Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked reference writer questions. Please click here for the full list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
If you have received your temporary password and are unable to log in to the NSF GRFP Reference Writer Module, do the following:
- Check your email address. Check to confirm you are trying to log in using the same email address entered for you by the applicant. The email address provided by the applicant can be found in the body of the email you received with your temporary password. An exact email address is crucial to matching the reference writer and the applicant in the NSF GRFP Application Module.
- Check the temporary password. Record the temporary password and type it into the module manually rather than copying and pasting.
- Ensure you are using the most recent temporary password received. Occasionally, a user will inadvertently select “Create A Password” multiple times. If this occurs, use the temporary password in the most recent email you received.
I did not receive the email nominating me to serve as a reference writer or the email containing my temporary password.
There are a few reasons that you may not have received the email nominating you as a reference writer. Please check following if this occurs:
- Confirm your email address with the applicant. Check to ensure that the email address the applicant entered for you is accurate. If there is a typo or if they need to change the email address, the applicant can edit the reference writer record in their application and have the nomination email resent to you. An exact email address is crucial to matching the reference writer and the applicant in the NSF GRFP Application Module.
- Check SPAM folders. Check your SPAM or trash folder to ensure that the email did not get sent to one of those folders inadvertently.
- Use an alternate email address. It is possible that your email domain is rejecting the email and not allowing delivery. In this case, provide an alternate email address to the applicant and they will be able to edit your reference writer record in their application and re-send the nomination email.
I was asked to provide letters for several applicants, but one is not showing up on my list of applicants. How can I submit the letter?
Reference letter requests are associated with the reference writer’s email address. If two applicants list different email addresses for the same reference writer, and the reference writer logs in to submit a letter using the email address listed by the first applicant, the second applicant will not show up on that reference writer’s list of applicants. In this case, you should repeat the first-time login process using the email address listed by the “missing” applicant.
The letter must be a PDF and adhere to the following requirements:
- Letter must be signed
- Use institutional or professional letterhead, if possible
- 2 page limit, standard 8.5″ x 11″ page size
- Times New Roman, 11-point font in the body of the letter
- Name and title of reference writer
- Department and institution or organization
Yes. Letters of reference are limited to a maximum of 2 pages in length. Please note that the GRFP Module will not accept letters that are longer than 2 pages.
No. All reference letters must be submitted online as a PDF through the NSF GRFP Module. If you need assistance with the reference letter submission process, please contact the NSF Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-673-6188.
All reference letters are due by the deadline published in the NSF GRFP Solicitation. There are no exceptions.