving as a reviewer for the NSF GRFP please contact us at or 1-866-673-4737.


Fellow Laura McMullen from Oregon State University samples benthic invertebrates in the Big Sandy River in Arizona.

Fellow Laura McMullen from Oregon State University samples benthic invertebrates in the Big Sandy River in Arizona. This is part of a project to examine the effects of prescribed floods on invertebrate population and community dynamics in an arid-land river.