DOE workforce program matches recent grads with energy fellowship opportunities


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the second round of the Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship, a workforce development program that matches recent graduates with energy organizations to support efforts to grow the clean energy workforce.

The program is now accepting applications for host institutions including state public utility commissions, grid operators, and cooperative and municipal utilities. Also identified in this second round as priority host institutions are tribal utilities, inter-tribal Councils or other tribal organizations, and essential energy organizations in Puerto Rico .

Through the program, hosts receive support to help them accelerate the transition to clean energy and to assist them in taking advantage of federal grid resilience and modernization funding opportunities. In September 2022, DOE announced the critical energy institutions that will host a fellow for the next year, renewable for a second year, shown on the map.

“We cannot transition to a 100% clean power system without a skilled, innovative, diverse workforce, and that is exactly what the Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship helps build,” said Alejandro Moreno, acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, DOE. “This fellowship program expands the talent pool for careers that support the electric grid and, ultimately, the U.S. economy.”

The fellowship is open to recent graduates with bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, as well as mid-career professionals in fields relevant to electricity generation, transmission and distribution. For those seeking placement in Puerto Rico, Spanish language proficiency is recommended, but not required.

Innovator Fellows will spend up to two years supporting projects that the host institutions identify as critical to enhancing grid resilience and/or advancing decarbonization. These can include state engagement in electrification, accelerated electric vehicle deployment, essential grid services on the distribution system, development of tribal energy expertise, and more.

“As we implement the historic investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, a strong workforce is needed to ensure all communities have access to affordable, reliable, and resilient power,” said Maria Robinson, director, Grid Deployment Office.

The Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship is supported by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Innovator Fellows will receive a stipend to support their participation in the program and an allowance for education and professional development opportunities.

Applications for host institutions are due by April 27, 2023, and are available here. Applications should include a project scope and describe their institution’s needs.

Host Institution projects will be posted on the Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship website by May 19, 2023, and applications for Innovator Fellows will open on May 22, 2023 and due on June 8, 2023. Fellowship candidates will be asked to describe their interest in the opportunity and their relevant skills and experience. Candidates should indicate their top host projects of interest in their applications.  The Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

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