Computational Science Graduate Fellowship: information for mentors

28 June 2024

◆ ◆ ◆

In this blog post, I’ve created a simple Q/A for mentors who are interested in supervising a Computational Science Graduate Fellow (CSGF) during their practicum, a brief summary of which can be found here. At the time of writing this, I am the practicum coordinator for Brookhaven National Lab (BNL), and therefore the primary point of contact for mentors wishing to supervise CSGFs at BNL during their practicum. You can find my contact information on my staff page. Please reach out to me if you have any questions!


What is the CSGF?

The CSGF is an elite Department of Energy fellowship that accepts ~2-4% of hundreds of already highly qualified applicants. It is Department of Energy ASCR-funded fellowship and is essentially a feeder program for the National Lab system and technical/science industry positions in the US. The program funds graduate students completely for 4 years.

Who can win the CSGF?

Fellows are graduate students in various programs throughout the US. FAQ on who can apply can be found here.

What is a practicum?

Just a fancy word for a research internship.

Can I be a mentor even if I’m not part of a CS department?

Yes! Although this is a computational fellowship, you do not need to be a member of a computer science-adjacent group/directorate to be a mentor! The project does not necessarily even need to be computational in nature.

How advanced are the fellows?

Fellows from this program are significantly more advanced than your average summer intern, college student or graduate student. They are often already highly accomplished and independent. Most are already skilled coders. It is much more accurate to think of this as a partnership than a mentorship.

How do I pay for the fellow?

You don’t! Fellows are completely free to the mentor and your institution. Their living expenses and stipend are paid directly through the fellowship. You do not need to worry about anything other than the research. Everything else, e.g. housing, logistics, etc. will be handled for you. Fellows will be on-site 5 days/week.

Can I be a mentor if I’m a remote worker?

Official mentors must be at least hybrid (on-site 2-3 times/week). However, joint mentorship can be considered (i.e., if you are remote, you can pair with someone who is on-site).

Can I be a mentor even if I’m not research staff?

Yes. Full time employees can be mentors even if they’re not research staff.

Can I be a mentor if I’m a postdoc?


What is the time commitment?

Practicums are to be at least 3 months but no more than 4.

When are the practicums?

Whenever you and the fellow you mentor want! Summers are popular but not required.

Can I keep working with the fellow after the practicum is over?

Yes, but neither you nor the fellow are not obligated to do so.

Will the fellow be concurrently doing PhD research during the practicum?

No. The fellows are explicitly restricted from performing PhD research during the practicum. Their PhD advisors are also informed of this. They should be dedicating 100% of their time to working with you on your project.

Disclaimer: Matthew Carbone is a staff scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory at the time of the writing of this post. The views expressed here are those of the individual personnel quoted and are not the views of Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC or the United States Department of Energy.