Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

General Questions

For Graduate Student Applicants

For Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientists

For Primary Graduate Thesis Advisors


GENERAL QUESTIONS

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is November 16, 2017 5:00 PM ET .

How do I apply?

You can apply by going to the online application system, which can be reached hereExternal link and applying through the online application system.

What is the difference between the SCGSR and the Office of Science Graduate Fellowship (SCGF) Program?

The SCGF program continues to support the graduate fellows that were awarded in 2012, providing a stipend and tuition support for up to three years. The SCGF program is no longer accepting applications for new fellowships.

The SCGSR program has been established to support graduates students to do a part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory/facility. The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards for graduate students to spend 3 to 12 consecutive months at a DOE national laboratory/facility conducting graduate thesis research in a priority research area in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. The award provides support for inbound and outbound travel to the laboratory/facility, and a monthly stipend of up to $3,000 for general living expenses while at the host DOE laboratory/facility during the award period.

Is the SCGSR program a research internship program like the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI)?

No, the SCGSR program is not an internship program like the SULI program.

The SULI program places qualified undergraduates at the DOE laboratories/facilities to engage in research projects that are directed by a DOE laboratory research mentor. In the SULI program, the scope of the research is defined by the DOE laboratory researcher that the student works with during their internship term.

The SCGSR program provides opportunities for graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory/facility, in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. The SCGSR research projects are expected to advance the graduate awardee’s overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories/facilities.

Who manages and administrates this program for the Department of Energy?

The Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) manages the program in collaboration with the six Office of Science research program offices and participating DOE national laboratories/facilities. Online application and awards administration support is provided by Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE).

What is the source of funding for this program?

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science provides the funding for this program.

Why is the DOE involved in STEM workforce development?

For over 50 years the Department of Energy (DOE) has supported the training of scientists, engineers, and technology specialists to maintain the scientific and technical workforce needed to address the Department’s and Nation’s complex challenges. The DOE Office of Science has the responsibility to train the next generation of scientists who will carry out its mission—to deliver the scientific discoveries and major scientific tools to transform our understanding of nature and to advance the energy, economic, and national security of the United States.


FOR GRADUATE STUDENT APPLICANTS: ELIGIBILITY

I am a legal permanent resident, can I apply?

Yes.

Do you need proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency?

Yes. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien at the time of applying. If selected for a SCGSR award, proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency will be required upon award notification.

I am a foreign student studying in the U.S. under a student visa (F1-visa). Am I eligible to apply?

No. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien at the time of application in order to be eligible to apply.

In my school, a dissertation is required for doctoral candidates as part of the degree requirement. Is the “dissertation” equivalent to the “thesis” shown at the SCGSR program website?

Yes. For SCGSR program, the “thesis” refers to the document that presenting the research work of a Ph.D. candidate in support of achieving a Ph.D. degree. Depending on graduate schools and programs, the term “thesis” is used by some and “dissertation” by others. For SCGSR program, “thesis” does refer to the doctoral thesis, also known as the doctoral dissertation. 

What is Ph.D. Candidacy?

Usually, one is considered as a Ph.D. candidate after completing all coursework requirements and is focusing primarily on the doctoral thesis research. Depending on specific Ph.D. degree requirements at the graduate institution, candidacy qualification are typically 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 graduate institution provides the oversight and assessment of the candidacy qualification processes. Only students who successfully pass or complete the required qualifying milestones 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.

I am a graduate student in a doctoral program, and in the progress of preparing for my qualification exam in the near future? Am I eligible?

You are not eligible if you have not obtained your Ph.D. candidacy at the time of application submission. At the time of application, applicants must have obtained their Ph.D. candidacy and must have established a defined graduate thesis project and graduate thesis advisor, in addition to meeting all the other eligibility requirements of the program.

I am a graduate student in a doctoral program, and have established my thesis topic. But I have not obtained my Ph.D. candidacy at my school. Am I eligible?

No. You must have obtained your Ph.D. candidacy at the time of application submission.

Are graduate students who have been in their graduate program for more than 5 year still eligible to apply to the SCGSR award?

Yes, if the graduate student satisfies all the eligibility requirements posted at the program website.

I am a part-time graduate student. Am I eligible?

No. You must be enrolled in a qualified graduate program as a full-time graduate student at an accredited college or university in the United States or its territories at the time of application. If selected for an award, you must also be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at your graduate institution during the award period to remain eligible to receive the award.

How many semester credits are considered full-time?

The number of semester credits a full-time student must be enrolled to is determined by the student’s graduate institution. Typically, this is 12 credits for undergraduate studies or 9 credits for graduate studies. However, the definition may vary with university/college. The DOE SCGSR will adopt the definition of the student’s graduate institution.

What is a Qualified Graduate Program?

A Qualified Graduate Program satisfies all of the following key requirements:

  • It is a Ph.D. degree program that requires a research thesis/dissertation.
  • It is a research thesis/dissertation based Ph.D. program in physics, chemistry, biology (non-medical), mathematics, engineering, computer and/or computational science, and areas of environmental sciences at an accredited college or university in the United States or its territories, AND the area of graduate research is clearly within an area supported by the science programs of DOE Office of Science (see descriptions of Office of Science priority research areas here.
  • It is NOT one of the following: joint BS/MS degree programs, DVM, MBA, MD, joint MD/PhD, JD, or joint JD/PhD degree programs.

I am not sure if my field of study is eligible. How do I find out?

Please review the Qualified Graduate Program here to see if your field of study is eligible.

