U.S. Department of Energy Awards $5 million for Next Generation of Nuclear Scientists and Engineers

April 9, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced more than $5 million in scholarships and fellowships for students across the country pursuing degrees in nuclear energy and engineering. These awards through the Office of Nuclear Energy's Integrated University Program will invest in the next generation of nuclear energy leaders, so that they can develop innovative solutions to today's challenges and help America meet the Biden Administration's ambitious goals of 100% clean electricity by 2035, and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Nuclear is going to play a critical role in America's clean energy future, which means it's more important than ever that we invest in this braintrust," said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today's whip-smart students are going to power tomorrow's cutting-edge solutions, and I can't wait to see where they take us."

Nuclear power is one of the most reliable sources of energy in America, and the largest domestic source of clean energy—providing 52% of the nation's carbon-free electricity in 2020, and about a fifth of U.S. electricity overall. More research and development in technologies like advanced nuclear reactors and fuels will help America realize nuclear's full potential to meet its energy, environmental, and economic needs—all made possible by a strong pipeline of nuclear energy and engineering students.

The awards announced today include 50 undergraduate scholarships and 31 graduate fellowships, for students at 36 colleges and universities in 23 states. Each undergraduate scholarship provides $7,500 to help cover education costs for the upcoming year, while the three-year graduate fellowship provides $52,000 each year to help pay for graduate studies and research. Fellowships also include $5,000 to fund an internship at a DOE National Laboratory or other approved research facility to strengthen the ties between students and DOE's energy research programs.

Since 2009, the Integrated University Program has awarded nearly 850 scholarships and fellowships, totaling approximately $50 million in awards. Eight former fellowship winners are now university professors engaged in nuclear energy-related research, and one was competitively awarded an Office of Nuclear Energy research and development award in FY 2020. 

Find additional information about DOE's nuclear energy scholarships and fellowships awarded at: