Nuclear power graduate fellowship

Since 1992, the University of Nevada, Reno has conducted externally-funded research on the response of spent nuclear fuel transport casks to fire accident conditions as well as performance and reliability of materials in advanced nuclear power applications. This work has been funded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy, National Laboratories, the State of Nevada, and industry.

About the nuclear power graduate fellowship 

The objective of this program is to help develop a workforce with advanced degrees who are able to support the design, construction, operation, and regulation of nuclear facilities and the safe handling of nuclear materials. This program is funded by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The fellowships are available to students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in either materials science and engineering or mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. The specific topic areas are described below:

Materials science and engineering

The program has research strengths in studying materials for nuclear power with special focus on high temperature materials performance and corrosion. Notable infrastructure includes a supercritical water loop facility and molten salt facility outfitted with a suite of materials characterization techniques. Students interested in understanding materials performance, behavior and failure at high temperatures are preferred.

Mechanical engineering

 In order to benefit from the varied uses of nuclear and other radioactive materials, packaging that protects the public and the environment during their storage, transfer, transport and disposal must be developed, tested, inspected and maintained. Students interested in conducting combined experimental and computational research on the thermal performance of packages under normal and fire accident conditions are encouraged to apply.

Program benefits

  • A yearly stipend of $27,500 for up to four years for Ph.D. fellows or $25,000 for up to two years for M.S. fellows
  • Tuition waiver at the level of full-time graduate assistant
  • Health benefits
  • Faculty research supervision and professional career advisement
  • Travel and registration for one professional conference per year
  • An internship at a National Lab, the NRC or a nuclear industry facility performing research and analysis that will enhance the professional experience and development of the fellow. Temporary relocation costs for the internship will be provided by the fellowship program

Eligibility requirements

The following conditions must be fulfilled to receive/maintain a fellowship:

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Full-time enrollment in the graduate program at the University of Nevada, Reno
  • Perform research leading to an M.S. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation under the supervision of a faculty research advisor
  • Sign the mandatory service agreement with NRC. A sample agreement can be found on the NRC's website
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.3 or better (on a 4.0 scale) each semester and make good progress toward completion of a dissertation or thesis

How to apply

  • Interested students may apply for travel funds and request to visit the University to learn about the various opportunities and available infrastructure for nuclear research. To apply for travel funds to attend an orientation weekend at the University send an email to
  • After receiving graduate admission to the University, applicants should submit tentative proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, an essay describing professional background and goals, and an indication of willingness to fulfill the fellowship requirements (listed above) to
  • It should be noted that the application process for the nuclear fellowship is separate from the graduate program admission process. Only students admitted to the graduate programs in either materials science and engineering or mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno are eligible to receive the fellowship. For information on applying to the University's graduate programs, please visit the Graduate School website.

For more information, contact Professors Miles Greiner and Dev Chidambaram at