I am a masters student and will get my degree this December having spent 1 summer, 2 spring, and 3 fall semesters to get it. I switched from non-thesis to thesis late in this process which is why I am making up for lost time in the lab and taking so long.
My question is related to my search for PhD funding. Many fellowships I come across (the NSF GRFP for example) require no more than 1 year of graduate studies completed at the time of application, despite offering ~4 years of funding for PhD. This is very frustrating because it seems like I am unable to get PhD funding just because I am applying late in my masters, so I wonder:
What is the purpose of this eligibility requirement which stops students like me (who's doctoral candidacy/experience would be effectively identical to an eligible student's) from applying?
Is there any way I can waive this requirement?