The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supports several term-limited fellowships to support its mission.

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U.S. Department of Energy

ORISE Science, Technology, and Policy Fellowship

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Science, Technology, and Policy Fellowship offers SETO the opportunity to hire candidates who come to Washington, D.C. to learn about the federal government and its role in advancing renewable energy. Fellows use their expertise to support solar energy research and development by guiding strategy, designing funding programs, and managing SETO-funded projects in the following areas:

  • Photovoltaic technologies
  • Concentrating solar-thermal power technologies
  • Grid systems integration technologies
  • Solar siting, permitting, interconnection, and market analysis
  • Manufacturing and technology transfer
  • Energy and environmental justice
  • Access to financing, capacity building, and technical assistance
  • Workforce development
  • Scaling and accelerating deployment with meaningful benefits
  • Communications, graphic design, and stakeholder engagement

Fellows are encouraged to use their skills to offer new perspectives and unconventional approaches to challenges within SETO. Fellows are selected for their strong technical and/or analytical backgrounds according to their education level and work experience.

Eligibility & Application Information

Direct background in solar energy is not required for this opportunity, but strong candidates will have skill sets that can directly transfer to the work done at SETO and have an interest in developing a career in the solar industry beyond the fellowship. SETO is interested in candidates with backgrounds including but not limited to physical and natural sciences, social science, engineering, policy, entrepreneurship, community and equity work. SETO seeks candidates with bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, as well as established professionals with relevant post-degree experience. SETO is also interested in bilingual candidates. Participants must be a U.S. citizen or have Permanent Resident (Green Card) status.

Applications are due each year on January 15 and July 15Submit your application today, download the informational flyer, and email with any questions.


The ORISE fellowship offers competitive compensation. While exact stipends can vary based relevant work experience, SETO anticipates fellows with the following degrees to start their fellowship with the following: bachelor's $65,000; master's $72,000; PhD $95,000. For established professionals with significant work experience following their degree, compensation will be determined on an individual basis.

The fellowship offers a range of benefits, including health and dental insurance, a local transportation stipend, federal holidays and paid leave, a $10,000 research/travel allowance, and relocation reimbursement of up to $5,000 for those outside the Washington, D.C. area, but excludes retirement benefits. Successful fellows may be offered a second-year extension with a pay raise and cost of living adjustment. Past fellows have gone on to take a wide range of permanent positions in industry, academia, and government.

AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowships are designed to establish and nurture critical links between federal decision-makers and scientific professionals to support the creation of beneficial public policy and create more policy-savvy scientists. As a hosting organization, SETO offers opportunities for fellows to work with key stakeholders to transform our energy future.

Eligibility & Application Information

Applicants must hold a doctoral level degree (Ph.D., Sc.D., M.D., DVM, EdD, etc.) in a qualified discipline or an M.S. in engineering with three years of professional engineering experience. Participants must be U.S. citizens (dual citizenship from the United States and another country is acceptable).

AAAS only accepts online application submissions. The online application system opens in early to mid-September every year with an application deadline of early December. Applicants who make it through the selection process and successfully interview with a hosting agency begin their fellowship in September. Apply to the AAAS fellowship.

Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship

The Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship funds recent graduates and energy professionals to work with critical energy organizations to advance clean energy solutions. The program seeks to recruit talent from diverse backgrounds to spend up to two years supporting the work of eligible host organizations, which include electric public utility commissions, municipal and cooperative utilities, and grid operators, such as regional transmission organizations or independent system operators.

Eligibility & Application Information

The Clean Energy Innovators Fellowship is administered by ORISE. Details on the application and selection process can be found on the Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship webpage. Please submit any questions about the application process to

Solar Manufacturing Internship for Leaders in Energy (SMILE)

The SMILE Program provides an opportunity for students from Minority Serving Institutions to intern at companies included in SETO’s portfolio for 10 weeks during the summer. Students will participate in professional development programming in addition to their core assignments, which will provide them the opportunity to learn about and support the development of innovative solar energy technologies. Interns may work on-site, remotely, or in a hybrid work setting. Interns may come from a variety of backgrounds, including but not limited to engineering, business, physics, and computer science. This program seeks to inspire undergraduate students to pursue a career in solar energy or clean energy.

Eligibility & Application Information

Applicants must attend a Minority Serving Institution and be a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident at the time of application. Applicants must be students who have completed at least three years of their undergraduate education and will enter their final year or semester/quarter of their undergraduate degree program upon completion of the internship. 

Stay tuned for information about the 2025 SMILE Program.

Additional Information

Learn about other internships, fellowships, and scholarships available through the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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