CWRU Named a Department of Energy IUP-approved University--PhD Students to Receive Fellowships for Nuclear Energy


In April 2020, the Department of Energy (DOE) approved CWRU to administer graduate research fellowships through the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) Integrated University Program (IUP). The NEUP-IUP fellowships support students pursuing graduate degrees in nuclear engineering, nuclear science, and related fields that will advance the field of nuclear energy. While CWRU does not have a nuclear engineering major, many faculty and students are conducting research in related fields. Students who have completed less than 12 months of graduate study (including undergraduate students) are eligible to apply. All fellowship applications are reviewed externally by NEUP. As a NEUP-IUP participant, CWRU can administer up to three new fellowships per year for the next five years. 

The first fellowship recipient at CWRU is Bethany Kersten, a first-year PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Bethany’s graduate research will focus on electrochemical methods for recycling spent nuclear fuel. As part of the fellowship program, she will complete an internship at Argonne National Laboratory in the Chemical and Fuel Cycles Technologies Division.

The IUP program at CWRU is led by Dr. Christine Duval, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biomolecular, and supported by Dr. Rohan Akolkar, F. Alex Nason Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, an Ohio Eminent Scholar, and Faculty Director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI), and Dr. Benjamin Monreal, Associate Professor of Physics. Students interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to reach out to one of the faculty listed above. 

This year, the DOE is awarding more than $5 million in undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to students pursuing nuclear engineering degrees and other nuclear science and engineering programs relevant to nuclear energy. The awards include 42 scholarships and 34 fellowships for students at U.S. colleges and universities. Through this program, undergraduates will receive a $7,500 stipend 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 U.S. national laboratory or other approved research facility to strengthen the ties between students and DOE's energy research programs. Since 2009, DOE has awarded close to 800 scholarships and fellowships totaling approximately $44 million to students pursuing nuclear energy-related degrees.