The students pursing the following degree programs are not eligible for the DOE SCGSR: joint BS/MS degrees, DVM, MBA, MD, joint MD/PhD, JD, or joint JD/PhD degree. In addition, biomedical sciences, social sciences, and some areas of environmental science are not a mission responsibility of the Department of Energy and thus not areas of research supported by the Office of Science. Please see details here.

I’m applying to a Graduate Fellowship program, am I still eligible to apply for the DOE SCGSR?

Yes, you are eligible to apply to the DOE SCGSR, provided you meet all of the other eligibility requirements. Applicants are required to disclose current sources and levels of graduate student support at the time of applying; awardees will be required to report concurrent other funding sources and expenses incurred during the award period. SCGSR awards are intended to provide supplemental support for the incremental costs associated with conducting the proposed research project at a DOE national laboratory/facility and does not cover other expenses associated with completing a graduate degree program.  

I currently have a Graduate Fellowship award. Does this make me ineligible for the program?

No, you are still eligible to apply to the DOE SCGSR, provided you meet all of the other eligibility requirements. Applicants are required to disclose current sources and levels of graduate student support at the time of applying; awardees will be required to report concurrent other funding sources and expenses incurred during the award period. SCGSR awards are intended to provide supplemental support for the incremental costs associated with conducting the proposed research project at a DOE national laboratory/facility and does not cover other expenses associated with completing a graduate degree program.

I am currently doing research at a DOE lab. Am I eligible for this program?

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 they are currently conducting research at, but may apply to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a different DOE laboratory/facility. See all the participating DOE national laboratories/facilities.

I completed a Thesis Part project at ANL last summer. I am interested to go back to ANL for continuing my thesis work there. Am I eligible for this program?

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.

I am an eligible graduate student. However, I do not work in a university group which is funded by DOE Office of Science or in collaboration with any DOE labs. How do I find a research collaborator at a DOE laboratory/facility?

Please visit Identifying a Collaborative DOE Laboratory Scientist. Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist may be from any of the participating DOE national laboratories/facilities.

For prospective applicants who do not know where or how to begin identifying a collaborating laboratory scientist, they should first contact the SCGSR program manager. The SCGSR Program Manager will ask them for information about their graduate thesis research and interests. If the applicant’s thesis research is well aligned with a SCGSR priority research area, the SCGSR program manager will recommend a list of potential laboratory scientists who are working in the area of the applicant’s graduate thesis research. The applicant will be asked to carefully research those laboratory scientists. Once the applicant identifies the interest, they can either directly contact the laboratory scientists of interest or contact the DOE Laboratory/Facility POC for the laboratories/facilities where the interested laboratory scientists work.  The DOE Laboratory/Facility POCs may also suggest other potential collaborators at their laboratory/facility working in the applicant’s research area.

Can my DOE collaborating scientist be a postdoctoral researcher from a DOE participating laboratory/facility?

Yes if the committed tenure of the postdoctoral researcher at the DOE laboratory/facility exceeds the length of the proposed research project at that DOE laboratory/facility.

I have already obtained a SCGSR award (or I am/was a SCGSR awardee). Can I apply for another award from the SCGSR program?

You may be still eligible to apply for another award depending on the award period of your current award and your eligibility status against all the SCGSR eligibility requirements at the time of your new application.

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 GRADUATE STUDENT APPLICANTS: APPLICATION

When is the application deadline?

Your complete application must be submitted online by November 16, 2017 5:00 PM ET. This includes completion of all required applications fields, official graduate transcriptions, research proposal, and 2 letters of supports (one from your graduate thesis advisor and the other from your collaborative DOE laboratory research scientist). Official Graduate Transcripts must be submitted through the DOE SCGSR online application system as required. Both letters must be received before the deadline.

Can I work on my application and save it to come back later and work on it?

Yes, you can save your application and work on it anytime during the application period. Your Status page in the application will inform you of the status of your application; the Complete Your Application will show you the elements of the application that are incomplete. Your application is not submitted until you press “Submit” on the final submission page.

In addition, you can use the online system to send reminders to your graduate thesis advisor and your collaborative DOE laboratory research scientist if their letters of support have not yet been received.

How can I confirm that my electronically submitted application was received?

Once your application has been successfully submitted, your Status page will indicate a status of “Submitted” next to “Submission Status:” and a blue check mark will appear along the “Application” bar.

Can I print my final application and view it in hardcopy before I submit it?

Yes. In the Application page on the left-hand navigation column, there are options to review and print an application. The print function under “Print your Application” will allow you to review your entire application as it will be seen by the SCGSR program manager. You can either print from this page or export their application as a PDF file.

Can I send supplemental materials such as publications or research results, with my application?

No. Please do not submit any supplemental materials with your application; they will not be reviewed.

Citations of your publications and awards (no more than 3 for each) should be listed in the appropriate section of the online application as required.

Do you need an official transcript from my college/university?

You must upload a copy of your official Graduate transcripts to your online applications. Please refer to the “Graduate Transcripts” section at the application site for more details. Undergraduate transcripts are not requested or required.

When are transcripts due?

All transcripts are due with your completed application and must be uploaded into your online application by November 16, 2017 5:00 PM ET.

What is a redacted transcript?

Submitted official transcripts must have all Social Security numbers and/or dates of birth redacted or removed (blanked out, blackened out, made non-visible, etc.) prior to uploading into the application system. These items are considered protected PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and must not be shared. Any applications found to contain PII in the form of Social Security numbers and/or dates of birth will be deemed non-compliant and will not be considered. Please refer to theResources for Handling Transcripts” section at the application site for more details.

