PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program

World class opportunity

Tackle scientific challenges alongside some of the nation’s leading energy, environment, and national security researchers

Announcement of the 2024 Distinguished Graduate Research Program 

Apply to the Distinguished Graduate Research Program

Advisor Applications Due: 5/10/24 | Student Applications Due: 6/10/24

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Program overview

Washington state is home to several research institutions, and Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are paving the way in clean energy, smart manufacturing, sustainability, and national security innovation. And they’re seeking fresh minds. Through the PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program (DGRP), Ph.D. students will earn a stipend along with benefits, funded by their WSU and PNNL advisors, while working under a prestigious graduate committee on nationally relevant research. It is a unique opportunity to tap into the knowledge and world-class research infrastructure available at both institutions.

DGRP Students at the 2023 Cohort Announcement Event

DGRP students will work with faculty at WSU and scientists at PNNL while completing their graduate coursework and subsequently transfer to PNNL for the remaining years of their PhD program to gain hands-on research experience with PNNL scientists. Research opportunities include but are not limited to the following areas:

The Four-Year Program* Includes:

  • Assistantship for financial support (salary, tuition waiver, benefits, support for mandatory fees) that is funded by a student’s WSU and PNNL advisors.
  • Oversight by graduate committee of nationally-recognized scientists
  • Collaboration with nationally recognized (and, in some cases, world-renowned) researchers
  • Access to world-class research infrastructure

Questions about the program? Contact

*Additional support may be requested from advisors if Ph.D. program extends beyond four years. Funding does not come directly from the DGRP.

