I've been pretty liberal about sharing my NSF GRFP materials with folks who email me, so in the interest of open and equal access, I'm putting them here for anyone to see. I applied for the fellowship in late-2018 as a final-year undergraduate, and was a fortunate recipient.
I was a bit personal in my personal statement, so I'm not planning on sharing it publicly. At a high level, the structure looked like:
- Background / my motivations for pursuing a research career
- The various past projects I've worked on, with concrete examples of what I learned from each of them and how they've helped me develop as a researcher. For instance, "Designing this model was a highly iterative process, and took over a year—struggling through numerous prototypes gave me experience with interpreting negative results to improve my method."
- A section on broader impacts, mostly focusing on my participation in outreach activities and my involvement in open-source software development.
- A brief paragraph on future goals.
Good luck with your application!