Answers to our most common questions
Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship Program
- When is the deadline for the application?
- The deadline for applying to this program is February 1st.
- When will I hear if I was awarded the fellowship?
- The Fellowship awards are generally announced mid April.
- How many students are awarded the fellowship each year?
- The number of awards given each year is dependent on the number of graduating Fellows currently in the program, available funding, and the qualifications of the candidates.
- What areas of research and course work do I need to be involved in to apply?
- The purpose of the NFGFP is to meet U.S. Government (USG) needs for highly trained scientists and engineers in technical areas in which there are ongoing federal research and development programs. Some of these areas include:
1. Technical Mission Area 1 (TMA 1): In general, the NTNF community is interested in advancements in the analysis and characterization of nuclear and other radioactive materials. Of particular importance are innovations in the speed, accuracy, and precision of determining the physical, chemical, isotopic, micro-structural, and/or morphological properties of materials. Specifically in FY2013, the USG is primarily seeking significant developments in the quantification of micro-structural and morphological measurements of bulk uranium and plutonium materials in both oxide and metal forms.
2. Technical Mission Area 2 (TMA 2): Following the detonation of a nuclear device, solid debris samples to be analyzed are expected to contain trace-level quantities of nuclear materials combined with material from the immediate environment around the detonation site, which may have been activated and is assumed to have been vaporized and recondensed. As such, debris for dissolution is expected to have formed at high temperatures and contain silicates and other hard-to-dissolve materials. Solid fallout debris is typically in a glassy matrix containing parts per million (ppm) quantities of plutonium or uranium with radioactive fission products. Improvements are sought in the characterization and analysis of nuclear and non-nuclear constituents within these nuclear and post-detonation debris materials, including those present in trace quantities.
3. Technical Mission Area 3 (TMA 3): General studies that improve our understanding of how relevant stages of the nuclear fuel cycle create, persist, or modify discriminating material characteristics in the metal or oxide forms of uranium or plutonium. FY2013 activities should focus on identifying discriminating characteristics that help assess the process history and provenance of bulk uranium and plutonium materials produced in the enrichment, conversion to oxides, and conversion to metal stages of the fuel cycle, and developing simulations that predict material characteristics from parameterized processes.
- How many years can I be a fellow?
- The initial fellowship appointment is for a 12-month period and renewable for up to a total of 60 months or five (5) years.
- Do I need to participate in a practicum?
- Yes. Fellows are required to participate in two practicums for at least three months at a national research laboratory to gain hands-on experience. Participating National Laboratories can be found in the program description.
- Do I need to be a full-time student?
- Yes. During the fellowship period, fellows are expected to be registered and enrolled as full-time graduate students, and performing study and research within the objectives of the fellowship program. During the summer, fellows should be involved in full-time research related to the completion of their degrees, be enrolled in classes, or be on practicum assignments.
- How much financial support will I receive?
- Fellows receive a monthly stipend in the amount of $2,400. The Fellow's basic stipend is augmented by an additional $500 (prorated) each month during the practicum. For more info. please refer to the 'Fellowship Benefits' section in the NFGFP program information on this site.
- Do I need to be in school for my Ph.D.?
- Yes, all fellows must be entering a doctoral program or currently pursuing a Ph.D. to participate in the Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship Program.
- Can I apply as an undergraduate?
- The program is open to all individuals who will be entering graduate students or who are currently enrolled in a qualified course of study (see technical areas) but have not yet selected a thesis topic.
- Do I need to be a United States citizen?
- Yes, for this fellowship, being a U.S. citizen is a requirement.