Merit Review Criteria

All completed applications will first be subject to a compliance check to ensure that each applicant has completed all the required application materials and meets the basic DOE SCGF eligibility criteria.  Applicants will be notified of the status of their application through their individual DOE SCGF online application status page.

Eligible applications will then be reviewed by expert scientists, mathematicians, and engineers from universities and DOE national laboratories in their field of study and research. Each application will be reviewed independently by several reviewers. Applications are evaluated based on the established merit review criteria below. For each criterion, reviewers will provide a numerical score based on an established rating scale and a narrative response. Applications will be selected for award based on the results of the merit reviews.

Merit Review Criteria:

Criterion 1.  Academic Performance

  1. Do the courses taken by the applicant and the applicant’s course grades reflect excellent academic performance?
  2. Does the applicant have other academic awards, honors, accomplishments or public recognitions that demonstrate successful academic performance?
  3. Does the applicant’s academic performance demonstrate potential for success in attaining an advanced degree in an area of basic research in physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer and computational sciences, or environmental sciences relevant to the DOE Office of Science?
  4. Has the applicant clearly stated how his or her career goals are aligned with the mission of the DOE Office of Science, and how the DOE SCGF will enable the applicant to achieve those goals? 

Criterion 2.  Preparedness for Graduate Research

  1. Does the applicant have research experience, and, if so, has the applicant published and/or presented his or her work in public meetings? If not, does the applicant have other relevant experiences that demonstrate the applicant is well prepared for graduate research?
  2. Is the applicant’s Proposed Plan of Research complete and well constructed, does it demonstrate knowledge of the relevant scientific literature, and does it demonstrate a clear understanding of scientific and technical challenges involved?
  3. Does the Proposed Plan of Research demonstrate original thinking and have the potential to make meaningful contributions to the research field?
  4. Does the applicant make the case for how the Proposed Plan of Research is aligned with the goals of one or more of the Office of Science research programs?