About the Awards

The Office of Nuclear Technology R&D 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 Nuclear Technology R&D announces the eighth year of the Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Awards (formerly the Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards), an awards program for students. The program is designed to:

  1. award graduate and undergraduate students for innovative nuclear-technology-relevant research as demonstrated through journal publications and conference presentations
  2. demonstrate the commitment of the Office of Nuclear Technology R&D to higher education in
    nuclear-technology-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 2017 Nuclear Technology R&D Annual Meeting, the 2017 American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting, and an Innovators' Forum, a forum designed to engage students in advancing innovations in nuclear technology research.

The deadline for applications is midnight, Central Daylight Time, Sunday March 19, 2017.

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 student may receive more than one award per year. Monetary awards vary according to prize level, and some awards may include travel or conference opportunities.

The Three Competitions

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:

  • Advanced Fuels (including in-core materials and cladding, materials science, in-core instruments, detectors, sensors and nano-scale structures and materials)
  • Advanced Reactor Systems (including material science, advanced alloy development and testing, nuclear physics, nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics, fast reactor concept development, advanced reactor design)
  • Energy Policy (including decision support simulators which may include game theory, economic modeling, and applied mathematics)
  • Material Recovery and Waste Form Development (includes advanced extraction technology for dry and wet recycling of used nuclear fuel, advanced waste form development and its characterization, uranium resources, thermodynamics and kinetics)
  • Material Protection, Control, and Accountancy (including instrumentation, detectors, and sensors for safeguards and nonproliferation applications)
  • Nuclear Science and Engineering (including nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry, radiochemistry applicable to R&D nuclear fuel cycle and generic geology repository)
  • Used Fuel Disposition (including storage, transportation, disposal of commercial used fuel, behavior of actinides and radionuclides under generic repository conditions)

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.

Competition for Students Who Attend Universities with Less Than $600 Million in 2015 R&D Expenditures
Publications from eligible students who attend universities with less than $600 Million in 2015 science and engineering R&D expenditures are eligible for this competition. Students who were attending universities on this list when their publications were submitted are not eligible for this competition. Awards are $1,500 each. Travel and conference opportunities as stated below may accompany this award.

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 2017 ANS Winter Meeting. All award winners may receive opportunities to participate in the 2017 Nuclear Technologies R&D Annual Meeting or an Innovators' Forum. Travel reimbursement is up to $1,400 for allowable travel expenses for program offered travel.


Rules for Award Winners

Applicants must agree to abide by the Rules for Award Winners.


Application Deadline

The deadline for applications is midnight, Central Daylight Time, Sunday March 19, 2017.