DOE Program Creates Opportunities for Graduate Students

 
Published: 25 September 2020
Sarah Murphy, selected as a SCGSR Fellow for the 2019 Solicitation 2 cycle, poses near her home institution, Washington State University. Murphy’s project proposal focuses on modeling cloud effects in polar regions.
Sarah Murphy, selected as an SCGSR Fellow for the 2019 Solicitation 2 cycle, poses near her home institution, Washington State University. Murphy’s project proposal focuses on modeling cloud effects in polar regions. Photo is by Alexander Shaller.

Since 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program has helped graduate students prepare for careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Managed by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), 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 areas that address scientific challenges central to the Office of Science mission.

The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories and facilities. Applicants are expected to identify and partner with a scientist at a DOE laboratory and work with them for a period of three months to one year.

The SCGSR program is now accepting applications for the 2020 Solicitation 2 cycle. Applications are due November 12, 2020, at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

The priority research areas for applicants include Atmospheric System Research and “coupling atmospheric observational data with numerical models.” The Solicitation 2 information provides the following description of this priority research area:

“Cloud and aerosol feedbacks remain a large source of uncertainty in model projections of future climate change. Inadequate representation of the detailed processes controlling aerosol and cloud life cycles at the appropriate spatial scales inhibits our ability to predict changes to the Earth system and its impacts on energy and related infrastructure. Applications should target one or more of these climate-relevant processes that need to be better represented in Earth system models to improve the ability of models to confidently make projections: aerosol particle formation, growth, absorption, and aging; cloud microphysical processes such as ice nucleation, drizzle and precipitation formation, and phase partitioning; land-atmosphere interactions that impact aerosol and cloud formation; and interactions between clouds and the environment such as entrainment of air into clouds, convective initiation, cold pools, and organization of convective clouds on a range of scales. High priority research efforts in atmospheric sciences within DOE’s Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division (EESSD) require new expertise in coupling observational data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Research Facility with high-resolution numerical models to advance predictive understanding of aerosol and cloud processes. Applications for this topic should enable observationally-focused graduate students to develop skills in numerical modeling or modeling-focused graduate students to develop skills in working with advanced observational data.”

More detailed information about the program, including other topic areas, eligibility requirements, and access to the online application system, can be found at https://science.osti.gov/wdts/scgsr/.

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This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, through the Biological and Environmental Research program as part of the Atmospheric System Research program.