NPSC provides the applicant database to employer members and to university members. (A university may contact you even though you have not applied to that university. If you would rather not have your name made available to universities, let NPSC know and we will remove it from that database.)
NPSC employers let NPSC know which students it wishes to select and support for a fellowship. The executive director of NPSC calls those students and sends an award letter giving a specified period within which the student must confirm acceptance of the offer or decline. NPSC provides a letter to graduate departments that the student can use to inform the university that he or she has been offered an NPSC fellowship. It is up to the university whether to admit and accept the student as an NPSC Fellow, knowing the university will be responsible for tuition and fees.
If a student receives and accepts an NPSC Fellowship, it is reserved for that student until the student receives acceptance from one of the NPSC participating universities as an NPSC Fellow. A student who receives another national fellowship offer should call NPSC to discuss and compare the two programs. The student may be able to accept both by deferring one. Next, the student should discuss the offers with the advisor and graduate department.
NPSC announces the end of the recruitment season as soon as it has filled available fellowship slots. This may not occur until mid-April or later.
Note: selection of fellows is made not by NPSC, but by an employer who uses criteria in addition to academic excellence; for example, the particular research specialty and the availability of funding. Thus students who are not selected for an NPSC fellowship need not feel that their academic work or research potential have necessarily been judged to be inferior to those who are selected.