I don’t have copy of my official graduate transcript but I have an unofficial electronic copy from my university, can I use that?

No, you must submit a copy of your official transcripts that have been stamped with the college/university Registrar seal. The official transcript must be submitted with your online application in PDF form. Please refer to the “Graduate Transcripts” section at the application site for more details.

Do you need a copy of my undergraduate transcripts?

No.

Do I have to wait until I submit my application before I ask my thesis advisor or my collaborating DOE lab scientist to send in a letter of support?

No. As soon as you begin your application and have discussed your proposed project with your thesis advisor and your collaborating DOE laboratory scientist, you should make your requests for Letters of Support. To do this, go to the sections for Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor Information and Host DOE Laboratory/Facility. Enter the contact information for your thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist, respectively. Then submit the requests formally through the Request Letters of Support tab in the online application. It is suggested that you discuss your request for the letter well in advance with your graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist, and allow adequate time for them to act on the request. It is your responsibility to remind your graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist that they must submit their individual letters of support using the online form provided to them in the request email before the application deadline.

How will I know if my advisor or my collaborating DOE lab scientist received my request for a letter of support?

After you request a letter using the Request Letters of Recommendation section of the online application system, you will receive an email confirming that an email was sent to the individual(s) you requested a letter from. However, we have no way of knowing if the email was opened until we receive the letter of support, so you should take the initiative to check in with them after your request to be sure that it was received.

What happens when I click on “Send Email” to notify my thesis advisor or my collaborating DOE laboratory scientist that I want them to write me a letter of support?

When you make a request of your thesis advisor or collaborating DOE lab scientist, they will receive an email from DOE SCGSR program with a link to an online system that will direct them to the online form where they can submit a letter of support. It is recommended that you speak to them before you send them your request through our online system so they will be expecting the notification email.

Please also visit Letters of Support for more details.

My thesis advisor and my collaborating DOE lab scientist has questions about the process for their support letters and/or the DOE SCGSR Program. Where should I direct him/her?

Please have them contact the DOE SCGSR program manager here.

Can applications be sent by e-mail or postal mail?

No, all applications must be submitted electronically through the online application system. Applications sent to DOE or in any other manner will not be considered.

Do applications made now remain active for consideration next year?

No, your application will only be kept on record for the current application period. If you want to be considered in future SCGSR opportunities, you must reapply during future application cycles.

Do my letters of support need to reach you by the deadline?

Yes, the two required letters of support must be submitted electronically by the application deadline. Your graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE lab scientist must submit their letters through the online form using the online system, letters in any other format will not be accepted.

Please also visit Letters of Support for more details.

Can letters of support be sent by e-mail?

No, your advisor or collaborating DOE lab scientist must use the online system for the SCGSR program. A URL unique to your application will be sent to the individuals you selected to submit a letter on your behalf. Each person writing a letter of support for you will complete the online form and submit it electronically. This is the only way to ensure that your letters of support are properly linked with your application.

Please also visit Letters of Support for more details.

What is required for the letters of support? Can I delete a letter of support and replace it with another?

You are unable to delete a letter of support once it is submitted into the online system. There are TWO letters of support, and they are:

  • Letter of Support from the graduate student’s primary graduate thesis advisor.
  • Letter of Support from the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist.

Please also visit Letters of Support for more details.

Are there any “blackout” dates for the Start Date and/or End Date of my proposed SCGSR research project at a host DOE laboratory/facility?

Yes. In general, applicants should avoid selecting holidays and weekends as start or end dates. More specifically, the Start Date and End Date should fulfill the following constraints:

  • The Start Date and End date should be on a business day, and not a holiday or weekend. The holidays refer to the holidays recognized by the host DOE laboratory/facility of a proposed SCGSR project. Generally the DOE laboratories/facilities observe most Federal holidays.
  • The Start Date cannot be before the Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project Periods and neither after the Latest Start Date for Proposed Project Periods.
  • The overall duration of the proposed project period starting on the Start Date and ending on the End Date (including the Start Date and End Date) cannot be less than 3 consecutive months and or more than 12 consecutive months.

Does my co-developed research proposal need to reach you by the deadline?

Yes, the research proposal must be submitted electronically with your online application by the application deadline. All applicants must complete and submit a research proposal and upload as a PDF file into the online application system.

Must all applicants submit a research proposal when completing an application?

Yes, a co-developed research proposal is required from all applicants.

I just uploaded an updated research proposal in my online application. What if I changed some details of the proposal since the last time my thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist reviewed it?

When you first upload your research proposal in the online application system, your thesis advisor and your collaborating DOE laboratory scientist will receive an automated email notification, using their contact information you provide in your online application, that your research proposal has been uploaded to your application. If you delete the file in your application and upload an updated version of your research proposal, the online system will automatically send a notification of this update to both your graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist.

It is your responsibility to communicate with both your graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist about any updates to your research proposal and get their approval of the final PDF you upload into the online application for submission.

Will you let me know if I am missing parts of my application?

The online application system will highlight the required elements of the application that have not been completed. You will not be able to submit your final application until all the requirement elements have been completed.


FOR GRADUATE STUDENT APPLICANTS: SELECTION

How does the selection process work?