Recent DGRP Publications

Publication YearTitleJournal/Conference/Book ChapterDGRP Student(s), CohortLead/Co-Author
2024Tripartite interactions among free-living, N-fixing bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and plants: Mutualistic benefits and community response to co-inoculationSoil Science Society of America JournalShawnee Kasanke, C3Lead
2023Harnessing redox proteomics to study metabolic regulation and stress response in lignin-fed Rhodococci
Biotechnology for Biofuels and BioproductsXiaolu Li, C2*; Austin Gluth, C5*Co-Lead*
2023Soil profile health in the Palouse soil series: Carbon, nitrogen, nutrients, and aggregatesAgrosystems, Geosciences & EnvironmentKatherine Naasko, C3Lead
2023Influence of soil depth, irrigation, and plant genotype on the soil microbiome, metaphenome, and carbon chemistrymBioKatherine Naasko, C3Lead
2023Theoretical Insights on the Fragmentation of Cellulosic Oligomers to Form Hydroxyacetone and HydroxyacetaldehydeEnergy & FuelsMelba Domes Denson, C4Lead
2023Elucidation of Structure and Physical Properties of Pyrolytic Sugar Oligomers Derived from Cellulose Depolymerization/Dehydration Reactions: A Density Functional Theory StudyEnergy & FuelsMelba Domes Denson, C4Lead
2023Predicting Kyasanur forest disease in resource-limited settings using event-based surveillance and transfer learningScientific ReportsRavikiran Keshavamurthy, C5Lead
2023Comparison of the Chemical Composition of Liquids from the Pyrolysis and Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Lignocellulosic MaterialsEnergy & FuelsMelba Domes Denson, C4Co-Author
2023Thiol redox proteomics: Characterization of thiol-based post-translational modificationsProteomicsXiaolu Li, C2*;
Austin Gluth, C5
2022Effect of alkali metal addition on catalytic performance of Ag/ZrO2/SBA-16 catalyst for single-step conversion of ethanol to butadieneCatalysis Science & TechnologyAustin Winkelman, C1Lead
2022Current Status and Prospects of Valorizing Organic Waste via Arrested Anaerobic Digestion: Production and Separation of Volatile Fatty AcidsFermentationAnthony Tushar Giduthuri, C4Lead
2022Dynamic Community Detection Decouples Multiple Time Scale Behavior of Complex Chemical SystemsJournal of Chemical Theory and ComputationNitesh Kumar, C3Co-Author
2022Molecular structural dataset of lignin macromolecule elucidating experimental structural compositionsScientific DataSudha Eswaran, C2Lead
2022Advancing biological processing for valorization of plastic wastesRenewable and Sustainable Energy ReviewsAustin Gluth, C5*; Zhangyang Xu, C2Lead*/Co-Author
2022Improved valorization of sewage sludge in the circular economy by anaerobic digestion: Impact of an innovative pretreatment technologyWaste ManagementAnthony Tushar Giduthuri, C4Co-Author
2022Predicting infectious disease for biopreparedness and response: A systematic review of machine learning and deep learning approachesOne HealthRavikiran Keshavamurthy, C5Lead
2022A Comparison of Infectious Disease Forecasting Methods across Locations, Diseases, and TimePathogensRavikiran Keshavamurthy, C5Co-Author
2021Essential Aspects of Solvent Effects and Solution Conditions upon the Modeling and Simulation of Lanthanide and Actinide ComplexesRare Earth Elements and Actinides: Progress in Computational Science Applications (Chapter 12 pp 249-276)Nitesh Kumar, C3Lead
2021Unexpected inverse correlations and cooperativity in ion-pair phase transferChemical ScienceNitesh Kumar, C3Lead
2021Uranyl Speciation in the Presence of Specific Ion Gradients at the Electrolyte/Organic InterfaceSolvent Extraction and Ion ExchangeNitesh Kumar, C3Lead
2021Proteomic Approaches for Advancing the Understanding and Application of Oleaginous Bacteria for Bioconversion of Lignin to LipidsLignin Utilization Strategies: From Processing to Applications (Chapter 4 pp 61-96)Xiaolu Li, C2*; Zhangyang Xu, C2; Austin Gluth, C5Lead*/Co-Authors
2021Characterization of cellular oxidative stress response by stoichiometric redox proteomicsAm J Physiol Cell PhysiolXiaolu Li, C2Co-Author
2021Transactive Implementation of Decentralized Electricity Market for Grid-Edge Systems2021 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM)Monish Mukherjee, C3Lead
2021Stereological analysis of triple line orientationsIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and EngineeringBenjamin Schuessler, C2Lead
2021Digital Biosurveillance for Zoonotic Disease Detection in KenyaPathogensRavikiran Keshavamurthy, C5Lead
2021Enhancement of polyhydroxyalkanoate production by co-feeding lignin derivatives with glycerol in Pseudomonas putida KT2440Biotechnology for BiofuelsZhangyang Xu, C2Lead
2020Activity-Based Protein Profiling of Chitin CatabolismChemBioChemElias Zegeye, C2Lead
2020Reaction heterogeneity in practical high-energy lithium–sulfur pouch cellsEnergy and Environmental ScienceShuo Feng, C2Co-Author
2020Understanding the Deactivation of Ag−ZrO2/SiO2 Catalysts for the Single-step Conversion of Ethanol to ButenesThe European Society Journal for CatalysisAustin Winkelman, C1Co-Author
2020The role of surface hydroxyls on the radiolysis of gibbsite and boehmite nanoplateletsJournal of Hazardous MaterialsAustin Winkelman, C1Co-Author
2020Influence of Ag metal dispersion on the thermal conversion of ethanol to butadiene over Ag-ZrO2/SiO2 catalystsJournal of CatalysisAustin Winkelman, C1Co-Author
2020Single-Step Conversion of Ethanol to n-Butene over Ag-ZrO2/SiO2 CatalystsACS CatalysisAustin Winkelman, C1Co-Author
2020Triethanolamine-Mediated Covalent Adaptable Epoxy Network: Excellent Mechanical Properties, Fast Repairing, and Easy RecyclingMacromoleculesCheng Hao, C2Lead
2020Ethanol as a Renewable Building Block for Fuels and ChemicalsIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry ResearchAustin Winkelman, C1Co-Author
2020Competitive Interactions at Electrolyte/Octanol Interfaces: A Molecular PerspectiveThe Journal of Physical ChemistryNitesh Kumar, C3Lead
2019Discovery of potential pathways for biological conversion of poplar wood into lipids by co-fermentation of Rhodococci strainsBiotechnology for Biofuels and BioproductsXiaolu Li, C2*; Zhangyang Xu, C2Lead*/Co-Author
2019Direct Observation of the Orientational Anisotropy of Buried Hydroxyl Groups inside Muscovite MicaJournal of the American Chemical SocietyAustin Winkelman, C1Co-Author