With the national interest so focused on developing talent in the STEM disciplines and the “hard” social sciences (e.g., economics, behavioral sciences), we have been tracking the number of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Grants awarded to universities during the last three years.
NSF graduate research grants are among the most prestigious and valuable awards given to outstanding students. They also indicate the quality of faculty and facilities and the degree of attention and mentoring that may be available to high-achieving undergraduate researchers.
“Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.
“NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.”
From our review, definite university leaders have emerged among both public and private institutions, foremost among them the University of California Berkeley, the overall leader by a large margin in the number of NSF grants during the past three years among all universities in the nation. Other public university leaders are UT Austin, Washington, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and Wisconsin.
Below is a listing of all universities, public and private, with at least 40 NSF research grant winners the past three years:
UC San Diego–59
North Carolina State–43
UC Santa Barbara–40