The evaluation and selection of applications is a merit-based review process. Applications will be subject to an eligibility and compliance review. All eligible and compliant applications will be reviewed by experts in the field of the proposed research at the DOE host laboratory/facility who will use the established merit review criteria as the basis of their review. Applications will be selected for award based on the results of merit review and other program policy factors (balance of portfolio, availability of funds, etc.).

Please visit Application Evaluation and Selection for more details.

Why am I asked if I have participated in any other DOE programs? Does answering yes to this questions help or hurt my chances of being selected?

DOE collects this information for internal purposes only, to gauge whether applicants know about or have participated in other DOE programs. Your response to this question will not affect the selection process for your application.

What are my chances of getting selected?

The chances of being selected depend on many factors: the total number of applications submitted, the availability of funds, merit review results, etc. These factors vary each year so it is not possible to determine an individual’s chances of being selected for any given application cycle.

When and how will I find out if I've been selected?

You will receive an e-mail message from DOE Office of Science notifying you of your selection for an award. You will be given about a week to decide if you accept the offer of an award. For the current solicitation, please see Key Dates.

If I don't get selected this time, will my application be reviewed again next year automatically or do I have to reapply?

You must reapply and submit a new application to the current solicitation.


FOR GRADUATE STUDENT APPLICANTS: PARTICIPATION

What is the duration of an award?

The proposed project term, and subsequent award term, must be at least 3 consecutive months and not longer than 12 consecutive months.

Full-time enrollment is required during my project period in the lab, who should I talk to for fulfilling this requirement?

The awardee and their graduate thesis advisor are responsible for any tuition or fees that are required by the graduate institution for the awardee to remain enrolled in the graduate program during the award term.

I am planning to travel regularly between my host DOE Laboratory/Facility and University during the SCGSR project period. Does this violate any terms and conditions for an SCGSR award?

Yes. Awardees are expected to conduct their research and maintain a full-time schedule at their host DOE laboratory/facility throughout the duration of the SCGSR award term. Awardees should avoid obligations that may interrupt their SCGSR research project. SCGSR awardees are expected to maintain full-time schedule during normal business hours at the host DOE Laboratory/Facility while also maintaining the full-time enrollment in a qualified graduate program at the current graduate institution. Awardees may observe the holidays recognized by their host DOE laboratory/facility.

Awardees must report any expected interruptions to their full-time attendance schedule at the Host DOE Laboratory/Facility to their Collaborating DOE Laboratory/Facility Scientist and SCGSR Program Manager. The violation of SCGSR award terms and conditions may jeopardize an SCGSR award.

After the closing of the SCGSR application, I accepted a paid intern position (or a temporary position) at the host DOE laboratory/facility of my proposed SCGSR project when an opportunity came by. Am I still eligible for an SCGSR award if I were selected?

No. You are not eligible for an SCGSR award if you have previously accepted a separate non-SCGSR appointment from the host DOE laboratory/facility to work or conduct research, such as an hourly paid intern, full time or temporary position.

I have accepted an SCGSR award offer. Can I change the Start Date or End Date of my proposed SCGSR research project?

You should expect to start and end the SCGSR project as you have proposed in the SCGSR application. Changes to the award period may be considered under exceptional circumstances if there are valid evidence, such as unexpected schedule changes at scientific user facilities involved in your project, with the support from both your Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist and your Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor. No matter how the start or end date is changed, the overall project period must remain the same as it was proposed in your SCGSR application.

The request of change must be submitted to SCGSR Program Manager at least 20 business days in advance of the expected change, including the signed letters of consent from both Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist and Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor.

How do I receive a stipend payment and where does it come from?

Stipends for awardees are paid on a monthly basis and will be set up as a direct deposit to the awardee’s bank account. Once an awardee has accepted an offer of award from DOE Office of Science, instructions will be provided by ORISE regarding the stipend payment.

Awardees are eligible to receive a monthly stipend in the amount of up to $3,000 and reimbursement for travel expenses to and from the host DOE laboratory/facility up to a total of $2,000 during the award period. The final award will be based on an assessment of the individual’s situation, with factors under consideration including, but not limited to: duration of proposed research, location of home residence, and concurrent federal funding.

What kind of travel reimbursement will I receive?

Awardees are eligible to receive reimbursement for travel expenses to and from the host DOE laboratory/facility (inbound and outbound travel) up to a total of $2,000, if the distance is more than 50 miles one way from your location of residence. Reimbursements are made for actual travel expenses, according to the standard DOE travel policy.

Will the SCGSR program provide support for the supplies and materials needed for my SCGSR project?

No, the SCGSR award does not provide support for supplies and materials needed to conduct the proposed research project. It is recommended that you discuss this with your Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist and your Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor as early as possible prior to start the SCGSR research project at the host laboratory/facility.

What is my tax liability for the stipend I get in this program?

Stipend payments may be taxable to the awardee in full or in part. DOE/ORISE does not withhold taxes from these payments. Each awardee is personally responsible for his/her individual tax preparation and payment. Specific questions regarding the tax treatment of this award should be directed to a tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service.

This statement is provided for information only. It is not intended as legal or tax advice, or as a definitive interpretation of the law.

Where will I live?

Awardees are responsible for arranging their own lodging accommodations and for their own housing costs during their award term at the host DOE laboratory/facility. The housing/lodging options will depend on the host DOE laboratory/facility and the local options. Some sites have secured housing or have onsite housing that may be available to you; other sites will require you to find housing on your own, although most sites generally provide information to help you.

Please contact your host DOE Laboratory/Facility POC for local lodging and transportation options.

How is my progress evaluated?

