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John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis

NSF GSP: Background Information

NSF has identified improvement in graduate student preparedness for entering the workforce as one of its Agency Priority Goals. As part of this goal, supplemental funding is available in FY 2016 and FY 2017 to support science and engineering doctoral students so that they can acquire the knowledge, experience, and skills needed for highly productive careers, inside and outside of academia. This is a pilot program being offered in every NSF Directorate. For details, researchers should carefully read the Dear Colleague Letter which outlines the program. 

This new program parallels and is linked to the NSF GRIP program which was initiated in FY15. Students build collaborations with researchers at federal agencies, and apply for internships in much the same way. The key difference is that the GSP program is open to all PhD students who are supported by NSF grants. Internships are limited to U.S. citizens.

The Graduate Student Preparedness Opportunity is a two-year pilot program. It is expected to have an annual funding cycle with application deadline in the spring. It is important to note that applications are accepted at any time, and when funding is limited, it will be distributed to qualified grantees on a first-come basis. Please note that the information presented here is current at the time of publishing. See NSF for any program updates.

The GSP launched as a two-year pilot program in 2016.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) collaboration is designed to encourage, develop and facilitate collaborative professional development and research opportunities in the USGS under two NSF Graduate Internship Programs, GRIP and GSP. The GSP opportunity is open to PhD students across multiple NSF directorates who are working on NSF funded research.

The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information. Several internship opportunities involving USGS science, computational computing, and data management activities are available.


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