Environmental System Science Program
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2017 Solicitation 2. Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Thursday, November 16, 2017. The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission. The Environmental Systems Science topic is one of the most popular in the SCGSR, and students are encouraged to consider applying to the new announcement: (e) Environmental Systems Science: Process-Level Terrestrial Ecosystem and Biogeochemical Research to Inform Models of the Earth and Environmental System Current land process, watershed, ecosystem, and climate models inadequately represent the structure and function of key environmental and ecological processes that span the continuum from the bedrock, through the soil and vegetation, and to the atmospheric interface. These processes (e.g., soil biogeochemical reactions, plant-rhizosphere interactions, reactive transport, microbe-mineral interactions, vegetative, etc.), have interfaces and interactions between the various components of the continuum and land surface, riverine environments, coastal zones and the subsurface environment. The inadequate representation of these terrestrial ecosystem, subsurface structures, biogeochemical processes and hydrologic interactions represents a major roadblock in our ability to predictively understand the Earth and environmental systems. Improving our representation of the complex Earth system requires a better understanding of terrestrial ecosystem and/or subsurface processes that can affect the cycling and transport of water, elements (including carbon), nutrients, and other constituents from process-level observational, ecosystem and hydrobiogeochemical research. Candidates for this topic are required to delineate an integrative, hypothesis-driven approach and clearly describe the existing needs in state-of-the-art models through terrestrial ecosystem and subsurface biogeochemical process research projects that will inform land process, watershed, and ecosystem models, and aligns with the scope and focus of the DOE Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and/or Subsurface Biogeochemical Research programs. Developing a workforce with experience in innovative, experimental approaches efforts in subsurface/belowground process research will enable DOE to make significant advances in the high resolution predictive understanding of the Earth and environmental system and to foster innovative research. Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at: https://science.osti.gov/wdts/scgsr. The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The program is open to graduate students with Permanent Resident status, in addition to U.S. Citizens, who meet all other eligibility requirements. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis/dissertation while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period. Since its inception in 2014, the SCGSR program has provided support to over 200 graduate awardees from about 90 different universities to conduct thesis research at DOE national laboratories across the nation. The SCGSR program is sponsored and managed by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), in collaboration with the six Office of Science research programs offices and the DOE national laboratories, and the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE). For any questions, please contact the SCGSR Program Manager, Dr. Ping Ge, at sc.scgsr@science.doe.gov.