Awardees will be required to submit an end-of-award report. Reporting templates will be provided and should be submitted through an online system. For research awards greater than 6 months in duration, a mid-term progress report will be required in addition to the end-of-award report. Your progress/end-of-award reports should be reviewed by your collaborating DOE laboratory scientist prior to submitting them to SCGSR program manager by the specified due date.

By participating in this program, do I become an employee of the host laboratory/facility, or DOE?

No. You remain a full time graduate student at your graduate institution, and are considered an SCGSR program participant and a guest scientist at the DOE national laboratory/facility.

How do I properly acknowledge WDTS support in publications or presentations?

To help maintain accountability and accuracy of its federally-mandated assessment and reporting functions, all published reports, journal articles, or professional presentations that are based on the research conducted during the award period should carry an acknowledgment such as the following: This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. The SCGSR program is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the DOE under contract number DE‐SC0014664.


FOR COLLABORATING DOE LABORATORY SCIENTISTS: ELIGIBILITY

I am interested in working with the student on a research project well aligned with SC priority area as indicated at the program website. But I do not have any funding from Office of Science or DOE. Am I eligible for the SCGSR program as a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist?

Yes, you are eligible as long as the co-developed SCGSR research project proposal submitted by the graduate student applicant is well aligned with the SCGSR priority areas. Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist may be from any of the participating DOE national laboratories/facilities.

Can the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist be a postdoctoral researcher from a DOE participating laboratory/facility?

Yes, as long as the committed tenure of the postdoctoral researcher at the host DOE laboratory/facility exceeds the length of the proposed research project at the DOE laboratory/facility and the collaborative research project is in a SCGSR priority research area.

I am a postdoctoral researcher at a DOE laboratory/facility. My former Ph.D. advisor has invited me to work with one of her current graduate students as a Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist for a SCGSR proposal at my current DOE laboratory/facility. Are there any restrictions for this situation?

Yes, if you worked with the graduate student significantly in your former Ph.D. advisor’s group or the prospective graduate student has previously worked with you on site at your current DOE Laboratory/Facility, on his/her graduate research in the past for any significant period of time (more than three months total), then that graduate student is not eligible to apply to work with you under the SCGSR program. If there is no significant prior work with the graduate student that took place at your former advisor’s laboratory and your past collaboration with the graduate student at your current DOE laboratory/facility did not exceed a period of three months, and your committed tenure at your current DOE laboratory/facility exceeds the length of the proposed SCGSR research project, then you may work with the graduate student as a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist.

I’m a researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and have a current collaboration with a faculty member at a university. We’d like to explore the opportunity of having one of her graduate students come conduct part of their thesis research in my lab at PNNL for 6 months. Can the graduate student apply to the SCGSR program for a supplemental award?

Yes. If the student meets all of the eligibility requirements and has not worked with you previously on her graduate research at PNNL for a period of more than 3 months, she is eligible to apply for an SCGSR award with you as the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist.

Is the Collaborating DOE laboratory scientist required to be a full-time staff member of a DOE national laboratory/facility?

The collaborating DOE laboratory scientist must be employed by the DOE laboratory/facility and all of their salary and benefits must be provided by that laboratory/facility. Collaborating DOE laboratory scientists may have joint appointments with academic institutions, but their employer must be the DOE laboratory/facility and they must spend at least 50 percent of their time at the DOE laboratory/facility.

A graduate student has asked me to be her collaborating DOE laboratory scientist for an SCGSR application. The student is proposing to work in the laboratory/facility for 9 months. I am considering a retirement from my laboratory/facility within the next 6 months, and I do not mind continuing providing guidance to and working remotely with the student even after I retire. Shall I encourage the student to work with me as her collaborating DOE lab scientist?

No, as a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist to an SCGSR awardee, you must be a full-time staff member at the DOE laboratory/facility during the complete duration of the award period.

A graduate student currently doing research at my laboratory/facility has indicated interest to develop a SCGSR research proposal with me as his collaborating DOE lab scientist. Shall I encourage the student to proceed?

If the graduate student is already conducting research at the laboratory/facility, they are not eligible to apply for an SCGSR award at that same laboratory/facility.

One of the goals of the SCGSR program is to promote new opportunities for graduate students to conduct research at DOE national laboratories/facilities through collaborations with DOE laboratory scientists in areas of research supported by the DOE Office of Science. The graduate student in this situation is, however, eligible to apply to the SCGSR program to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a different DOE laboratory/facility.

A graduate student completed a Thesis Part project with me at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) last summer. The student is interested in coming back to ANL for continuing her thesis work with me. Are there any constraints for the student to continue working with me through a SCGSR research project?

Yes. In order to be eligible for a SCGSR award, the student’s prior research collaboration with you on site at ANL cannot have been more than 3 months.

One of the goals of the SCGSR program is to promote new opportunities for graduate students to conduct research at DOE national laboratories/facilities through collaborations with DOE laboratory scientists in areas of research supported by the DOE Office of Science. As such, an applicant cannot have worked with the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist on site, at her DOE Laboratory/Facility, on their graduate research in the past for any significant period of time (more than three months total).

I am a DOE lab scientist. The DOE laboratory I work for is co-located with a university. A graduate student from that university has been working with me for the past semester, but conducting his research within the university laboratory space (not within my lab space at the DOE laboratory). Can I be the student’s collaborating DOE lab scientist on a SCGSR research project proposal?

Please contact SCGSR program here to discuss further. The student may be eligible to apply, but it may depend on circumstances of the proposal, i.e. the student would have to conduct all of their thesis research within the DOE laboratory/facility space during the proposed project period.


