Graduate (Year-Round) Intern - Thermal Energy Storage Materials

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Posting Title
Graduate (Year-Round) Intern – Thermal Energy Storage Materials
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 Building Thermal Energy Sciences Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leading research group focused on thermal energy storage, decarbonization of infrastructure, and advancing new renewable technologies. We are currently seeking a graduate intern to join our team on a multi-institutional project on thermal energy storage materials. The goal of this work is to gain fundamental insights on the primary degradation mechanisms that reduce the performance of thermal energy storage materials for grid-scale energy storage.
The research project will focus on characterizing and mitigating the impacts of structural and compositional heterogeneities on interfacial behavior and degradation mechanisms (corrosion, phase separation, thermal decomposition, and mechanical fractures) in thermal energy storage materials. The role of the successful candidate will be to support synthesis and treatment of materials and thermal properties characterization.
This position will provide access to state-of-the-art instrumentation available at NREL and networking and collaboration opportunities with a multi-institutional team including leading universities and national laboratories.
The candidate should be self-motivated in research planning and progression, with guidance and mentorship provided by NREL staff scientists and engineers. In addition to collaborating with internal and external partners, the researcher will present scientific findings at domestic and international conferences and publish peer-reviewed articles.

This intern is expected to work 40 hours per week for the duration of the internship, ideally lasting 12 months. The internship must be completed onsite in our Golden, CO, laboratory. Flexibility may be allowed at the beginning of the internship for candidates who need to work remotely and/or part-time. These candidates should be within one semester of graduation and willing to fulfill the onsite/full-time requirements for the remainder of the internship.
Basic Qualifications
Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a Bachelor's, Master's or PhD degree program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Candidates who have earned a degree may work for a period not to exceed 12 months. Must have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Please Note:
  • You will need to upload 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.
Additional Required Qualifications
The successful candidate will have recently completed a graduate degree (masters or PhD) or be a late-stage PhD in Chemistry, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering or similar upon internship start date.
They must demonstrate expertise in at least several of these topics:
  • Synthetic chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics
  • Thermal energy storage materials (ideally phase change or thermochemical systems) and/or high temperature processes
  • Degradation processes (corrosion, chemical changes, etc)
  • Analytical chemistry (ie SEM, TEM, EDS, TGA, DSC, NMR, XRD, and other)
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience collaborating with teams
  • Experience establishing new laboratory capabilities
  • Mentorship/teaching
In addition to strong teamwork, candidates must demonstrate a history of working independently and taking initiative. Candidates must demonstrate ability to design high-quality research projects and to interpret and communicate experimental results. The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills. Teamwork, leadership, and collaboration will be essential.
A strong record of teamwork and mentorship is desired. The successful candidate will work closely with engineers, scientists, and students in many different fields, and will work to establish collaborations both within NREL and with partner organizations. As such, demonstration of an ability to participate in, to facilitate, and to lead collaborations is important. The candidate must demonstrate the ability to encourage and maximize the unique talents and innovative ideas of a diverse array of collaborators from a wide range of backgrounds.
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: Graduate I / 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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