Graduate students currently pursuing Ph.D. degrees in areas of physics, chemistry, material sciences, biology (non-medical), mathematics, engineering, computer or computational sciences, or specific areas of environmental sciences that are aligned with the mission of the Office of Science are eligible to apply for the supplemental research awards provided by the SCGSR program. Eligible graduate students must apply online.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

In addition:

  • Applicants are eligible to submit only one application per award cycle. 
  • An application whose SCGSR research proposal has the same scope as that of a previously awarded SCGSR application will not be considered.
  • Individuals who meet all other eligibility requirements are eligible to receive more than one SCGSR award during the graduate education provided that the cumulative total of the award periods for all SCGSR awards do not exceed 12 months. If a current SCGSR Awardee is successful in competing for a new SCGSR award, the Awardee must successfully complete the current award and fulfill all their obligations and award terms and conditions associated with that award before the award start date of the new award to be eligible to receive that award.
  • For applicants who have participated in WDTS’ laboratory based undergraduate programs, the applicants must have successfully completed their participation in those programs by fulfilling all the programs’ requirements before they could be considered for a SCGSR award.

Minimum Age and U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) at the time of application and be at least 18 years of age at the time of applying.

*Starting from the 2015 Solicitation 2: The SCGSR program is open to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) who meet all other eligibility requirements.

Please note: Applicants with a LPR status are encouraged to contact their DOE National Laboratory/facility of interest during the time of application regarding the requirement for foreign nationals to obtain access to the laboratory/facility. Please be aware that each participating DOE National Laboratory/facility may have specific requirements. Offers for the program are subject to change based on the host DOE National Laboratory/facility approval to access their site prior to the planned start date.

Academic Status

Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a Qualified Graduate Program with the Ph.D. as their degree objective. At the time of application, applicants must have obtained the Ph.D. candidacy at their home institution, and must have established a defined graduate thesis project and graduate thesis advisor. The applicant’s primary graduate thesis advisor must provide a Letter of Support.

Applicants are NOT eligible to apply if one, or any combination, of the following describes their graduate education status:

  • Applicant has not obtained the Ph.D. candidacy with an established thesis project at the time of application
  • Applicant is in a Master’s degree program, with a Master’s as the terminal degree.
  • Applicant is in a Master’s degree program with no thesis research requirement and program is not a pathway to Ph.D. degree.
  • Applicant is seeking to pursue a second Ph.D. degree.

Ph.D. Candidacy

Generally one is considered as a Ph.D. candidate after completing all coursework requirements and is currently focusing primarily on the doctoral thesis research. Depending on specific Ph.D. degree requirements at institutions, candidacy qualification can usually be accomplished through discipline-specific/program-defined assessment measures such as an oral and/or written comprehensive qualifying exam; or a thesis prospectus, or a preliminary paper, etc. The student’s graduate program at their home institution provides oversight and assessment of the candidacy qualification process. Only students who successfully pass or complete the qualifying milestone may refer to themselves as a "Ph.D. candidate."

Applicants must provide official proof that they have successfully completed the Ph.D. candidacy requirements at their current graduate institution. Applicants will be required to submit their official graduate transcript in the online application. If the submitted official transcript does not explicitly show the applicant’s Ph.D. candidacy status, and the date or academic term when his or her Ph.D. candidacy was achieved, then the applicant is required to submit additional official proof for validating the Ph.D. candidacy in the online application. The acceptable official forms of proof for Ph.D. candidacy are: 1) an official, signed letter from the applicant’s university/college Registrar’s office; or 2) an official, signed letter from the Chair of the applicant’s academic department. In either case, this letter must describe the institution’s/department’s/program’s requirements for Ph.D. candidacy (including the URL, if the requirements are available online), how the applicant fulfills the requirements, and the date or academic term when the applicant has achieved his or her Ph.D. candidacy.

Enrollment in a Qualified Graduate Program

Applicants must be pursuing a Ph.D. in physics, chemistry, material sciences, biology (non-medical)1, mathematics, engineering, computer or computational sciences, or select areas of environmental sciences at an accredited college or university in the United States or its territories. Specifically, applicants must demonstrate that their graduate thesis research is in an area of fundamental research aligned with the DOE Office of Science Priority Research Areas identified for the 2024 SCGSR Solicitation 1.

The Ph.D. degree program pursued must require a research thesis/dissertation, with an emphasis on fundamental experimental or theoretical research.

Graduate programs not eligible include: joint BS/MS degree programs, DVM, MBA, MD, joint MD/PhD, JD, or joint JD/PhD degree programs. Graduate programs in the social sciences are also not eligible.

Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student in a qualified graduate program during the duration of the proposed SCGSR research project period at the host DOE laboratory/facility.

Graduate Research Alignment with DOE Office of Science Research Programs

One or more of the following circumstances must apply with respect to the Applicant’s graduate thesis research to be considered eligible for a SCGSR award:

  • Applicant is a graduate student in the university group of a faculty member who is currently a Principal Investigator (PI) on an Office of Science research award, and proposes to do part of their thesis research in collaboration with a DOE national laboratory scientist in a priority research area.
  • Applicant is a graduate student in the university group of a faculty member who is currently funded by an Office of Science research award, but may not be the PI on that award, and proposes to do part of their thesis research in collaboration with a DOE national laboratory scientist in a priority research area.
  • Applicant is a graduate student pursuing thesis research that is significantly well aligned with an Office of Science research program in one or more of the priority research areas of the 2024 Solicitation 1, but not currently in a university group funded by the Office of Science, and proposes to do part of their thesis research in collaboration with a DOE national laboratory scientist in a priority research area.

The duration of the proposed research to be conducted at the DOE laboratory/facility may range from 3 to 12 consecutive months.

Graduate students who are currently conducting research at a DOE laboratory/facility are not eligible to apply to conduct research at the same DOE laboratory/facility, but may apply to conduct their graduate thesis research at a different DOE laboratory/facility.

Graduate students who have had a past research collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist may apply for a SCGSR award to conduct part of their graduate research at that DOE laboratory/facility provided that their past collaborative research experience at the laboratory/facility was less than 3 months in duration.

Graduate students whose thesis advisors are currently funded by The Office of Science may not be eligible to apply if their current research grant specifically includes funding for extended travel for graduate students to do their thesis research at a DOE laboratory/facility.

Establishment of a Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist

The applicant and their primary graduate thesis advisor are responsible for identifying a collaborating research scientist at a DOE laboratory and jointly developing the research proposal as part of the SCGSR application process. Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientists may be from any of the participating DOE national laboratories/facilities. Additional information on responsibilities of DOE laboratory scientist collaborators can be found here.

Identifying a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist and developing a SCGSR research proposal that is a logical extension of the applicant’s graduate thesis research is considered the most time involved aspect of the application process and should be initiated as early as possible. Information about how to identify a Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist can be found here