The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Research Participation Program is designed to provide opportunities for students, postgraduates, established scientists and faculty to participate in programs, projects, and activities that support the mission of the EERE. Participants will hold appointments at DOE-EERE Headquarters, EERE field offices, and other EERE-approved sites. Participants will receive hands-on experience that provides them with an understanding of the mission, operations, and culture of EERE.
ORISE is continuing normal program operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This opportunity will be offered as long as Host Institution is able to complete the onboarding process and ensure a meaningful experience to participants. We encourage you to apply and submit your application as soon as possible.
EERE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office sponsors the Solar Energy Innovators Program to enable selected applicants to conduct practical research on innovative solutions to the challenges faced by public utility commissions, utilities, and grid operators as the levels of solar energy, as well as other distributed energy resources (DERs), increase on the electrical grid.
Selected applicants, referred to as “Innovators” herein, will participate for up to two years at a Host Institution on one or more topics related to the integration of solar energy with the electric grid.
The applicant to this program is the prospective Innovator. The applicant must identify a Host Institution and potential mentor at a public utilities commission (PUC), utility, or grid operators currently conducting research in an area related to the integration of solar energy onto the electricity grid. DOE, ORAU, and ORISE do not match Applicants with Host Institutions. Host Institutions may seek potential Innovators that are eligible to apply to the program, but it is the potential Innovator, not the Host Institution or mentor, who submits the application and supporting materials to this site.
Host Institutions can be:
(a) An electric public utility commission,
(b) An electric utility operating in the US, or
(c) An electric grid operator in the US (including regional transmission organizations, independent system operators, and balancing authorities).
Host Institutions are expected to commit to a providing a mentor for the Innovator, as well as workspace, equipment, and resources needed for the Innovator to conduct his or her research.
If you have a question about whether your potential Host Institution is eligible, please send an email to DOE-RPP@orise.orau.gov.
Appointments are for up to two years. The initial appointment period is one year. Extension of the appointment will be subject to satisfactory progress toward completion of the project goals and availability of funds. Final decisions regarding the extension of the appointment for a second year will be made by the U.S. DOE, EERE, Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO) in consultation with the Host Institution.
Stipends will be based on appointment level and commensurate with qualifications:
- Level 1: Participants with a Bachelor’s degree will receive a stipend starting at $40,000.
- Level 2: Participants with a Ph.D. or J.D. will receive a stipend starting at $70,000. Participants with a Master’s degree will start at $55,000.
- Level 3: The stipend amount will be based on the Level 2 rate plus a factor for years of relevant experience after the receipt of the degree.
Participants will be eligible to receive an allowance of up to $10,000 for education and/or scientific activities, health insurance supplement, and possible relocation travel up to $5,000.
The appointment is full-time and cannot be supplemented with additional salary from the Host Institution.
Nature of Appointment
The Solar Energy Innovators Program is sponsored by the U.S. DOE, EERE, Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO). For more information about SETO, visit https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office. The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOE, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.
- Eligible applicants include recent Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate graduates, as well as applicants with technical or research post-degree experience in a field related to the application of solar integration.
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) at the time of application. Evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted to ORISE at the time the appointment is accepted.
- Be at least 18 years old by the time the appointment begins.
- Meet one of the following conditions:
- Level 1: Have earned an undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree in the past three years in science, technology, mathematics, engineering, public policy, business, law or other field relevant to the position.
- Level 2: Have earned a graduate degree (Doctorate or Master’s) in the past three years in science, technology, mathematics, engineering, public policy, business, law or other field relevant to the position.
- Level 3: Have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in science, technology, mathematics, engineering, public policy, business, law or other field relevant to the position. Applicant must have post-degree experience in a technical or research position in a field related to energy innovation.
Application and Selection Process
The application deadline is September 30, 2021, at 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone.
Applications are accepted quarterly and new postings will be available each quarter with application deadlines of September 30, December 31, March 31, and June 30 deadlines This opportunity is only for the September 30, 2021 deadline. Applications are downloaded for review following the deadline, and applicants can expect to hear whether they move to the next stage within 15 days from the deadline. Subsequent selection process stages include telephone interviews with the applicant and mentor. The process from application submittal to Innovator start date is approximately 3 months.
A complete application consists of:
- Letter of Commitment from the Host Institution: The letter should indicate the willingness of the mentor and Host Institution to host the Innovator onsite for the duration of the appointment (up to two years). The letter should also include a description of the proposed project(s) that the Innovator will focus on during the appointment.
- Academic Records: The applicant must submit records for the most recent degree or degree in progress. Unofficial transcripts or copies of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institutional systems may be submitted.
- Current Resume/CV (2 page limit)
- Relevant Letter of Reference: The letter should address the applicant’s academic record and potential for success in an appointment, as indicated by communication and teamwork skills.
Additional information about SEI can be found at: https://orise.orau.gov/solar-innovators/index.html. If you have questions, please send an email to Cedricka Harris at DOE-RPP@orise.orau.gov .