FOR COLLABORATING DOE LABORATORY SCIENTISTS: APPLICATION

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is November 16, 2017 5:00 PM ET .

What is the duration for an award?

The proposed project term, and subsequent award term, must be at least 3 consecutive months and not longer than 12 consecutive months.

What is my role during the application process?

As a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist, you are expected to:

  • Provide guidance to the graduate student in the development of the SCGSR research proposal, recognizing the scope of the proposed research must be a logical and integral part of the graduate student’s doctoral thesis.
  • Commit to securing and ensuring the access of any DOE laboratory equipment, laboratory work space, facilities or other resources at the host DOE laboratory/facility for the time period spanning the applicant’s proposed project period.
  • Before the application deadline, approve the final version of the applicant’s SCGSR research proposal, and complete and submit a letter of support to the online application system. The applicant is responsible for sending you the electronic request with the instructions for submitting the letter of support.

I am serving as a Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist for a graduate student’s SCGSR application. How do I go into the online WDTS system to view the student’s application? I’m not able to see the SCGSR program listed when I go into the current WDTS system. 

In the role of a Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist, there is no account registration or online selection process for the SCGSR Program in the WDTS online system. Your direct involvement in the graduate student’s online application process is only through this submission of a Letter of Support, which you will receive instructions on via email once the graduate student has submitted your contact information and initiated the request in the system as part of required information for his/her SCGSR application. Once the graduate applicant initiates this process, the online system issues an invitation email message to you with a specific access code and instructions for you to prepare and submit your letter of support into the online system. Upon receiving the invitation email, you may complete your letter as instructed using the access code. You are also expected to provide input and guidance on the graduate student’s research proposal, however it is the responsibility of the graduate student to upload the mutually agreed upon proposal into their online application. You will receive an automatic email notification when the student has uploaded their proposal to their application; you will also receive an automatic email notification any time the applicant updates the research proposal in their application prior to the application deadline.

How would a prospective graduate student applicant know to reach me if I’m interested in being a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist?

We recognize that graduate student collaborations can emerge under a number of circumstances, and connecting interested graduate students to potential collaborators at the DOE laboratories/facilities is a key (rate-limiting) step for applicants.

For prospective applicants who do not know how to begin identifying a collaborating laboratory scientist:

They are instructed (on website, FAQ, etc.) to contact the SCGSR Program Manager (PM). The SCGSR PM will obtain information about their graduate thesis research and interests. In collaboration with DOE Office of Science research programs, SCGSR PM will help identify potential laboratory scientists working in the graduate students thesis research area and connect the prospective applicant with the Laboratory/Facility POCs of identified laboratory scientists. Laboratory/Facility POCs will then assist in connecting the graduate student with the DOE laboratory scientist. Laboratory/Facility POCs may also suggest other potential collaborators at their lab working in the applicant’s research area. 

Applicants who already have very clear ideas about what laboratories/facilities or scientists they want to work with on their thesis research may also contact the laboratories/facilities directly through the DOE Laboratory/Facility POC to explore collaboration options. Laboratory/Facility POCs for each participating laboratory/facility are listed here. Applicants may obtain information about your laboratory/facility and your work through website, publications, etc., and may directly contact you.

In addition, if you have existing collaboration with university faculty you may wish to consider exploring opportunities to have one of that faculty member’s graduate students collaborate with you on their thesis research and apply to the SCGSR program.

What is required for the letter of support by the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist?

The letter of support from the applicant’s proposed collaborating DOE laboratory scientist is a required part of their application to the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. The applicant must send the formal request using the send request tool in the online application system. Once the email request is sent, the collaborating DOE laboratory scientists will have the link and access code to access the letter of support form to complete on the applicant’s behalf.

The online form for the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist’s letter of support requests information regarding:

  • How long they have known the applicant.
  • The applicant’s preparedness for the proposed SCGSR research project at a DOE laboratory/facility.
  • The scientific merit of the proposed SCGSR research project as an integral part of the applicant’s overall graduate thesis project.
  • How the proposed SCGSR research project will take advantage of the DOE Laboratory/Facility’s research capabilities and assets.
  • Verification that they have read and approved the applicant’s proposed SCGSR research project.

If the applicant’s proposed SCGSR research project involves the use of any scientific user facilities, the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist will also be prompted in the online form to verify that access to any scientific user facilities involved in a proposed research project at DOE laboratories/facilities will be secured prior to the proposed project period starting date.

Please also visit Letters of Support for more details.

How do I know when to send in a letter of support for an applicant?

The applicant is responsible for initiating a request to you to submit a support letter through the online application system. It is strongly recommended to all applicants that as soon as they begin their applications, applicants go to the sections for Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor Information and Host DOE Laboratory/Faciilty, enter the contact information for the thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist, respectively. Then submit the requests formally through the online application. Additionally, it is suggested that applicants discuss their request for the letter in advance and actively follow up with the graduate thesis advisor and collaborative DOE laboratory scientist, and allow adequate time for them to act on the request.

During the application process, it is the applicants’ responsibility to remind their graduate thesis advisors and collaborating DOE laboratory scientists that they must submit their individual letters of support using the online system before the application deadline.

How will the applicant know if the collaborating DOE lab scientist has received the request for a letter of support?

After the applicant makes the request for a letter of supporting using the on-line application process, the applicant will receive an email confirming that an email was sent to the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist. Once you receive the request email, please make sure to open the email, and use the access code to complete the letter form in the online system.

