NNSA needs academics. Our missions are broad, and our need for fresh perspective is great. Supporting students and university research gives us both a pipeline of talent and helps us tackle big problems in new ways. Would you like to help us strengthen and enhance our nation’s security as we take on these scientific and technical challenges in the military application of nuclear science?

NNSA has a variety of programs for students and principal investigators to take on our most pressing scientific and technical challenges in the military application of nuclear science and strengthen and enhance our nation’s security.

Learn more:

COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (CSGF)

  • Who it is for: U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are undergraduate seniors, first-year graduate students, and those matriculating into a Ph.D. program (by fall) who are studying computational science.
  • Dates: Application deadline is the second Wednesday in January. The fellowship starts Sept. 1. Funding is renewable for up to four total years.
  • Requirements: A twelve-week onsite practicum at one of 21 DOE's National Laboratories or sites is required.
  • Benefits: A yearly stipend, payment of full tuition and required fees during the appointment period (at any accredited U.S. university), an annual professional development allowance.

Funded jointly by NNSA and the DOE Office of Science, the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship fosters a community of enthusiastic and committed doctoral students, alumni, DOE laboratory staff and various scientists who desire to have an impact on national security and energy missions while advancing their research. This fellowship supports DOE’s and NNSA’s priorities to maintain a pipeline of scientists and engineers trained to meet specific workforce needs in computational science. The fellowship increases collaboration between NNSA laboratories and universities by enhancing the fellows’ research experience at the National Laboratories via access to high-performance computing systems and exposing them to the broader, multi-disciplinary research activities at the laboratories.

Learn more about the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship.

DEFENSE NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM

NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development funds research to support nuclear security objectives and provide a conduit to migrate top talent toward technical applications in nuclear security. Each consortium is made up of different participating schools and each has its own standards for fellowships. 

Consortium for Enabling Technologies & Innovation

The Consortium for Enabling Technologies & Innovation works on developing and refining technologies supporting the nonproliferation mission to detect and characterize the production of nuclear materials, including basic research in computer and engineering sciences for nonproliferation, advanced manufacturing for nonproliferation, and novel instrumentation for nuclear fuel-cycle monitoring.

Consortium for Enabling Technologies and Innovation (gatech.edu)

Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, and Verification

The Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, and Verification’s (MTV) mission is to develop new technologies that detect and deter nuclear proliferation activities and to train the next generation of nuclear professionals. MTV’s efforts are focused on three technical thrust areas:

  • fundamentals of nuclear and particle physics
  • signals and source terms for nuclear nonproliferation
  • nuclear explosion monitoring.

Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, & Verification (umich.edu)

Nuclear Science and Security Consortium

The Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC) develops the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers while performing research spanning basic aspects of new technology and methods to more applied efforts directly supporting nuclear nonproliferation goals. The NSSC includes more than 150 professors, researchers, and students at seven major universities and five National Laboratories advancing the technical state-of-the-art in nuclear science and engineering while developing a new wave of nuclear security experts.

Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (berkeley.edu)

 

LABORATORY RESIDENCY GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (LRGF)

  • Who it is for: U.S. citizens in their second (or later) year of doctoral work in one of the supported fields of study at the time they apply.
  • Dates: Applications are due third Wednesday in March. Awardees will be notified by the end of April. Fellowship begins in September.
  • Requirements:
    • Fellows must complete a minimum of two 12-week laboratory residencies at one of four approved NNSA facilities.
    • Resume and transcripts.
    • Lab mentor letter, advisor letter, additional reference letters, including one that addresses the university's residency policy regarding off-campus experiences of up to six months.

The Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship focuses on fields of study that address complex science and engineering problems critical to stewardship science. The fellowship promotes interactive relationships connecting laboratory scientists, professors, and students and fosters collaborative research relationships. These collaborations, combined with unique facility exposure, are expected to lead to employment opportunities and advancement within the labs. Current areas of study supported by the fellowship are: engineering and applied sciences; physics; materials science; and mathematical and computational science. The program also provides a yearly stipend, tuition fee coverage, and academic allowance.

Learn more about the Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship.

MINORITY SERVING INSTITUTION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (MSIPP)

  • Who it is for: Undergraduate and graduate students in a STEM major who are U.S. citizens and attend one of the partner Minority Serving Institutions listed on this page
  • Dates: Application deadline is March 31. Fellowship lasts for 10 weeks, beginning in June and lasting until August
  • Requirements:
    • Applicants must pass a drug test upon selection

MSIPP is designed to build a sustainable science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pipeline that prepares a diverse workforce through strategic partnerships between Minority Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and the Nuclear Security Enterprise. The program pays a student stipend; offers training, professional development, and networking opportunities; and provides technical experience, interpersonal and leadership skills, and career opportunities.

