Historically, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) has released a request for proposals each fall semester, inviting interested teams to apply during the following spring semester to participate in the competition. Selected teams were typically announced in February or March of the next school year. For the 2023 CWC competition, this process has changed.

There is now a new application process with a new timeline. This change is intended to make the competition more accessible to schools that have not participated in the past and, in turn, broaden the reach and impact of the CWC.

The Collegiate Wind Competition brings together students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as business, marketing, communications, policy, and social sciences, for the purpose of engaging the future workforce in wind energy. The competition is open to undergraduate students from institutions of higher education.

Who Can Participate

Teams can be comprised of undergraduate students from:

  • A single four-year college or university in the United States
  • A four-year college or university in the United States as the lead institution partnering with a two-year institution in the United States, such as a community college
  • A four-year college or university in the United States as the lead institution partnering with an international institution with both institutions being represented at the final CWC event. International teams will not be eligible to receive support funding from DOE or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and must provide their own support.

Who Can Apply

  • Applications can be submitted by one student, multiple students, and/or a faculty advisor.
  • Teams do not have to be fully formed to submit an application. Faculty can still submit the application if students and team leads have not been identified and students can submit if they have not yet identified a faculty advisor.
  • In either case, in their application, the students should describe how they intend to recruit their faculty advisor, and faculty should describe how they intend to recruit students.


The new application process will adhere to the following timeline:

Application Period

  • March 2022: CWC organizers release the new application process.
  • By June 20, 2022: All interested teams submit an application to compete in the 2022–2023 academic year. 
    • Applicants must submit their application by 11:59 p.m. MT on June 20, 2022.
  • July 1, 2022: CWC organizers select Phase 1 teams.
    • Teams will receive notice of registration acceptance by 11:59 p.m. MT on July 1, 2022.
  • TBD: Participating teams are awarded project funds in the 2022–2023 academic year.

Phase 1

  • By September 30, 2022: Phase 1 teams submit funding requests. 
    • Teams must submit their funding requests between Aug. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2022.
    • Teams may be awarded up to $5,000.
  • December/January 2022: Phase 1 teams submit deliverables to CWC organizers for evaluation.

Phase 2

  • January 2023: CWC organizers select Phase 2 teams.
    • Using a performance-based selection process, CWC organizers narrow the Phase 1 teams to 12 teams to participate in Phase 2 during the spring 2023 semester.
  • By Jan. 31, 2023: Phase 2 teams request funding for up to $15,000 to support ongoing CWC project needs.
  • May 2023: Phase 2 teams participate in the 2023 CWC at the American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Applicants, respond to the following questions or prompts to provide information:

  • Lead University Name
  • Partner University Name (If Applicable)
  • Faculty Advisor(s) Name, Email, and Title/Department
    • If a faculty advisor has not yet been identified, how will you seek to get the mentorship you need to be successful?
  • Student Lead(s) Name and Email
    • If a student lead has not yet been identified, how will you identify the team lead(s)?
  • Describe how you will recruit team members across multiple disciplines (knowing that successful teams often include students from multiple engineering disciplines, business, communications, and other fields).
  • Discuss why you want to compete in this competition and what it means for you.
  • How will your team be programmatically supported by your collegiate institution (e.g., capstone, club, independent study, etc.)?
  • Participation in the competition can often exceed the amount that DOE’s Wind Energy Technology Office can support. What is your plan for filling in this possible funding gap?
  • Are you committed to participate through the May competition if selected?
  • Attach two (or more) letters of support from your institution (e.g., from multiple colleges).
  • The application document is limited in length to 750 words maximum (approximately three pages double-spaced).

Applications for the 2023 CWC must be submitted as a PDF document to collegiate.wind@nrel.gov by 11:59 p.m. MT on June 20, 2022.