The INL Graduate Fellowship Program is designed to identify exceptional talent in research areas aligned with INL’s strategic agenda to enable the current and future mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) and INL.

The program, a collaboration between INL and universities, provides mentoring and financial support for outstanding students who plan to enroll in graduate degree programs. This is a triad relationship between the student, the university thesis advisor and the INL technical advisor to provide meaningful research and mentorship throughout the entire graduate program.


INL Graduate Fellows will receive a commitment from both INL and their university with agreements to pay tuition and compensation, and to provide the student the opportunity to conduct research while earning their degree.

First years of Ph.D. program:

  • Student will be identified through a selective application process as an INL Graduate Fellow and receive a letter of commitment signed by INL.
  • The INL Graduate Fellow will receive financial support from the university for tuition.
  • An INL technical advisor will be identified to guide the research of the INL Graduate Fellow jointly with the student’s university thesis advisor.
  • Student will begin collaborating with an INL technical advisor and may participate in INL paid internships while completing their core course work.
  • The INL Graduate Fellow’s research plan will be submitted jointly by the student, INL technical advisor, and university thesis advisor.
  • INL Graduate Fellow will spend the majority of their time at the university taking classes.

Last years of Ph.D. program

  • INL Graduate Fellows will spend the majority of their time at INL conducting research as outlined in the student’s research plan.
  • INL Graduate Fellows will receive an annual salary of $80,000.
  • INL Graduate Fellows will receive financial support from INL for tuition.
  • Progress will be reviewed annually to ensure students are making reasonable headway toward the completion of requirements for a degree. The INL Graduate Fellowship appointment will end when the student submits his or her thesis and applies for graduation.

Candidate Requirements

At a minimum, candidates will:

  • Be enrolled in Ph.D. program or applied to Ph.D. in a science or engineering discipline that is closely related to INL’s core areas of interest. (Note: Cyber security master’s students may be considered.)
    Core Areas of Interest
    — Advanced Computer Science, Visualization and Data
    — Biological and Bioprocess Engineering
    — Applied Materials Science and Engineering
    — Chemical and Molecular Science
    — Chemical Engineering
    — Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science
    — Cyber and Information Sciences
    — Decision Science and Analysis
    — Environmental Subsurface Science
    — Large-Scale User Facilities/Advanced Instrumentation
    — Mechanical Design and Engineering
    — Nuclear and Radio Chemistry
    — Nuclear Engineering
    — Power Systems and Electrical Engineering
    — Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering
  • Have the support of their university to provide tuition coverage during the pre-candidacy portion of their degree program.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.

Preference will be given to candidates who:

  • Are enrolled in Ph.D. program from a prestigious or partner university.*
  • Have research experience related to INL’s mission.
  • Have identified an INL technical researcher for mentorship. (Note: If no mentor is identified, INL will help match applicant to technical staff.)

Application Process

Applications are currently open. Interested candidates are invited to apply online through the INL Careers website to job posting numbers 16806 (for applicants in National & Homeland Security) or 16803 (for applicants in the fields of nuclear energy and clean energy development).


  • December-February: Applications open
  • February-April: Applications reviewed
  • May: Selections announced

*Partners include Center for Advanced Energy Studies and National University Consortium universities.