Students apply to the Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program through their schools, where they will also find additional information.

NNSA GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM (NGFP)

  • Who it is for: U.S. citizens who are current graduate students or those who have completed their post-graduate degree. Targeted toward those with a career interest in U.S. and national security
  • Dates: Application deadline: Oct. 1 (opens March 1). Fellowship begins in June and lasts one year.
  • Requirements:
    • Applicants must be eligible for security clearance based on position requirements

The NGFP is designed to cultivate future leaders for the Nuclear Security Enterprise. NNSA recruits and manages approximately 50-65 fellows per year through it to support a variety of programs and field offices. It includes limited placements with the Department of State, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the DOE Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. While individual assignments vary by year, fellows work alongside leading experts at NNSA to gain hands-on experience supporting the Nation’s nuclear security missions.

NGFP Fellows receive an annual salary and benefits; a hiring incentive; training, professional development, and networking opportunities; tuition reimbursement (criteria apply); and a travel/training allotment.

Learn more about the NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program.

NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION INTERNATIONAL SAFEGUARDS (NNIS) GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

  • Who it is for: U.S. citizens pursuing a Ph.D. at a participating university who are conducting research relevant to international nuclear safeguards
  • Dates: Applications are due in mid-February (opens in November)Fellowship begins with the academic year and lasts 12 months (it can be extended to last up to a total of 48 months)
  • Requirements: Fellows must participate in at least one practicum for at least three months at a designated DOE/NNSA facility and may be required to apply for security clearance.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards Fellowship is dedicated to fostering the development of policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, infrastructure, and human capital necessary to sustain and enhance international nuclear safeguards. It provides financial support for students pursuing technical doctoral research relevant to the field of international safeguards, including tuition, a monthly stipend, and travel reimbursement. International safeguards are technical measures that the International Atomic Energy Agency uses to verify that countries are in compliance with their legally binding agreements not to develop nuclear weapons. (Learn more about international safeguards.)

Learn more about the Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards Fellowship.

RICKOVER FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM (RFP) IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING

  • Who it is for: U.S. citizens who are Ph.D. graduate students pursuing studies in the topics of interest
  • Dates: Application deadline: Jan. 31 (opens in November). Fellowship begins Sept. 1 and commitment lasts a minimum of one year
  • Requirements:
    • Applicants must be capable of obtaining and maintain a DOE security clearance.
    • Fellows must complete two 3-month practicums at Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, New York.
    • Fellows incur one month of obligated service at Bettis or Knolls for every two months of financial support they receive, with a minimum work commitment of 12 months.

The RFP recruits students with critical skills to work for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (also known as Naval Reactors) at Bettis or Knolls. The It financially supports up to 15 fellows at a time, paying tuition costs and a monthly living stipend. Current topics of interest are: nuclear reactor physics; thermal hydraulics and computational fluid dynamics; materials science; shielding; acoustic technology; and artificial intelligence.

Learn more about the Rickover Fellowship Program.

SAVANNAH RIVER SITE COMMUNITY REUSE ORGANIZATION (SRSCRO) WORKFORCE OPPORTUNITIES IN REGIONAL CAREERS (WORC) PROGRAM

  • Who it is for: Undergraduates working to improve skills in targeted subjects who attend one of the following schools:
    • Georgia: Augusta Technical College and Augusta University
    • South Carolina: Aiken Technical College, Claflin University, University of South Carolina Aiken, and University of South Carolina Salkehatchie
  • Dates: Based on each school’s academic calendar
  • Requirements: Based on each school’s criteria

The WORC program, focused on the Savannah River Site, aims to prepare the local workforce for careers at the site – and other local employers – by building the skills, experience, certifications, and proficiency across several scientific, engineering, technical, craft, and business support disciplines. Applicants who would like to pursue these grants should apply through their schools.

