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SunShot Innovators
Department of Energy (DOE)
Reference Code
How To Apply

A complete application consists of:
• Application: The applicant must fill out the application, which includes written responses to questions about his or her professional goals, background, and his or her proposed appointment at the Host Institution.
• Letter of Commitment from the Host Institution: The letter of committment from the host institution 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 be involved with 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)
• [Optional] 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.  While a letter of reference is not required to be considered, it may help reviewers gain a better understanding of the applicant’s qualifications and interests.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Supporting materials must be uploaded as PDF files to ensure the document can be searched by Zintellect’s search engine.  Documents sent by email, postal mail, or fax will not be considered.

If you have questions, please send an email to DOE-RPP@orau.org. Please list the reference code for this opportunity in the subject line of your email.

Application deadline
8/1/2017 11:59 PM Eastern Time Zone
Academic Levels
  • Graduate Students
  • Postdoctoral
  • Post-Master's
  • Post-Bachelor's

The purpose of the Solar Energy Innovators Program is to enable selected applicants to conduct practical research on innovative solutions to the challenges faced by electric utilities, energy service providers, and electric public utility commissions (PUCs) 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 be a research participant for up to two years at a Host Institution on one or more topics related to the integration of solar energy. The applicant to this program is the prospective Innovator. The applicant must identify a Host Institution and potential mentor at a utility, energy service provider, or PUC 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. 

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.

Host Institutions can be:
(a) An electric public utility commission,
(b) An electric utility operating in the US, or
(c) An energy service provider operating in the US (including, but not limited to, independent system operators, balancing authorities, and retail electricity providers).

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.

The Solar Energy Innovators Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO).  For more information about SETO and the SunShot Initiative, visit https://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/sunshot-initiative.

Participant Benefits
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 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. will receive a stipend starting at $70,000. Participants with a Master's degree will start at $50,000.
• 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.
This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

Nature of Appointment

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.

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal 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 May 1, 2017.
  • 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.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree , Master's degree , or Doctoral degree or have received one of these degrees.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Business (All)
    • Physics (All)
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (All)
    • Earth and Geosciences (All)
    • Engineering (All)
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (All)
    • Mathematics and Statistics (All)
    • Other Physical Sciences (All)
    • Computer Sciences (All)
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (All)
    • Other
    • Law
    • Nanotechnology (All)
  • Veteran Status: None