Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



Frequently Asked Questions from LGSP Applicants
Do I have to be at a specific university to be eligible to apply?
Students from any Ph.D.-granting university in the United States are eligible to apply.
Do I need to be a US citizen to be eligible?
No. US citizenship is not a requirement of this program.
Is tuition covered?
No. LGSP students are expected to pay their own tuition.
Will I be a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory employee if selected?
Yes. And as such, LGSP students are expected to follow all policies and procedures including security requirements, environmental, safety and health requirements, and personnel policies and procedures. Selected candidates will also be required to pass a drug test prior to starting employment.
As an employee, what benefits will I receive?
Students in the Livermore Graduate Scholar Program are not eligible for medical, dental, or vision coverage. Students are encouraged to utilize the coverage provided by their university. LGSP students do accrue sick leave at the rate of 8 hours per month, which is prorated to percentage of time worked.
Can I get medical coverage using LLNL's plan but pay for it myself?
No. Unfortunately students are not able to utilize this option.
If I do not accrue vacation leave, can I take unpaid leave?
Yes. LGSP students are able to take leave without pay with department approval prior to the leave.
Do I have to pass my comprehensive and/or qualifying exams before applying?
Yes. Depending on the requirements of your graduate program, any comprehensive and/or qualifying exam(s) must be passed in order to be eligible. This requirement is intended to ensure that the student is prepared and approved to pursue his/her thesis research full time.
Can I be a first year student when I apply?
No. Required coursework and comprehensive and/or qualifying exams must be completed before applying.
Can I do my research at my campus or at another location?
The graduate research must be carried out at LLNL.
How much will I be paid?
Livermore Graduate Scholars are paid an annual salary of $49,716 ($4,143/month). In order to comply with visa requirements, foreign national students must work and be paid on a modified schedule, but their annual salary remains the same.
How do I select an LLNL mentor if my thesis advisor and I do not have a contact at the Laboratory?
This can take some time. Students at the beginning of their graduate studies might consider postponing their application until the following year in order to build a relationship with an LLNL researcher. It is also recommended that students and their advisors explore the LLNL web site for information on the latest research and current projects. Contact names for each program are listed on the web pages.
Who pays for business travel?
The LLNL technical supervisor should be prepared to provide funds for official LLNL business travel. The campus thesis advisor may also provide funds for travel. The LGSP Office does not cover travel costs.
How do I report my time if I am a full-time student during the academic year?
LGSP students charge five hours per day year-round. An exception applies to foreign national students who must charge (and be paid for) four hours per day during the academic year and eight hours per day during the summer break to comply with student visa restrictions.
I currently have another fellowship which runs out this quarter. Can I still apply for LGSP?
Yes. The start date for a student with another fellowship will be set to occur after the previous fellowship ends.
Can I hold a TA position at my university and also be an LGSP student?
Students are expected to spend their full energies on the thesis research supported under the appointment, and therefore may not accept additional fellowships or outside work without prior approval from LLNL. Such requests are normally approved only for financial hardship, extenuating circumstances, or when it is required by the thesis advisor as part of the graduate student's program.
When will I know if I am selected and when will I start?
Applicants will receive messages every so often during the review process notifying them of their application status. Final selections are usually made in May. Start dates can occur as early as July, but are flexible depending on individual student timelines.
How many LGSP students are there at any one time?
The number of LGSP students in the program at any given time fluctuates because of individual student program timelines, but in general there are between 40 and 50 students in the program year round.
What are the requirements once I become an LGSP student?
The program has two annual requirements for all students. A progress report that has been approved by the thesis advisor and the technical supervisor must be submitted each year. In addition, students are required to participate in an annual poster symposium.
Will I be provided with office space at LLNL?
Yes. The technical supervisor should be prepared to provide office and/or lab space for the LGSP student.
Will I be provided with a desktop computer?
Yes. A computer will be provided by the technical supervisor to suit the needs of the student.
Will I have to pay Federal/California state income taxes on my salary?
Yes. The deductions will occur automatically on the bi-weekly paycheck.
Will LGSP help me get a postdoc at the Lab?
Yes. The LGSP is considered a successful recruitment tool for LLNL. Every effort is made to help students nearing the end of their graduate program to identify potential job opportunities following the award of their Ph.D.