Graduate (Year-Round) Intern - Energy Equity Projects and Initiatives

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Posting Title
Graduate (Year-Round) Intern - Energy Equity Projects and Initiatives
CO - Golden
Position Type
Intern (Fixed Term)
Hours Per Week
Working at NREL
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation's primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our ten employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.
NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.
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Note: Research suggests that potential job seekers may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage anyone who is interested in this opportunity to apply. We seek dedicated people who believe they have the skills and ambition to succeed at NREL to apply for this role.
Job Description
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The Integrated Decision Support (IDS) group within the Accelerated Deployment and Decision Support (ADDS) Center is focused on helping partners transition to clean energy by applying NREL research, analysis, and experience in real-world contexts in order to solve problems and support decision making. Staff backgrounds in IDS are broad and include public policy, urban planning, systems thinking, economics and finance, engineering, and project management.
IDS is leading or contributing to several multi-year projects and technical assistance programs that are focused on energy equity or energy justice and lowering energy burden in the context of specific low- and moderate-income communities across the country, such as the
Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN)
Communities Local Energy Action Program (Communities LEAP)
. IDS is also supporting several initiatives at NREL to advance the state-of-the-art of applying an energy equity lens in individual technology areas (e.g., solar or buildings) and across NREL’s portfolio of projects spanning applied efforts to early-stage R&D. To support Communities LEAP and additional upcoming equity-focused efforts, IDS is seeking a year-round graduate intern.
For these projects and this position, energy equity generally refers to supporting an equitable (or just) clean energy transition that includes and prioritizes economic and social participation in the transition of underserved or disadvantaged communities, such as low to moderate income communities or communities of color that have had more limited participation in the clean energy transition to date. Energy equity in this context includes access to clean energy but is intended to go beyond access to a broad suite of the benefits that clean energy can provide accruing to or staying within community (e.g., wealth creation opportunities). Energy equity is used interchangeably with energy justice in this context and is intended to be inclusive of meanings applied to both or either. Environmental justice as a very related but distinct concept is also a dimension of several of the equity-focused initiatives.
This position will support Communities LEAP and other NREL work aimed at understanding the equity implications of the clean energy transition as it relates to job creation, access and quality; workforce development; and community-centered economic development. The position would be full time (40 hours per week) through the end of the internship.
The successful candidate will have strong research and communication skills and prior education, coursework, and/or experience in economics, energy and environmental justice, labor policy, worker training, workforce development, energy policy, public policy, decarbonization and/or sustainability. In addition, the successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record of approaching research questions in a thorough manner, placing them in the context of relevant stakeholders (e.g., a particular decision-maker or perspective), and translating research into digestible summaries for the non-expert. Understanding the perspectives of low- to moderate-income communities is especially valuable for this role. Experience with stakeholder relationship management and community engagement in low-income communities and communities of color is also preferred.
Job Duties:
The successful candidate will support various projects as a part of the Communities LEAP program at NREL. Duties may include supporting full-time technical staff in conducting background research on topics related to clean energy and energy efficiency jobs, workforce development, economic impacts in communities experiencing a shift away from historical reliance on fossil fuels, and economic development; conducting modeling and/or analysis; facilitating discussions in a multi-stakeholder environment; supporting project implementation and coordination; and supporting strategic communications efforts. Additional duties may include supporting cross-functional teams in conducting thorough, high-quality research and analysis to inform project development and initiatives; collecting and analyzing program and project metrics; writing technical reports, factsheets, and other resources; and assessments of industry, sectoral, or geographic trends.
The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong desire to deepen knowledge in developing strategies for equitable community-centered clean energy solutions and technical assistance as well as a passion for fostering healthy and fruitful multi-stakeholder engagement. Exceptional teaming, collaboration, and conflict resolution skills as well as the ability to work independently, problem solve, take initiative, and think critically are also required.
Basic Qualifications
Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Undergraduate: Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a bachelor’s degree program from an accredited institution.
Post Undergraduate: Earned a bachelor’s degree within the past 12 months. Eligible for an internship period of up to one year.

Graduate: Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a master’s degree program from an accredited institution.
Post Graduate: Earned a master’s degree within the past 12 months. Eligible for an internship period of up to one year.
Graduate + PhD: Completed master’s degree and enrolled as PhD student from an accredited institution.

Please Note:
  • Applicants are responsible for uploading official or unofficial school transcripts, as part of the application process.
  • If selected for position, a letter of recommendation will be required as part of the hiring process.
  • Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.
  • Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.
Additional Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in economics, public policy, environmental policy, urban policy and planning, or equivalent technical discipline
  • Relevant coursework in energy, labor, workforce development, environmental justice, energy justice and/or public policy.
  • Relevant professional or volunteer experience in energy justice, community building, environmental justice, workforce development, labor policy and/or public policy
  • Experience with stakeholder relationship management and community engagement in low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Exceptional writing and communication skills
  • Proven organization and task management skills
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office suite
  • Excels at working with a team consisting of individuals from a variety of technical and cultural backgrounds
  • Familiarity with online collaboration platforms (e.g., Zoom, Teams, Webex, etc.)
  • Ability to independently scope and execute research tasks with guidance from more senior staff
Preferred Qualifications
Job Application Submission Window
The anticipated closing window for application submission is up to 30 days and may be extended as needed.
Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Job Profile: / Annual Salary Range: $42,700 - $68,300
NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.
Benefits Summary
Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; and sick leave (where required by law). NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement. Internships projected to be less than 20 hours per week are not eligible for medical, dental, or vision benefits.
  • Based on eligibility rules
Drug Free Workplace
NREL is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace in accordance with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug.
If you are offered employment at NREL, you must pass a pre-employment drug test prior to commencing employment. Unless prohibited by state or local law, the pre-employment drug test will include marijuana. If you test positive on the pre-employment drug test, your offer of employment may be withdrawn.
Submission Guidelines
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.
EEO Policy
NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic partner status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.
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