The Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of International Nuclear Safeguards (OINS) is a comprehensive, multi-million-dollar program dedicated to developing the policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, infrastructure, and human capital necessary to sustain and enhance international nuclear safeguards. DOE/NNSA is the principal federal sponsor of the Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards (NNIS) Graduate Fellowship Program.
Increasing costs for graduate education and demand for employees with bachelor’s degrees in nuclear-related science and engineering has reduced the number of qualified students seeking advanced degrees in those fields. Simultaneously, demand for Ph.Ds. in the radiopharmaceutical, nuclear power, defense, and waste management industries means that fewer scientists and engineers with advanced degrees are available to pursue careers in nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards. This, coupled with the retirement of a broad range of nuclear scientists and engineers who were educated in the 1970s, has exacerbated the issue.
The NNIS Graduate Fellowship Program provides financial support for exceptional students pursuing technical doctoral research relevant to the field of international safeguards. Participating universities foster partnerships between science/engineering programs and programs focused on nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards policy. Armed with both deep technical expertise and policy understanding, NNIS Fellows are primed to take on the exciting and challenging work of international nuclear safeguards.