How do I submit a support letter?

Once the email request for your letter of support is sent by the applicant through the online application system, you will have the link and access code to access the letter of support form to complete on the applicant’s behalf.

Please note:

  • The submission of the letter of support uses a one-time submission form; you will not be able to save work in progress and return to it later.  We encourage you to use a word processor to draft your responses and then copy and paste your responses into the appropriate text boxes provided.
  • You may print your Letter of Support using the link provided at the end of form before you submit it.  Once you have submitted the Letter of Support, you may not return to edit it or print it, and your access code will be disabled.

Can the letter of support be sent by e-mail or postal mail?

No, the letter of support must be submitted electronically through the online application system. Letters sent to DOE or in any other manner will not be considered.

I am a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist and have questions about the process for their support letters and/or the DOE SCGSR Program. Who should I contact for my questions?

Please contact SCGSR program here.

Must all applicants submit a research proposal when completing an application?

Yes, a co-developed SCGSR research proposal is required from all applicants. Please see here on detailed guidelines for SCGSR research proposal.

What if the applicant changes the research proposal before it’s uploaded into their application? How will I know?

Whenever the applicant uploads the original or an updated version of the SCGSR research proposal, the online system will automatically send a notification to both the graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist, using the contact information the applicant provides in the online application.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to communicate with both the graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist about any updates to the SCGSR research proposal and get their approval of the final PDF the applicant uploads into the online application for submission.


FOR COLLABORATING DOE LABORATORY SCIENTISTS: PARTICIPATION

What is the role of a collaborating DOE laboratory scientist?

Please see here for details.  

What is my role with respect to the SCGSR Awardee who is going to work with me?

In support of the Awardee to carry out his/her SCGSR research project awarded, you are expected to:

  • Assist in the host DOE laboratory/facility procedures for obtaining graduate awardee’s access to the lab, in coordination with the local DOE Laboratory/Facility POC.
  • Provide appropriate guidance and mentorship to the student to carry out the approved SCGSR project
  • Oversee the full-time attendance requirement of graduate awardees carrying out their SCGSR research project at the host DOE laboratory/facility;
  • Provide necessary work space, equipment, facilities, and resources in supporting graduate awardees to carry out the SCGSR research project.
  • Serve as a resource for relevant local training opportunities.
  • Review the graduate awardee’s required progress and final reports before submission.
  • Coordinate with the local DOE laboratory/facility POC and DOE SCGSR program manager in resolving issues that graduate awardees might have during the established project period.

An SCGSR awardee will start working on this research project with me in a month or so. Will the graduate awardee follow the attendance schedule at the laboratory/facility or the academic schedule at his/her current graduate institution? What is an attendance schedule requirement for SCGSR awardees to conduct their research project at the host DOE laboratory during the award period?

The SCGSR awardee should maintain a full-time schedule at the host DOE laboratory/facility during their SCGSR research project period. SCGSR awardees are expected to maintain full-time schedule during normal business hours at the host DOE Laboratory/Facility while also maintaining the full-time enrollment in a qualified graduate program at the current graduate institution. Awardees may observe the holidays recognized by their host DOE laboratory/facility.

Awardees must report any expected interruptions to their full-time attendance schedule at the Host DOE Laboratory/Facility to their Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist and SCGSR Program Manager. The violation of SCGSR award terms and conditions may jeopardize an SCGSR award.

As a Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist, you are expected to oversee the fulfillment of the full-time attendance requirement by the SCSGR awardee. The SCGSR program will provide you with additional guidelines regarding the full-time attendance requirement for the SCGSR awardee prior to the start date of the SCGSR project. Please contact SCGSR Program Manager for any questions.

The graduate student I have collaborated with on an SCGSR proposal accepted an hourly paid intern position (or a temporary position) at my DOE laboratory/facility before the SCGSR award offer was made, is he still eligible for an SCGSR award if he were selected?

No. The graduate student is not eligible for an SCGSR award if he has previously accepted a separate non-SCGSR appointment from the host DOE laboratory/facility to work or conduct research, such as an hourly paid intern, temporary or full-time position.

Can an SCGSR awardee change the Start Date or End Date of his/her proposed SCGSR research project with me?

SCGSR awardees are expected to start and end their SCGSR project following the timeline as proposed in the SCGSR application under normal circumstances. Changes to the award period may be considered under exceptional circumstances if there are valid evidence, such as unexpected schedule changes at scientific user facilities involved in their SCGSR project, with the support from both you (the awardee’s Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist) and the awardee’s Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor. No matter how the start or end date is changed, the overall project period must remain the same as it was proposed in the awardee’s SCGSR application.

The request of change must be submitted to SCGSR Program Manager at least 20 business days in advance of the expected change, including the signed letters of consent from both Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist and Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor.

Full-time enrollment is required during a SCGSR research project period in the lab, who is responsible for fulfilling this requirement?

The awardee, their graduate thesis advisor, and the students graduate institution are responsible for any tuition or fees that are required by the graduate institution for the awardee to remain enrolled in the graduate program during the award term.

Is the Collaborating DOE Lab Scientist paid by SCGSR program for working with an Awardee?

No. Collaborating DOE laboratory scientists are not provided any funds by the SCGSR program.

The SCGSR awardee who is working with me is hoping to attend a conference for our co-authored paper. Can the program support his travel?

No. Except the inbound and outbound travel to your DOE laboratory/facility, the program does not support SCGSR awardees’ conference or other travels during the award period.

