DOE NNSA SSGF fellows pose for a photograph in front of the U.S. Capitol while in Washington, D.C. for the 2010 annual conference. Click photo for larger version.
Naturally, there are many financial and professional development benefits afforded by the fellowship. In addition, the community one joins as a DOE NNSA SSGF fellow will prove to be just as valuable over his or her lifetime.
As part of the fellowship community, students involved in the program:
- Meet DOE laboratory and university scientists and engineers who conduct research in areas related to their interests
- Collaborate with other young scientists while completing their DOE laboratory research practicum
- Develop friendships and working relationships with graduate students from across the nation who will someday become their professional peers
- Learn from the experiences of other DOE NNSA SSGF fellows and alumni who often become mentors as they begin their studies and research.
- Connect with future collaborators and others who can help in the search for jobs, post-doc fellowships, etc.
A significant goal of the DOE NNSA SSGF program is to ensure that fellows are afforded many opportunities to meet other scientists and students, to share research in a professional setting, and to be part of an active and valued community – one that continues to grow and thrive as one transitions from fellow to alum.
The DOE NNSA SSGF Annual Program Review is, perhaps, the program's most successful forum for community building. Often the first face-to-face meeting of new fellows, the conference provides the perfect balance of meetings, presentations, workshops and social gatherings. Attendees include program fellows and alumni, DOE headquarters and laboratory staff, and academic advisors. Participants form friendships and professional associations that lead to future research and career opportunities.
Outside of the annual program review, fellows are often asked to present their work at other technical meetings. When doing so, these students are encouraged to involve their academic advisors who are viewed as integral members of the fellowship community. Advisors are offered travel assistance to attend the annual meeting and to visit their advisee(s) at the laboratory during a practicum experience.
During the DOE laboratory research practicum, fellows work alongside scientists and other students on an interesting and challenging research project. They also have the option of participating in a second practicum – an experience ideal for those looking to take on work at another national laboratory site, or who would like to conduct research in an area related to, but unique from, their dissertation research.
Finally, program alumni are kept informed of social and professional development opportunities to re-engage with the program and to connect with new fellows. Mentoring opportunities exist for those looking to help new fellows in future years, and program alumni are granted access to current students who are seeking employment post graduation.