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ALS Doctoral Fellowship in Residence Print

The Advanced Light Source (ALS), a division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is a national user facility that generates intense x-ray radiation for scientific and technological research. As the world's first third-generation synchrotron radiation source, the ALS offers outstanding performance in the VUV-soft x-ray energy range and excellent performance into the hard x-ray region. The facility welcomes researchers from universities, industries, and government laboratories around the world. The ALS is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.


Join Us to Shape the Future of Synchrotron Radiation Science


Synchrotron radiation is now an established tool in many areas of physical, biological, and earth sciences. The ALS Doctoral Fellowships will allow early-career researchers to work at the frontier of synchrotron radiation research and to help advance state-of-the-art techniques and applications.

The Fellowships enable students who have passed their Ph.D. qualifying or comprehensive exams, and advanced to candidacy, to spend a year in residence at LBNL working closely with an ALS staff member. They acquire hands-on scientific training and develop professional maturity to complement their doctoral research. Applicants must be full-time students currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the physical, biological, or environmental sciences, pursuing thesis research using synchrotron radiation.

The fellowships are offered as one-year appointments with the possibility of renewal. Both new and renewal appointments require submitting an application, as discussed below. Successful applicants will be compensated with an $18,000 annual stipend, which will generally be augmented by funding from their home institution or advisor. Fellows are expected to remain enrolled in the graduate program at their home institution, to live in or near Berkeley, and to work primarily at the ALS for the entire year. They will have an opportunity to present their results at the end of the fellowship year. In addition to acknowledging the facility, Fellows are asked to acknowledge partial support from the ALS Doctoral Fellowship in Residence Program in any publications resulting from work done while stationed at the ALS.

Please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

Applications are due by June 30 each year, for an appointment to coincide with the following academic year.


"The ALS doctoral fellowship has provided me an amazing opportunity to develop complex experiments on my beamline that require significant preparation and offline testing at the lab, enabling me to collect exciting new data to further the understanding of materials processing in the field of structural materials. Also, through working with ALS scientists I have been able to expand my network of scientists working in my field and related fields, which has allowed me to develop new interdisciplinary collaborations and learn new scientific analysis techniques."

--Natalie Larson, 2015-2016 Fellow

Application Process Timeline for the 2016-17 Fellowship Cycle

Jun. 1, 2016

Applications open

Jun. 30, 2016

Applications close

Aug. 1, 2016

Notification of successful applicants

Oct. 1, 2016

Fellowship start date

Sept. 30, 2017 Fellowship end date


"The unique infrared spectromicroscopy setup at the ALS, especially the high intensity and tight focus of the synchrotron beam, is critical for my research on optical properties of graphene. Working with Mike Martin, I not only learned many important techniques of infrared spectromicroscopy, but also learned numerous exciting research topics in various disciplines that are enabled by synchrotron-based infrared microscopy. The ALS doctoral fellowship enabled me to successfully finish our study on graphene and publish two nice papers in Nature Physics and Physical Review Letters, which are important for furthering my career. Moreover, the knowledge, vision and experience I obtained at the ALS will benefit me for my entire career in future."

--Zhiqiang Li, 2006-2008 Fellow, currently Prof. of Physics, Sichuan University, China

How to Apply

Interested applicants should first locate an ALS staff member to discuss the possibility of working with them in this program, and, when agreement is found, to discuss a plan for research activities during the Fellowship year. A completed application form, a two-page description of the research plan, and a resume with publication list should then be submitted by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . In addition, letters of recommendation from the student's PhD advisor, from the ALS scientist with whom they propose to work, and optionally from a third person of their choosing should be sent directly by the letter writers to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Individuals from under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

"Being an ALS Doctoral Fellow in Residence provided me access to resources, knowledge, and expertise that are not combined in such a way anywhere else in the world. The skills that I learned from my mentors and other staff scientists while at the ALS as a doctoral fellow were critical in experimental interpretation and maximizing the structural information obtainable from experiments. Being an ALS fellow led to my next steps as an ALS postdoc and then ALS-Foundry project scientist because I knew how much I enjoyed working here at ALS and LBNL."

--Mike Brady, 2012-2014 Fellow, currently Project Scientist at ALS and Molecular Foundry, LBNL


2015–2016 Fellowship Winners

The selection committee selected the following award recipients for the 2015–2016 academic year:

  • Deng, Ke (Tsinghua University)
  • Hallsteinsen, Ingrid (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
  • Hu, Qin (Peking University)
  • Larson, Natalie (UC Santa Barbara)
  • O'Bannon, Earl (UC Santa Cruz)
  • Sallis, Shawn (Binghamton University)
  • Xu, Caizhi (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Zhang, Xin (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  • Zhou, Xiaoling (HPSTAR)
  • Gatton, Averell (extension)
  • Yoo, Hyang Keun (Seoul National University, extension from 2014/15 award)

These exceptional Ph.D. students have been selected to perform a major part of their thesis work at the ALS during a one-year appointment covering the 2015–2016 academic year.

Left to right: Steve Kevan (ALS Division Deputy for Science), Qin Hu, Xin Zhang, Xiaoling Zhou, Ke Deng, Natalie Larson, Shawn Sallis, Ingrid Hallsteinsen, and Averell Gatton.