WSU doctoral student heading to PNNL thanks to prestigious Department of Energy award

Sarah Murphy

A Washington State University doctoral student will get to connect with experts from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory after being selected for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program’s 2019 Solicitation 2 cycle.

Sarah Murphy is one of 62 outstanding students from across the United States selected for the award.

“I was extremely excited to learn of my selection, which will enable me to get some time in a national lab,” Murphy said. “This will not only clarify the direction of my research, but also help me to make connections with researchers that’ll help further my career.”

Murphy is hoping to spend five months at PNNL in Richland, Washington, and the award will help her pay the costs of relocation. Her focus is atmospheric system research, specifically modeling cloud patterns over sea ice in hopes of better understanding how clouds influence the temperature and energy balance of the surface below. She is currently working towards a Ph.D. in engineering science, part of WSU’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department, and is also involved in WSU’s Laboratory for Atmospheric Research.

The SCGSR program provides supplemental funds for graduate students to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist within a defined award period.

“These graduate student awards prepare young scientists for STEM careers critically important to the DOE mission and the advancement of American science and technology,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “We are proud of the accomplishments these outstanding awardees have already made and look forward to following their achievements in the years to come. They represent the future leadership and innovation that will allow American science and engineering to excel in the 21st century.”

Graduate students currently pursuing Ph.D. degrees in areas of physics, chemistry, material sciences, biology (non-medical), mathematics, engineering, computer or computational sciences, or specific areas of environmental sciences that are aligned with the mission of the Office of Science are eligible to apply to the SCGSR program. The research projects are expected to advance the graduate awardees’ overall doctoral research and training while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities only available at the DOE laboratories.

Awardees were selected from a diverse pool of university-based graduate applicants. Selection was based on merit peer review by external scientific experts.

A list of the 62 awardees, their institutions, host DOE laboratory/facility, and priority research areas of projects can be found here.

For more information on SCGSR please visit the program’s website.

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