Deadline is early to mid-November and varies by discipline; see announcement.
Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.
A full description of the award, including eligibility, is outlined at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11582/nsf11582.htm
These awards are open to pre-PhD and first-year PhD students in the following disciplines: engineering, mathematical sciences, chemistry, astronomy, physics, materials research; social sciences, psychology, geosciences, STEM Education and Learning research, and life sciences.
These applications are completed via FastLane (the National Science Foundation's online grant submission and management interface), which can be a bit overwhelming so please start early AND seek the counsel of faculty mentors (current and intended).