Undergraduate/Graduate (Year-Round) Intern - University Partnerships and Energy Equity

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Posting Title
Undergraduate/Graduate (Year-Round) Intern - University Partnerships and Energy Equity
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.
Our planet needs us! Learn about NREL’s critical objectives, and
see how NREL is focused on saving the planet.
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 University Partnerships Program (UPP) seeks to build and strengthen collaboration with universities and institutes around the world on cutting-edge research and deployment. By partnering with leading universities and research institutions, we leverage our scientific knowledge and state-of-the-art facilities to solve complex, multidisciplinary challenges in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies, and grid integration.
One key pillar of the UPP is the Minority Serving Institution program that provides strategic engagement with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and tribal serving institutions (TSIs) to help build and strengthen research, faculty, and student connections in a way that promotes diversity and inclusion across the energy workforce. To do this we understand that relationship building is a long-term, trust-based commitment, and the skills, perspectives, and assets of our MSI partners are championed in a way that will lead to a more inclusive clean energy future.
Position Description
The candidate will support a variety of tasks related to the strategic partnerships NREL has with universities and other stakeholders, with a particular focus on Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). The successful candidate will have strong organizational, writing, and communication skills.
The candidate will be a self-starter that brings creativity and enthusiasm to support the strengthening of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in a way that promotes equity and inclusion through desk research, critical thinking, opportunity analyses, event planning, communications, and project management.
The intern's primary task will be to assist our MSI Coordinator with the Student Training and Applied Research (STAR) undergraduate internship position. The UPP team has developed and hosted this program at NREL for the last two years, and is excited to be hosting it for the third year. The STAR program brings undergraduate students in STEM from 9 different MSIs to Golden, Colorado, for a unique 10-week summer internship, and then students go back to their home universities to continue follow-on work from the summer with their home faculty mentor. The graduate intern would be primarily assisting with the planning, coordination, and logistics of this program both before and while students are on campus in Colorado for the summer, and if interested will assist with reporting and evaluation after students go back to their home institutions.
Other possible key projects include:
  • Support NREL strategy based on deep dives into academic programs, student demographics, and STEM support programs that would align with NREL research areas and support the growth and coordination of University Partnerships Programs (UPP);
  • Support coordination, communications and planning of activities involving multiple stakeholders including: universities, NGOs, civil society organizations, and DOE;
  • Support outreach and relationship building with cohort of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Serving Institutions that have been identified as having academic programs aligned with NREL research;
  • Support research examining barriers and opportunities for STEM undergraduate education in clean energy topics and pathways for graduate school;
  • Support in planning complex, multi-faceted projects, communications and event planning.
The ideal candidate for this position will work a hybrid schedule (average 2 days per week onsite) at our Golden, CO, laboratory campus. The hiring team will consider a minimum availability of 20 hours per week until at least May 31st, 2024. Depending on eligibility, the intern may also continue the internship until August 2024.
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
Must have at least junior/3rd-year undergraduate standing. Ideal majors include environmental/energy/climate policy, law, economics, business, or behavioural sciences, preferably with a background in the clean energy transition, climate justice, economic development, engineering, or other relevant field.
Preferred Qualifications
Expertise and confidence in research, critical thinking, data mining, and capturing key findings to develop clear and concise reports, briefing notes, and thought pieces. Ideal candidate will have excellent interpersonal communication skills be detail-oriented and able to manage projects on tight deadlines.
Knowledge and experience in one or more:
  • Clean energy and climate change
  • Energy and societal issues
  • STEM education and career pathways
  • Sustainable economic and social development
  • Capacity building and student engagement
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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