Category Archives: Research Opportunities

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Oak Ridge Lab Research Opportunities

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Higher Education Research Experiences accepts undergraduate, recent graduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students to participate in research and internships for up to four years, depending on the type of program. Several programs are listed on the website, and deadlines may vary. Below the cut is a quick description of the programs for each academic level.

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Google Announces Million-Dollar Engineering Challenge


Google is offering $1 million to anyone who can take a power inverter — a device used to convert energy that comes from solar, electric vehicles, and wind — and shrink it to 1/10th its normal size. Such devices are normally the size of a picnic basket, according to Google’s blog.

It’s called the Little Box Challenge, and it’s being offered in partnership with IEEE. According to the blog, “A smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world. Or allow you to keep the lights on during a blackout via your electric car’s battery. Or enable advances we haven’t even thought of yet.” The challenge requires teams to register by September 30, 2014 in order to submit a technical approach and application by July of next year. The grand prize winner won’t be announced until 2016.

NSA Expands College Cybersecurity Program


The National Security Agency (NSA) is reaching out to college students in an attempt to relieve the shortage of cyber security professionals in the U.S. Recently, the agency announced it’s expanding its National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program to include five more universities: New York University, Towson University in Maryland, The United States Military Academy, University of Cincinnati and University of New Orleans, according to USA Today. That puts the total number of universities with this designation at 13.

The schools don’t receive NSA funding — instead, they receive liaison personnel who provide research opportunities for students. The designation also makes the schools eligible for some National Science Foundation grants. According to the article, the schools are hoping the designation will attract more students interested in cyber security, as well as recruiters looking for cyber security graduates.

EPA and NOAA Funding Opportunities and Fellowships

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Below are three environmental research fellowships for both undergraduate and graduate students. Deadlines have passed for the 2014 year, but stay tuned for announcements about the 2015 application process and deadlines.

1. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study support master’s and doctoral candidates and are intended to help defray the cost of earning a graduate degree in an environmental science. Benefits of an EPA STAR Fellowship include: Up to $42,000 per year, including $12,000 per year for tuition and fees, $25,000 per year in a monthly stipend, and an annual expense allowance of $5,000. Master’s level students can receive support for a maximum of two years. Doctoral students can be supported for a maximum of three years with funding available, under certain circumstances, over a period of four years.

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DOE Graduate Student Research Program

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science recently announced their new Graduate Student Research Program, which is accepting applications for the first class of students. The program will allow Ph.D. students to conduct part of their research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE scientist for three to twelve months. 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. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.

See a list of research areas the DOE is interested in funding. Most areas pertain to basic sciences, but it also includes computer science, applied mathematics, nuclear science applications, and bioinformatics. The office expects to make approximately 100 awards in 2014, for project periods beginning anytime between January and September 2015. Applications are due by September 24, 2014.