Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $20 million in funding for workforce development at universities in emerging energy fields. This funding supports the Administration’s commitment to preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers, thereby sustaining American global leadership in the renewable power, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency sectors.
“Workforce development in evolving technical fields is a critical issue for the United States,” said Assistant Secretary Daniel R Simmons. “The Federal Government has a key role to play in helping develop models and frameworks to provide interdisciplinary depth and to speed the training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics training.”
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy roadmap, “Charting a Course for Success: American’s Strategy for STEM Education,” points to multiple pathways representing a cross-cutting set of approaches to accomplish science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education goals. It includes developing and enriching strategic partnerships, engaging students where disciplines converge, and building STEM literacy.
This DOE investment will fund a land grant university to pursue interdisciplinary research by supporting a coordinated expansion of existing joint graduate education programs with DOE National Laboratories. Establishing EERE-funded programs through coordination with universities and the National Laboratories can help expand a specialized and high-technology skill set across a more diverse talent pool, including groups that are underrepresented in STEM.
The selected project will:
- Establish a 5-year EERE Research, Training & Workforce Development Program that expands existing joint graduate programs, with associated investment in learning and research tools, to promote research, entrepreneurship, and technology transfer.
- Use existing National Laboratory capabilities in key EERE-related areas for training and research that supports EERE funded projects.
- Coordinate with other relevant programs, including national and regional fellowship and workforce development efforts, build sustainable alliances, and apply lessons learned and best practices.