DOE-EM-Success Through Academic Research Scholarship (STARS)
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Reference Code
How to Apply

Click on Apply below to start your application today!

Application Deadline
1/25/2024 8:00:00 AM Eastern Time Zone

Are you interested in becoming a STARS Scholar?

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) Success Through Academic Research Scholarship (STARS) program provides opportunities for undergraduate students from Minority Serving Institutions pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that supports the EM research and operations in the following areas: Soil & Groundwater; Deactivation & Decommissioning; Tank Waste; Robotics; Machine Learning; Artificial Intelligence; Cybersecurity; Advanced Manufacturing, cybersecurity, and manufacturing disciplines.

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Why should I apply?

You will receive:

  • Financial support for the pursuit of an undergraduate degree for up to two years and two additional years for students choosing to pursue a Master’s degree
  • Paid summer internships under the guidance of an accomplished mentor at EM headquarter offices, field offices and DOE national laboratories
  • Opportunities to engage with the EM community (e.g. EM field sites, contractors, stakeholders) and other STARS Scholars
  • Academic and career guidance
  • Continued engagement with EM after graduation through employment opportunities or postgraduate appointments 

Financial Support

  • Tuition: $36,000/academic year (Amount is based on expected average cost. The tuition allowance may be higher based on student’s actual tuition costs).
  • Stipend: $32,000/academic year
  • Education Allowance: $5,000/scholarship year
  • Summer Internship: 10-week internship
    • Stipend: $750/week
    • Housing Allowance: up to $700/week based on assigned location
    • Local Transportation: $50/week
    • Inbound/Outbound: $1,000 to be paid as a lump-sum with the first stipend payment.

Scholarship Description

STARS provides undergraduate students enrolled at a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) up to two years of support for the pursuit of an undergraduate degree and two additional years for students choosing to pursue a Master’s degree. Internships aim to introduce Scholars to the missions, functions, operations, and culture of EM and the hosting site allowing Scholars to gain relevant experience in their fields of study or expand knowledge in areas of interest. Upon graduation, Scholars will have a greater understanding of the EM mission and its science and technology needs and be highly prepared to apply and be selected for employment with EM.

EM seeks to continue engagement with students upon completion of the program, preferably as EM employees. Therefore, after the completion of the two-year scholarship plus internship program, EM expects students to commit, apply, and if selected, maintain employment with EM for a number of years equivalent to the years of their award. Alternatively, EM will provide opportunities to Scholars to receive a postgraduate appointment with EM. Scholars may postpone completing this requirement if pursuing a Master’s degree upon completion of the undergraduate degree. During this time, Scholars may also participate in two summer internships at EM headquarters offices, field offices and DOE national laboratories.

Review of Applications

Student applications will be evaluated based on academic merit, enrollment in STEM coursework, extracurricular activities (e.g., teams, clubs, and relevant work experience), recommendation, interest in STEM, and an interest in EM mission.

Nature of Appointment

Scholars will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, STARS or the hosting site.  Instead, Scholars will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.



Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application.
  • Be 18 years of age by June 1, 2024.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student at an accredited Minority Serving Institution (MSI) during the 2023-2024 academic year. Accredited U.S. postsecondary institutions that meet the statutory criteria for identification as Minority Serving Institutions by the Department of Education can be found at:
    • AANAPISI - Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution
    • ANNH - Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institution
    • HBCU - Historically Black College or University
    • HSI - Hispanic-serving institution
    • NASNTI - Native American-serving nontribal institution
    • PBI - Predominantly Black Institution
    • TCU - Tribal College or University
  • Have completed two full years towards an undergraduate degree and planning to graduate no earlier than the end of the Spring 2025 semester/trimester. Students who have completed more than two years towards their undergraduate degree may be considered if they have completed an internship with the Office of Environmental Management since May 2022.
  • Pursuing a STEM degree in a discipline that supports the Office of Environmental Management research and operations. EM has a wide array of critical needs that range from technical expertise and skilled trades to STEM research.  Important areas of research include of soil & groundwater, deactivation & decommissioning, tank waste, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing.

Additional Information

  • Two years of undergraduate education is defined as the equivalent of four semesters or six trimesters.  Academic terms do not need to be continuous.
  • If applicant has attended multiple academic institutions, the current institution must be an MSI.  The MSI must have accepted the appropriate number of transfer credits to be classified as a third-year student.
  • Undergraduate students graduating before end of Spring of 2025 are not eligible.

A complete application consists of:

  • Zintellect Profile
  • Academic Institution Classification
  • Program Specific Questions (Character limits – (300 words)
    • Describe your career plans and how they are related to the Office of Environmental Management. How will this scholarship impact your academic or career pathway (beyond financial support)?
    • Describe how your life’s experiences, beliefs, background, and interests have shaped who you are, led you to your current academic/career journey, and prepared you to fulfill your scholarship requirements. You may include a description of any extra-curricular activities in which you have participated (e.g., clubs, teams, camps, mentoring, jobs, internships, etc.)
    • What aspect of the STARS and DOE EM mission/program appears most relevant to your interests?
  • Select top three research area:  Soil & Groundwater; Deactivation & Decommissioning; Tank Waste; Robotics; Machine Learning; Artificial Intelligence; Cybersecurity; Advanced Manufacturing. Preferences will be taken into consideration when matching applicants with available projects.
  • Resume including the following sections:
    • Experience: recent positions held, including length of employment, hours worked, and location.
    • Community Service & Extracurricular Activities: List service and/or extracurricular activities in which applicants have participated, beginning with most recent.
    • Special Skills and Abilities: List professional/technical skills and abilities that are relevant to this program.
  • Academic Records: A copy of an official or unofficial transcript or copies of the academic records from internal institutional systems may be submitted. Transcript or academic records must clearly show the name of the student, name of the academic institution, enrollment as of Fall 2023, current/completed/enrolled courses, grades, most recent cumulative GPA, and degree in progress as of Fall 2023. Academic records must include undergraduate courses and grades for the equivalent of two years. Applicant may combine academic records into one document if they have attended multiple academic institutions.  Selected candidates must provide proof of enrollment during the Spring 2024 term.
  • One recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor at the institution where the student is currently attending. Recommendation should address the student’s academic record and potential for success such as demonstrated intellectual merit, communication, and teamwork skills. Recommenders will be asked to submit a recommendation in Zintellect. Letters of recommendation submitted via email will not be accepted. Recommendation must be submitted by Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 11:59 pm EST.

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Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree.
  • Overall GPA: 3.00
  • Academic Level(s): Any academic level.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (51 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (29 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years old by 6/1/2024

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