About the Awards

The Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) strives to facilitate innovation and the creation of new ideas in fuel-cycle-relevant disciplines as well as to demonstrate its support for higher education in fuel-cycle-relevant disciplines.

The Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies announces the fourth year of the Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards Program, an awards program for students. The program is designed to:

  1. award graduate and undergraduate students for innovative fuel-cycle-relevant research as demonstrated through journal publications and conference presentations
  2. demonstrate the Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies' commitment to higher education in
    fuel-cycle-relevant disciplines, and
  3. support communications among students and DOE representatives.

In addition to cash prizes, award winners may have opportunities to participate in events such as the 2014 Fuel Cycle Technologies Annual Meeting, the 2014 American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting, and an Innovators' Forum, a forum designed to engage students in advancing innovations in fuel cycle research.

The deadline for applications is midnight, Central Daylight Time, Sunday March 16, 2014.

The U.S. Department of Energy, the federal government, or University Research Alliance is not obligated to make any award as a result of this announcement.

This announcement may be changed at any time.

There are three competitions. Each publication will be evaluated in each competition for which it qualifies. Students may submit more than one publication, but no publication or student may receive more than one award. Monetary awards vary according to prize level, and some awards may include travel or conference opportunities.

The Three Competitions

The three competitions are:

The Open Competition
All submitted publications from eligible students at all universities are eligible for this competition. The intent is to provide first and second place awards for well-qualified publications in each of the following categories:

  • Nuclear Science and Engineering (including theoretical, experimental, and/or modeling work on nuclear reactions including fission, capture, and transmutation; nuclear physics; chemistry; applications of nano-science and nano-technologies to nuclear energy, nuclear engineering, etc.)
  • Advanced Fuels (including in-core materials and cladding, materials science, in-core instruments, detectors, sensors and nano-scale structures and materials)
  • Separations and Waste Forms (includes nano-scale structures and materials)
  • Materials Protection, Control, and Accountancy (including instrumentation, detectors, and sensors for safeguards and nonproliferation applications)
  • Used Fuel Disposition (including storage, transportation, and disposal of commercial used fuel)
  • Energy Policy (including decision support simulators which may include game theory, economic modeling, and applied mathematics)

Awards in the Open Competition are $3,000 for first place and $2,500 for second place. Travel and conference opportunities as stated below may accompany this award.

The Competition for Students Who Attend Universities with <$600 Million in 2011 Science and Engineering R&D Expenditures
Publications from eligible students who attend universities with <$600 million in 2011 science and engineering R&D expenditures are eligible for this competition. Students who were attending universities on this list at the time their publications were submitted are eligible only for the Open Competition or the Undergraduate Competition. Awards are $1,500 each. Travel and conference opportunities as stated below may accompany this award.

The Undergraduate Competition
Publications from eligible undergraduate students at all universities are eligible for this competition. Awards are $1,000 each. Travel and conference opportunities as stated below may accompany this award.

Travel and Conference Opportunities

Details about potential travel and conference opportunities will be provided at a later date. First Place award winners may receive an opportunity to present their publication at the 2014 ANS Winter Meeting. All award winners may receive opportunities to participate in the 2014 Fuel Cycle Technologies Annual Meeting or an Innovators' Forum. Travel reimbursement is up to $1,400 for allowable travel expenses for program offered travel.


Application Deadline

The deadline for applications is midnight, Central Daylight Time, Sunday March 16, 2014.