I recently received both an NSF and an NDSEG fellowship. I see that I am not allowed to accept funding from both fellowships, but I wonder if it is possible to do something like: accept both, put the NSF on reserve for two years and forfeit the next year, then accept the last two years of funding from the NSF after the NDSEG has expired. Can someone confirm whether this is possible or not?

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    I putting this Q&A on stackexchange because I had difficulty finding a straight answer, and wanted to make it easier for others in the future.
    – Yly
    Jun 17, 2015 at 4:49
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    Any idea about one federal fellowship and one other source of funding? (This will likely depend on each funding source's specific rules.) Jun 17, 2015 at 5:23
  • @StephanKolassa: for private or institutional funds, NSF definitely allows deferrals. See the page linked in the answer below. Jun 17, 2015 at 8:01
  • Thanks for putting this and the answer up. I think this is helpful information (although I would have never expected this to work, to be honest).
    – xLeitix
    Jun 17, 2015 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


Answer: No, it is not possible. I called the NSF office concerning this issue, and they told me that I have to decline one of the fellowships. The same is true of any two federal fellowships: you can only accept one, period. This page also says the same thing, addressing the specific proposal mentioned in the question.

  • You are also often prohibited from accepting pay from the university for the same work while holding a federal fellowship. It falls under the purview of double dipping. Jun 17, 2015 at 22:49
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    Also, in case you're wondering which one to accept, the NDSEG is the better deal---it pays ALL your expenses, whereas NSF only pays a portion of your tuition.
    – Yly
    Jun 14, 2016 at 18:08

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