Next Round of U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. National Science Foundation Collaboration Serves Graduate Students in STEM and Ambitious Geothermal Energy Goals 

Geothermal INTERN Opportunity graphic

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the second round of the Geothermal INTERN opportunity is open and actively accepting applications. This NSF-DOE collaboration supports 10 to 20 research internships per year to work on projects that advance geothermal technologies. With their principal investigators, students selected for this opportunity can create their own internship that applies their academic interests with a host organization in the geothermal industry. 

The Geothermal INTERN opportunity supports the goals of DOE’s Enhanced Geothermal Shot™, which aims to reduce the cost of EGS by 90% by 2035 and bring enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) to Americans nationwide. EGS holds huge promise as a source of firm, flexible electricity and can expand geothermal heating and cooling, but research and innovation to drive down costs and realize this potential will require significant growth in the geothermal energy workforce. The Geothermal INTERN opportunity helps support that need by preparing students for careers in geothermal energy. 

“What the Geothermal INTERN opportunity has produced in its first year gives me great hope for our clean energy future,” said Terrence Mosley, Senior Advisor for Diversity and STEM in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at DOE. “EERE is very pleased that this partnership with the National Science Foundation is not only building up the geothermal energy workforce that will help advance the deployment of this important renewable, but is also demonstrating how diverse geothermal and other renewable career fields can be.” 

“This unique Geothermal INTERN partnership with DOE helps catalyze timely and immersive non-academic professional development and training opportunities for NSF-supported graduate students,” said Dr. Prakash Balan, lead NSF INTERN program director. “This helps prepare students to powerfully contribute to future science and engineering needs of the U.S. economy in the geothermal energy sector and beyond.”

“The Geothermal INTERN program played a pivotal role in fostering my career growth by offering me a unique entry point into the field of geothermal energy,” shared University of Texas at El Paso Ph.D. student Kaushik Pradhan, a member of the Geothermal INTERN opportunity’s first cohort. “This opportunity allowed me to gain invaluable hands-on experience in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) at a national laboratory, paving the way for future career prospects in this exciting field.”  

This opportunity is administered through NSF’s INTERN program. Since 2017, this program has provided more than 250 graduate students per year with internships where they can acquire core professional competencies and skills. The program encourages the participation of graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—or STEM—fields. 

The Geothermal INTERN opportunity collaboration is the first activity coordinated through the NSF-DOE Memorandum of Understanding, which formalizes the agencies’ longstanding partnership on scientific and engineering research to bolster national energy policy.  

For more information about the Geothermal INTERN opportunity, visit NSF’s website or the Geothermal Technologies Office's (GTO) INTERN webpage. To learn more about the first cohort of geothermal interns in this program, read GTO’s blogs about what brought these students to geothermal and their internship experiences.