Please see here for benefits related to a SCGSR award.

How is awardees’ progress assessed?

Awardees will be required to submit an end-of-award report. Reporting templates will be provided and should be submitted through an online system. For research awards greater than 6 months in duration, a mid-term progress report will be required in addition to the end-of-award report. You are expected to review these reports before they are formally submitted to SCGSR program manager through the online reporting system.


FOR PRIMARY GRADUATE THESIS ADVISORS: ELIGIBIILTY

I’m a faculty member at a university in Florida and have a current collaboration with a research scientist at the Thomas Jefferson National Acceleratory Facility (TJNAF) in Virginia. We’d like to explore the opportunity of having one of my graduate students conduct part of their thesis research at the accelerator facility at TJNAF for 6 months. Can my graduate student apply to the SCGSR program for a supplemental award?

Yes. If the student meets all of the eligibility requirements and has not worked previously at TJNAF with your collaborator on their graduate research for a period of more than 3 months, she is eligible to apply for an SCGSR award with your collaborator at TJNAF as the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist.

I am currently a faculty member at a university and supporting my graduate students through an Office of Science research award. If the scope of my students’ research is already funded under an existing grant, are they eligible to apply to the SCGSR program.

Yes, under most circumstances. If the current Office of Science proposal specifically calls out in the budget the support for graduate students to have extended stay at a DOE laboratory/facility to conduct research, the students are not eligible to apply.

I would like to send my graduate student to CERN to work on the LHC for a year, can they apply to the SCGSR program?

No. Applicants must be proposing to do part of their thesis research at one of the participating DOE national laboratories/facilities within the U.S. However, they may consider applying to one of the DOE laboratories/facilities that has an LHC operations center in the U.S., such as Fermilab or Brookhaven National Laboratory.

I do not currently have a grant from the Office of Science, are my graduate students eligible to apply to the SCGSR program?

Yes. If the graduate students meet all of the eligibility requirements and their graduate thesis research falls within one of the SCGSR priority research areas, then they are eligible to apply.


FOR PRIMARY GRADUATE THESIS ADVISORS: APPLICATION

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is November 16, 2017 5:00 PM ET .

What is the duration for an award?

The proposed project term, and subsequent award term, must be at least 3 consecutive months and not longer than 12 consecutive months.

What is my role during the application process?

As the primary graduate thesis advisor, you are expected to:

  • Provide guidance to the graduate student applicant in their search to identify a host DOE laboratory/facility and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist;
  • Provide any needed guidance to the graduate student applicant on their SCGSR research proposal, in coordination with the identified collaborating DOE laboratory scientist;
  • Ensure the scope of the proposed SCGSR research does not specifically duplicate work that is currently supported under one of your active research grants (e.g. the grant does not specifically provide for extended travel of students to a DOE lab).
  • Approve the final version of the applicant’s SCGSR research proposal prior to submission by the applicant;
  • Complete and submit a letter of support to the online application system before the application deadline using the link and access code provided in the request email message.

What is required for the letter of support by the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist?

The letter of support from the applicant’s graduate thesis advisor is a required part of their application to the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. The applicant must send the formal request for a letter using the “send request” tool in the online application system. Once the email request is sent, the thesis advisor will have the link and access code to access the letter of support form to complete on the applicant’s behalf.

The online form for the collaborating graduate thesis advisor’s letter of support requests information regarding:

  • How long they have known the applicant.
  • The applicant’s preparedness for the proposed SCGSR research project at a DOE laboratory/facility.
  • The importance of the proposed research to the applicant’s overall doctoral thesis project.
  • Verification that they have read and approved the applicant’s proposed SCGSR research project.

It also request verification that the thesis advisor understands requirements of the program, such as the requirement that the graduate student remain enrolled as a full time student during the award period.

Are graduate students who have been in their graduate program for more than 5 year still eligible to apply to the SCGSR award?

Yes, if the graduate student satisfies all the eligibility requirements posted at the program website.


FOR PRIMARY GRADUATE THESIS ADVISORS: PARTICIPATION

If my graduate student is awarded a SCGSR supplemental award, am I still responsible for supporting my student during their SCGSR award term?

Yes. The supplemental award provided by the SCGSR program is intended to cover incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with the proposed research project at the host DOE laboratory/facility during the award period. While conducting research at DOE laboratories/facilities, your graduate student must remain enrolled full-time in a qualified Ph.D. program at the home academic institution. You are responsible for ensuring that the support for your graduate student required for maintaining the full-time graduate enrollment status is provided during the award period (tuition, fees, etc.). See Participant Obligations. As the thesis advisor, you are also expected to provide continued, ongoing mentorship remotely while your graduate student carries out their SCGSR research project at the DOE laboratory/facility.

Can an SCGSR awardee change the Start Date or End Date of his/her proposed SCGSR research project at the host DOE Laboratory/Facility?

SCGSR awardees are expected to start and end their SCGSR project following the timeline as proposed in the SCGSR application under normal circumstances. Changes to the award period may be considered under exceptional circumstances if there are valid evidence, such as unexpected schedule changes at scientific user facilities involved in their SCGSR project, with the support from both the awardee’s Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist and you (the awardee’s Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor). No matter how the start or end date is changed, the overall project period must remain the same as it was proposed in the awardee’s SCGSR application.

The request of change must be submitted to SCGSR Program Manager at least 20 business days in advance of the expected change, including the signed letters of consent from both Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist and Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor.

Last modified: 9/21/2017 12:07:09 PM