DOE STEM is a newly coordinated and collaborative effort across the Department of Energy (DOE) to share, improve, and increase accessibility to all DOE has to offer for the training, education, and engagement of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students, educators, professionals, and skilled workers.

The Department of Energy (DOE) trains and prepares the next generation of STEM professionals and skilled workers needed to deliver on the DOE mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.  DOE’s extramural STEM training and engagement efforts are critical to creating the diverse, skilled workforce that is needed to tackle some of the greatest scientific, technical, economic, and societal challenges of our time. A foundational principle of DOE STEM is diversity, inclusion, and equitable access to STEM workforce training, professional development, programs, resources, and funding and this principle has been central to the development of the DOE STEM website.

DOE is building the next generation of STEM professionals and skilled workers through:

  • Supporting students, technical workers, and early career researchers on DOE research & development (R&D) awards;
  • Providing targeted post-secondary STEM workforce development and training for students and professionals focused on real-world and experiential learning opportunities in DOE mission areas;
  • Engaging STEM learners at all levels to introduce, attract, and inspire students and entry-level professionals in DOE mission areas; and
  • Engaging students and communities in STEM learning opportunities to promote science and energy literacy.

DOE is committed to supporting the engagement, training, and preparation of a diversity of learners and participants, including those historically underrepresented in STEM fields and those from underserved communities, to enable equitable access to its programs and initiatives.  The Department’s STEM training and engagement programs and initiatives are made possible through collaborative partnerships with the DOE National Laboratories and Sites, institutions of higher education (including Minority-Serving Institutions, MSIs), industry, non-profit organizations, Tribal communities, and other entities.  These partners help jointly to promote the mission of DOE and share the Department’s vision for developing a talented and diverse STEM workforce for the larger success of United States’ (U.S.) science, energy, and national security research and innovation enterprise.

DOE supports a range of STEM training, education, and engagement opportunities that recognize the needs and challenges for creating a future DOE STEM workforce that is agile and innovative.  DOE understands that there are many pathways for students and professionals to enter into or advance within the STEM workforce.  As such, DOE’s efforts are designed to provide a continuum of training and engagement opportunities—from the K-12 level to the skilled technical worker and the Ph.D.-trained scientist or engineer level—aligned with DOE STEM workforce needs as well as the U.S. workforce development needs that are closely tied to critical DOE mission goals. 

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DOE STEM is the central hub for STEM training, education, and workforce development resources at the Department of Energy (DOE). Learn about the site's main features and explore the many ways you can get involved with STEM at DOE today!
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Learn more about the types of STEM training, education, and engagement programs and activities that DOE has to offer.

        

STEM Community-Based Engagement

DOE is deeply committed to the health and prosperity of communities that are in and around DOE National Laboratories and Sites.  DOE understands it has a responsibility to be a good steward of the regions in which its activities currently take place and have historically taken place.  To this end, DOE supports several efforts to introduce communities to DOE science and technology, as well as introduce the youth in those communities to STEM careers.  Examples of these types of activities include culturally relevant STEM curriculum development, hosting events focused on STEM student and public programming, community listening meetings, and workshops that focus on educating the community on DOE’s history and legacy, including the protection of human health and the environment.

Undergraduate or Post-Secondary Level Students

DOE sponsors many undergraduate-level learning opportunities.  These programs support the education and training in DOE mission-critical science, energy, environment, and national security specific areas, augmenting the learning that occurs as part of traditional science and engineering undergraduate degree programs.  Efforts are aimed at undergraduates from both two-year and four-year undergraduate institutions, and these activities support the education and training of those who intend to enter the job market after obtaining their degree as well as those who plan to pursue advanced degrees in areas aligned with the DOE mission. 

Programs and activities at the undergraduate level include research internships at DOE National Laboratories, undergraduate scholarships to attract students to specific science and engineering degree areas, apprenticeships, and other experiential-based learning opportunities that involve DOE laboratories or industry partners, collegiate technology competitions that include real-world issues and constraints, undergraduate level course materials and curricula content development, and accredited courses in DOE mission critical areas.

