Information for Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientists and Thesis Advisors

Overview

The SCGSR Program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory/facility, in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. A graduate student’s SCGSR research project must be conducted in an area that addresses scientific challenges central to the Office of Science mission and aligned with one or more of the SCGSR Priority Research Areas. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate student’s overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories/facilities.

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 thesis research in collaboration with a DOE 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 thesis research in collaboration with a DOE 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 SCGSR Priority Research Areas, but not currently in a university group funded by the Office of Science, and proposes to do part of thesis research in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist in a priority research area.

Supplemental awards are intended to cover additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory/facility during the award period. Award periods may range from 3 to 12 consecutive months, based on the applicant’s proposed research project. Award recipients must remain enrolled full-time in a qualified Ph.D. program at their home academic institution during the award period. The applicant, their academic institution, and their primary thesis advisor are responsible for ensuring that graduate support required for maintaining the full-time graduate enrollment status is provided (tuition, fees, etc.).

  • Graduate student applicants must meet the eligibility requirements and provide the required application materials through the online application system.
  • The application requirements include an SCGSR research proposal to be developed jointly with the applicant’s primary graduate thesis advisor and the collaborating DOE laboratory research scientist from the proposed host DOE laboratory/facility.
  • The application also requires two individual letters of support, one from the primary graduate thesis advisor and one from the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist.
  • In order for the application to be considered complete, the SCGSR research proposal and two individual letters of support must be submitted electronically in the online system before the deadline.

Graduate Student Applicant Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Applicant’s Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist

Responsibilities of the Applicant’s Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor


Graduate Student Applicant Responsibilities

It is the applicant’s responsibility to:

  • Determine whether they meet all of the program’s eligibility requirements prior to applying;
  • Develop an SCGSR research proposal in collaboration with their primary graduate research advisor and the collaborating DOE laboratory scientist;
  • Send the formal request for a letter of support to the primary graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist through the online application system;
  • Ensure all application materials, including the SCGSR research proposal, letters of support, and graduate transcripts are submitted before the application deadline;
  • Keep both their primary graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist informed of any changes or updates to the research proposal prior to submitting the completed application;
  • Keep their primary graduate thesis advisor and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist informed of the status of their application and award decision.
  • If awarded, meet all of the program requirements and obligations, carry out the proposed research project as planned in the SCGSR research proposal, and remain enrolled full-time in a qualified Ph.D. program at their home academic institution during the award period.

Responsibilities of the Applicant’s Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist

The collaborating DOE laboratory scientist works with graduate student in the preparation of the SCGSR research proposal and provides mentorship and guidance while the student, as an awardee, is carrying out the scope of the research proposal at the host DOE laboratory/facility. 

Collaborating DOE laboratory scientists may be scientific research staff from any of the participating DOE laboratories/facilities. They do not need to be currently funded by the DOE Office of Science. Collaborating DOE laboratory scientists must be full-time research staff at the host DOE laboratory/facility. “Full-time” status requires that the laboratory/facility will be paying their full salary and benefits. They may have joint appointments with an academic institution, but the DOE laboratory/facility must be paying their full salary and benefits and they must spend at least 50 percent of their time at the DOE laboratory/facility. Postdoctoral research staff may be collaborating DOE laboratory scientists, but their committed tenure at the laboratory/facility must exceed the graduate student’s proposed project period. 

Collaborating DOE laboratory scientists are not financially compensated by the SCGSR program.

During the application process: collaborating DOE laboratory scientists have the following responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with graduate student applicant and their thesis advisor, providing guidance 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;
  • 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.
  • Commit to securing the access of any DOE laboratory/facility equipment, laboratory/facility work space, user facilities or other resources at the host DOE laboratory/facility for the time period spanning the applicant’s proposed project period.
  • Ensure that scientific user facility time has been requested and/or granted through the user facility’s own application process, if the use of a user facility is being proposed. Awards will not be granted if the access cannot be secured by the start date of the proposed project period.

At the time of award:

  • Assist in the host DOE laboratory/facility procedures that are necessary to allow the graduate awardees access to enter and perform research at the host DOE laboratory/facility, in coordination with the local DOE Laboratory/Facility POC;
  • Provide appropriate guidance and mentorship to the graduate student while they conduct the scope of the research outlined in the SCGSR research proposal, communicating with the graduate student’s primary thesis advisor as needed.
  • Oversee the full-time attendance requirement of graduate awardees carrying out their SCGSR research project at the host DOE laboratory/facility;
  • Provide necessary working space, equipment, facilities, and resources in supporting graduate awardees to carry out the SCGSR research project;
  • Serve as a resource for the graduate student to learn about the S&T missions of the host DOE laboratory/facility, meet other laboratory scientists and technical staff, and learn of local seminars and relevant training opportunities that might be of value for the graduate student’s career and professional development;
  • Review and feedback on the graduate awardee’s required progress and final reports before they are submitted by the awardee to DOE SCGSR program manager through the program’s online system;
  • Coordinate with the local DOE Laboratory/facility POC and DOE SCGSR program manager at DOE Headquarter in resolving issues that graduate awardees might have during the established project period.

Responsibilities of the Applicant’s Primary Graduate Thesis Advisor

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 topic and graduate thesis advisor. The primary graduate thesis advisor is considered the graduate institution faculty member who provides direct guidance and advice to the applicant on his/her research thesis/dissertation and is usually the chair of the applicant's graduate thesis/dissertation committee graduate.

The primary thesis advisor does not have to be currently funded by the DOE Office of Science for their graduate students to be eligible to apply to the SCGSR program, but the graduate student’s thesis research must be closely aligned with one of the SCGSR priority research areas.

Primary thesis advisors must ensure that the scope of the proposed SCGSR research does not specifically duplicate work that is currently supported under one of their active research grants. If a current research award specifically funds graduate students for extended travel to a DOE laboratory/facility to conduct part of their graduate thesis research, this would be considered duplicative. A current award that finds a scope of work that generally includes the student’s thesis research is not considered inherently duplicative.

During the SCGSR application process, the primary graduate thesis advisor has the following responsibilities:

  • Provide guidance to the graduate student applicant in their search to identify a host DOE laboratory/facility and collaborating DOE laboratory scientist;
  • Provide guidance to the graduate student applicant on their SCGSR research proposal, in coordination with the identified collaborating DOE laboratory scientist;
  • 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.

At the time of award:

  • The supplemental awards provided by the SCGSR program are 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, graduate awardees must remain enrolled full-time in a qualified Ph.D. program at their home academic institutions. The applicant, their academic institution, and their primary thesis advisor are responsible for ensuring that graduate support required for maintaining the full-time graduate enrollment status is provided during the award period (tuition, fees, etc.). See Participant Obligations.
  • Graduate thesis advisors are expected to provide ongoing mentorship remotely while the graduate student carries out their SCGSR research project at the DOE laboratory/facility.

 

Last modified: 8/24/2017 12:01:43 PM