Research Proposal Guidelines


Full proposal guidelines are available here.


  • A required SCGSR application element is a SCGSR research proposal describing the scope of research that the graduate student (the applicant) is proposing to conduct at a DOE laboratory/facility in collaboration with a scientist at the host DOE laboratory/facility.
  • This proposal must be co-developed by the applicant and the collaborating DOE research scientist, and must be developed in consultation with the applicant’s primary graduate thesis project advisor.
  • The proposed research to be carried out at the DOE host laboratory/facility must be an integral part of the applicant’s overall doctoral thesis project.
  • The proposed research must be approved by the primary graduate thesis advisor; their official approval is made through the thesis advisor’s Letter of Support that is submitted through the online system.
  • The proposed research must include only research that will be conducted at the proposed DOE laboratory/facility by the applicant during the duration of the period of proposed dates specified by the applicant.
  • An applicant’s research proposal must address the stated aims in at least one of the SCGSR Priority Research Areas, and must identify how the proposed SCGSR research project will take advantage of the DOE laboratory/facility's research capabilities and assets.
  • Applicants are encouraged to read the program information on how SCGSR applications will be evaluated, including the Merit Review Criteria that applications will be reviewed against, to help guide the content of their SCGSR research proposal.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to coordinate with their collaborating DOE laboratory scientist and primary graduate thesis advisor in the development of the proposal, and to ensure that both individuals have approved the final PDF file being uploaded. The collaborating DOE laboratory scientist and primary graduate thesis advisor will receive an email notification when the proposal has been uploaded
  • We recommend that applicants begin working with their collaborating DOE laboratory scientist and primary graduate thesis advisor as early as possible in the application process in order to submit a complete proposal before the application deadline.
  • Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist may be from any of the participating DOE national laboratories/facilities.

Proposal Format and Submission

  • The proposal should be responsive to the required elements outlined in the full research proposal guidance document.
  • The length of the SCGSR research proposal document is limited to a total of three pages (excluding references) and must be submitted through the applicant’s online application. If a PDF file contains more than three pages of proposal, all additional pages will not be included as part of the application.
  • References may be provided in a separate page and do not count towards the three-page limit of the proposal. However, the length of the reference section cannot exceed one (1) page.
  • The full research proposal guidance for the ongoing SCGSR program application cycle can be found here.