STEWARDSHIP SCIENCE GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (SSGF)

  • Who it is for: U.S. citizens who are full-time senior undergraduate students or first- or second-year graduate students
  • Dates. Applications are due the first Wednesday in January. Awardees are notified by early April.
  • Requirements:
    • Fellows must complete a 12-week laboratory residency at one of four approved NNSA facilities.
    • Resume and transcripts.
    • References

The Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship is a competitive fellowship that provides professional development opportunities to students pursuing doctoral degrees studying properties of materials under extreme conditions, nuclear science, and high energy density physics. It provides a yearly stipend, tuition fees, and an academic allowance, unique research opportunities, mentoring and a strong connection with the National Laboratories. Each SSGF fellow must participate in a 12-week research practicum at one of the National Laboratories, which gives them the opportunity to work with leading experts in the field and provides hands-on experience at cutting-edge experimental facilities.

Learn more about the Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship.

HIGH ENERGY DENSITY LABORATORY PLASMAS (HEDLP) PROGRAM

The HEDLP is designed to facilitate the study of laboratory high energy-density (HED) plasma physics by funding academic research of ionized matter in laboratory experiments. The program has three primary elements: individual investigator research grants, centers of excellence, and the National Laser User Facility.

  • Individual Investigator Grants: NNSA’s Office of Experimental Sciences partners with the DOE's Office of Science to issue an annual joint solicitation for HED Laboratory Plasmas research. Competitively awarded research grants are selected through the joint solicitation.
  • Centers of Excellence: HED Centers of Excellence are competitively selected through the Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Centers process. They are integrated multi-institutional collaborative efforts focused on a central problem or theme. The Centers work closely with Nuclear Security Enterprise scientists and maintain a core set of specific academic expertise.
  • National Laser User Facility (NLUF): The primary purpose of the NLUF program is to provide access to NNSA's unique tools for cutting-edge science at the Omega Laser Facility at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. The innovative development of diagnostics and platforms by user facility partners have often proven to benefit NNSA experimental needs and provide hands-on research experience to researchers.

High Energy Density Laboratory Program Funding Opportunity Announcements are posted on grants.gov. (Agency may show as DOE-NNSA, PAMS-SC, DOE-CH, and more.)

MINORITY SERVING INSTITUTION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (MSIPP)

  • The MSIPP funding opportunity announcement (FOA) was announced in December 2021 and will remain open for at least 60 days.
  • All Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions are welcome to apply.
  • Successful applicants have focused on broad STEM areas including advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, engineering, and nuclear security.

The MSIPP program is designed to increase participation from the targeted schools and the representation of African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans in the Nuclear Security Enterprise and other sectors. A wide variety of STEM-related topic areas are supported at schools in the program.

The MSIPP funding opportunities are listed on grants.gov.

PREDICTIVE SCIENCE ACADEMIC ALLIANCE PROGRAM (PSAAP)

The Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) engages with leading U.S. universities, focusing on ways to solve open science and engineering application problems. Key focus areas include:

  • Discipline-focused research needed to further predictive science and enabled by effective exascale computing technologies;
  • Developing and demonstrating technologies and methodologies to support effective exascale computing in the context of science/engineering applications; and
  • Predictive Science based on verification and validation and uncertainty quantification (V&V/UQ) for large-scale simulations. 

It is relevant to a variety of NNSA activities. A key component in PSAAP is computational science research that contributes to effective use of emerging architectures, systems, and technologies.

The program consists of the following types of Centers:

  • Multi-disciplinary Simulation Centers, which focus on scalable application simulations, targeting large-scale, integrated multidisciplinary problems.
  • Single-Discipline Centers, which focus on scalable application simulation for targeting a broad single science or engineering discipline.
  • Focused Investigatory Centers, which are tightly focused on a specific research topic of interest to NNSA’s mission, in either a science/engineering discipline or an extreme scale enabling technology.

Learn more about the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program.

STEWARDSHIP SCIENCE ACADEMIC ALLIANCES (SSAA) PROGRAM

The Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) program emphasizes academic research in technical areas related to NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship mission, including material properties under extreme conditions; hydrodynamics; low energy nuclear science; radiochemistry; and high energy density physics. Research is done through both collaborative centers of excellence and individual investigator research projects. The program supports research at approximately 80 universities and the training of more than 350 undergraduate, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers each year.

A key element of both enters of excellence and individual investigator awards is the connection of students with the Nuclear Security Enterprise labs, plants, and sites. These opportunities are focused in technical fields critical to stewardship science, building a field of talented researchers and committed doctoral students – sharing a common desire to advance science while impacting national security.

The funding opportunity announcements for SSAA grants are every three years. Funding opportunity announcements for SSAA Centers of Excellence occur roughly every five years. 

The SSAA funding opportunity announcements for both SSAA grants and centers are posted on grants.gov.