Application open December 3, 2018 - February 1, 2019


This program has been established as a nationally-competitive effort to elevate the scientific and technical impact of Ph.D. student research at PNNL and OSU. It is designed to attract a select cohort of Ph.D. candidates with enhanced research opportunities unique to the National Lab system. Candidates selected to participate in the program will receive an assistantship for financial support and will benefit from having graduate committee members and access to the world-class research infrastructure the two organizations can provide.

Structure and Financial Support

The program is designed to provide funding support jointly from OSU and PNNL sources. The structure and funding model are described as follows:

  • For years 1 and 2, candidates are appointed to an assistantship funded by departmental or faculty grant funds. The assistantship will provide stipend, tuition, benefits, and additional support to cover the mandatory fees. This period of support is intended to cover the time required to complete a majority of coursework and can be shortened to match the candidate progress.
  • For years 3 and 4, candidates are funded for a 12-month duration by PNNL through a contract to OSU via the OSU Research Office. The PNNL scientist will provide funds for the assistantship stipend, health insurance and mandatory fees on existing or future research projects. The OSU Graduate School will provide tuition waivers for assistantships in these years. Candidates will be primarily located at PNNL. 
  • It is recognized that additional years may be needed to complete the graduate degree program. In this case, PNNL and OSU will negotiate the amount of additional support to be provided to the candidate on a case-by-case basis and any covered tuition costs will follow the standard OSU graduate student policies.

Candidate’s Research Projects and Supervision

The program is designed to provide true collaborative research and training opportunity to candidates through OSU and PNNL.

  • The candidates participating in this program will be advised by individuals from both OSU and PNNL. In addition, facilities at both organization will be available to advance the student research.
  • OSU faculty and PNNL scientist will be responsible for the joint supervision and advising of the candidates, and serve on the candidates graduate degree oversight committee.  PNNL scientists supervising and advising the candidates will be appointed as courtesy faculty at OSU.  


  • The DGRP is open to first year and second year STEM and related science and engineering Ph.D. candidates at OSU. Candidates will be enrolled at OSU as full time students (12 credits in regular terms and 3 credits for summer term) for as long as the candidate is in the program. 
  • Since the DGRP involves candidates and their advisors working on government funded research requiring access to PNNL, a DOE owned facility, the following guidance will apply. All prospective DGRP candidates and OSU advisors who are foreign nationals should check on their eligibility with the program POCs (Point of Contacts) before starting on their applications. All selected DGRP candidates and OSU advisors who are foreign nationals will be reviewed for DOE access requirements before the student or faculty member is approved for access to PNNL and access to information generated at PNNL. Continued participation in the program will be contingent upon meeting the access requirements in effect.

Number of Selected Candidates

OSU will enroll up to 5 candidates for 2019-2020 academic year.  


The DGRP is jointly coordinated by the OSU Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, the OSU Vice-President for Research, and by the Director of Research Partnerships at PNNL. Candidates are jointly nominated to the program by an OSU faculty member and PNNL scientist.

The application consists of:

  • Basic information (name, email address, and Ph.D. program in which the candidate is admitted).
  • The candidate’s CV.
  • A description of the proposed “joint and collaborative” research project from the OSU faculty and PNNL scientist and evidence of available funding for supporting candidate’s stipend, health insurance and mandatory fees.
  • A Statement of Purpose/Objectives for the Ph.D. study and subsequent career. The statement should specifically refer what the candidate hopes to gain from their research effort at PNNL.
  • Two letters of nomination from (1) the OSU faculty member responsible for the student’s research program and support while being funded by OSU and (2) from the collaborating PNNL scientist who will be responsible for the funding during the post-coursework period of the candidate’s program. These letters are submitted separately and directly by the nominators using this nomination letter form. This link is emailed to the nominators upon submission of the application.

Application period: December 3, 2018 - February 1, 2019

Anticipated award notification: February 28, 2019

The assessment criteria for evaluating applications

  • Strength of the candidate’s academic credentials and experience – selecting for the highest caliber candidates for this prestigious program.
  • Ability to work maturely and independently in a national laboratory environment as assessed by the candidate’s past experience, Statement of Purpose/Objectives, and the written recommendations from the proposed co-advisors.
  • Quality of the proposed research and its relevance to the existing and emerging areas of collaboration between OSU and PNNL.

For questions, email Maureen Childers at