- Applicants must have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent by the August 31st prior to the program submission deadline.
- All post-baccalaureate, graduate-level study in an NSF-supported field counts toward the allowed twelve months of completed graduate study. This includes all Masters's and Ph.D. programs in these disciplines.
- Applicants who have completed part-time graduate study must have completed no more than twenty-four (24) semester hours or its equivalent by August 31st prior to the program submission deadline.
- Research-oriented work experience in an academic or similar environment that is closely related to the current or proposed program of graduate study may be considered as equivalent to graduate coursework for eligibility purposes. A combination of relevant work experience and coursework may render an applicant ineligible.
My friend who got this a few years ago was able to apply in her second year even though she started doing research the summer before, but she did significantly change her field after that summer research. I really haven't.
I wish I had realized sooner in the application process that I really need fellowship support to do my research because I can't be tied to teaching assistantships the entire time. I felt like I was so on top of my game, and I still got screwed. I really think that not getting the NSF GRF this year is going to add at least a year to my Ph.D. At least I can still apply for the EPA STAR and a Fulbright.
*sigh* I could keep whining about this but I have stuff to do.