I have received both the NSF and another major fellowship (non-federal). Both stipends cover more than my departmental funding; do I get the sum of the stipends?

  • 7
    Probably not. You need to check the fine print on the fellowships and/or discuss with the contacts at each sponsor. Getting paid by two places for one position is generally frowned upon.
    – Jon Custer
    May 30, 2019 at 19:54
  • 5
    I don't know the answer to that, but I'd really want to have this question. May 30, 2019 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


First of all - congratulations!

To answer the question, the NSF provides specific advice on this question:

May I accept or be paid from a private Foundation Fellowship?

Supplementation to a Fellowship while on Tenure is at the discretion of the GRFP Institution. Fellows should check with their COs.

In practice, I've found that you can at times get funding to combine with the NSF, but it is often intentionally limited by your local institution/department. For instance sometimes you can get summer funding or a 0.25 FTE assignment even while receiving the NSF, but you may get administrative pushback, and they are loath (or simply will not) allow more than that.

You will generally have a higher likelihood of getting them to agree if you can take the funding at different times. The NSF GRFP for instance is for 5 years, but only 3 years includes funding. If you have a fellowship that provides 1-2 years of funding, you can take that first and then stay "on reserve" with the NSF - and most institutions will be somewhat unlikely to object to that. One institution I talked to offered a 1 year fellowship, and on asking them they replied that I could take the 1 year and then take the NSF funding in other years, but that I would not be permitted to take them both in the first year.

But ultimately, the NSF says that is up to your local institution, so you'll have to check with your department to see what they say.

For completeness, note that the NSF explicitly cannot be combined with other fellowships provided by the US government (they mention "DOE, EPA, NIH, NOAA, USDA, DHS, DOT, NASA, etc."), but as the OP mentioned non-Federal this should not apply to them.


First, congratulations! Second, first check the scheme notes for the fellowships. Usually they want you to have the money in some form, so it is useful to talk to them after you figure out what the scheme notes technically say and weave your proposal to them around those notes.

I held an NSF and an EPSRC fellowship at the same time. Instead of balancing it .5 FTE on one and .5 FTE on the other (which would count as a year on both of them), I alternated years on each one of them, which meant my fellowship lasted longer than it would have.

Talk to your university too to see what their preference is, but mainly find what is close to the scheme notes and propose something that works for you to everyone that seems fair. I doubt you'll be able to get "double paid," but potentially having a longer period of funding seems very plausible.

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