The Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC) administers a competitive fellowship for graduate students conducting research in fields relevant to nonproliferation. Graduate Fellows are selected for 3 to 4-year fellowships. The number of fellowships will depend on the funds available at that time. CNEC is not accepting applications for the fellowship program at this time. Please check this website periodically to know when additional application rounds will start.
In 2014 North Carolina State University (NCSU) was awarded a $25M grant by the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to create the Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC), comprised of 10 partner institutions:
- NCSU (lead institution)
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Kansas State University
- North Carolina A&T State University
- Purdue University
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- University of Michigan
National Lab Partners
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
CNEC’s goal is to become the preeminent research and education hub dedicated to the development of enabling technologies and technical talent for meeting the present and future grand challenges of nuclear nonproliferation. The education and training of graduate students who are actively involved in research relevant to nonproliferation is a key component of the CNEC mission and the CNEC Graduate Program will foster and promote this activity.
Applicants must have either applied to a graduate program, or be already enrolled in a graduate program, at a qualifying college or university with the ultimate objective of earning a doctoral degree in a field that is relevant to CNEC’s goals and mission. Eligibility requirements include a 3.5 GPA for undergraduate applicants and a 3.7 GPA for graduate applicants. Additionally, all applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents of the US. Applicants must demonstrate that their graduate program and research plans are of high quality and relevant to CNEC’s mission.
The program will cover full tuition and fees and provide a $33,000 annual stipend ($2750/month) to each CNEC Fellow for up to four years. Funds for stipends and tuition and fees will be provided to the Fellow’s institution by CNEC for disbursement to the Fellow. Additionally, each CNEC Fellow will be provided with travel support to the annual University Industry Technical Interchange (UITI) review meeting, which is an annual meeting that presents current research and activities in the nuclear nonproliferation community. CNEC Fellows will be required to present their research at the UITI meetings. Continuing support for a CNEC Fellow is contingent on their maintaining a 3.7 GPA throughout their graduate academic career and on their making steady progress towards earning their target degree. CNEC Fellows will be required to complete annual reports on their current status and achievements during the previous year, for review and comment by their academic advisors before transmittal to CNEC. The academic advisor is required to assess the progress that has been made by the Fellow in the previous year and recommend whether or not the fellowship should be renewed for another year.
CNEC Fellows are expected to intern at one of the participating national laboratories for at least two summers during the duration of the fellowship and will be compensated for their travel and dislocation expenses. These expenses will be covered separately by CNEC.
Further information and CNEC Graduate Fellowship Program guidelines can be found below.
Institutions that are eligible to host CNEC Fellows must have demonstrated a commitment for research in nonproliferation areas. A number of institutions have already established their credentials in this area, including the CNEC partner universities listed above as well as institutions that are eligible to host Nuclear Nonproliferation International Safeguards (NNIS) Graduate Fellowships. Fellowships are not restricted to CNEC partner institutions. See scuref.org/nnis-01 for a list of NNIS-eligible universities. If your institution is not listed, please complete and submit the CNEC Fellowship Eligibility Form (1) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fellows must be enrolled in a graduate program in an eligible university prior to the transfer of fellowship funds to the Fellow’s institution.
The following technical areas illustrate the breadth and depth of the nonproliferation research activities being pursued by CNEC. Applicants should consider these and related topics when they describe their graduate program and research plans.
- Identify and create tools that can be used to analyze data from single sensors, sensor networks, and data streams to locate, identify, and characterize signatures of nuclear proliferation.
- Develop simulation and modeling methods to identify and characterize SNM and facilities that process SNM, including:
- Develop simulation and modeling methods to predict and characterize the structure and behavior of observable signatures associated with SNM;
- Integrate sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification in predictive physics models;
- Analyze predictive simulations to identify potential new signatures or patterns of signatures; and
- Apply simulation and modeling to evaluate the potential effectiveness of new sensing, measurement, and analysis techniques.
- Identify and create tools that can be used to collect, fuse, and analyze data from multiple sensors to support the identification of signatures, decisions about data collection, and development of simulation and modeling methodology for nonproliferation applications.
- Develop technology to replace those industrial measurement and radiation effects sources that use long-lived radioisotopes with either accelerator sources of radiation, short-lived radioisotopes, or non-nuclear measurement approaches in order to mitigate the danger of the original long-lived radioisotope being stolen and used as a “dirty” bomb, contaminant of the water supply, or some other harmful use.