Graduate Level Students (Master’s and Ph.D.)

DOE sponsors programs and activities targeted at students in Master’s and Ph.D. programs.  These efforts support mission-critical science, energy, environment, and national security specific training as part of traditional STEM graduate degree programs.  Programs include graduate fellowships in targeted DOE mission areas; graduate thesis research opportunities and research practicums at DOE National Laboratories; research and work-based learning opportunities with industry; university-based graduate training programs designed to build graduate-level education capacity in targeted science, energy, environment, and national security areas at institutions of higher education; graduate level energy technology-related curriculum development and training materials; technology and security-focused competitions; and technical lectures and hands-on experiences that provide graduate students training to use some of DOE large-scale scientific user facilities.

Post-Graduate Level Professionals

Addressing DOE’s complex mission needs often requires the recruitment of scientists and engineers with advanced technical degrees.  To further focus the training and skills development beyond graduate programs, as well as to recruit scientists and engineers to pursue careers involving DOE-sponsored R&D, the Department sponsors programs aimed at early career STEM professionals.  These include postdoctoral research fellowship opportunities in targeted areas of DOE science and technology, and research opportunities for college and university faculty to collaborate with scientists at DOE National Laboratories, and for early career research awards for scientists and engineers who are, for example, within ten years of obtaining their Ph.D.

Skilled Technical Professionals

DOE supports efforts to train and support the upskilling of technical professionals in energy and environment related industries.  Often working in collaboration with industry, DOE supports programs that provide training accreditation and worker certification, as well as engagement in real-world scenarios.  Programs and activities include online and in-classroom technical training in energy related areas; courses to harmonize and improve industry technical training standards; hands-on workshops; and training and technical assistance in targeted energy industry areas.  DOE also supports programs that are specifically available to Veterans, as well as programs for technical professionals where training in new industry standards are most urgent.

Beyond Dedicated STEM Training and Engagement Programs and Activities

DOE’s dedicated STEM training and engagement programs and activities are designed to attract, prepare, and retain students and professionals in DOE mission-supporting jobs and careers.  In addition to these programs and activities, DOE supports the continued training and career development of thousands of undergraduates, graduate students, technical workers, postdocs, and post graduate professionals through its competitive R&D awards at DOE National Laboratories, colleges and universities, industry, and non-profit research organizations.  The training that occurs as part of ongoing R&D awards is by far DOE’s largest investment in the development of a skilled scientific and technical workforce.  DOE’s basic and applied research program offices sponsor these awards directly in support of their respective program mission needs and goals.

DOE also recognizes the importance of the “STEM-adjacent” skills and knowledge that are essential for delivering on mission priorities.  Some examples are entrepreneurship and technology transfer, project management for DOE’s large scale and complex projects, and expertise in energy regulatory codes and standards.  To support the development of these skills, DOE supports opportunities such as DOE National Laboratory-embedded entrepreneurship programs, sponsorship of commercial development of DOE-developed technologies, project management leadership training, and commercialization technical assistance to small businesses receiving small business-focused R&D awards.

In conjunction with these collective efforts, DOE also provides internship and fellowship opportunities within DOE Federal offices in STEM focused areas to further develop, prepare, and recruit individuals to careers in the Federal STEM workforce at DOE federal offices and sites

K-12 Students and STEM Educators

STEM engagement programs and activities that target the K-12 level introduce students to the awe-inspiring scientific research and innovative technology development that takes place every day across the DOE complex.  These programs teach DOE-relevant STEM concepts and expose students to STEM careers.  These activities occur across many settings, including in K-12 classrooms, in DOE National Laboratory-based classroom settings, and at museums, community centers, and science centers.  DOE also supports STEM competitions and relevant curriculum development and content development.  For K-12 STEM educators, opportunities can include educator professional development on DOE science and energy related topics, and online learning and training tools for the classroom, including interactive lessons.