Get more hands on deck with your EECBG Program project. Kickstart a clean energy career. Apply to be or host a Community Energy Fellow!

A group of people viewing a scientific poster.
August 07, 2019 - NREL interns and staff participate in the 2019 Summer Intern Poster Session at the Research Support Facility (RSF).
Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL

Sponsored by DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP), the Community Energy Fellowship will match 25-35 recent graduates and mid-career clean energy professionals with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program formula-eligible local and Tribal governments.

By hosting a Fellow, local and Tribal governments will bolster their EECBG Program Projects, gain new perspectives, and accelerate the national transition to resilient and affordable clean energy. Fellows will build experience in public sector clean energy deployment at the community level. They may work on projects in areas including energy efficiency, electric vehicle technology, renewable energy, and more!

SCEP may also financially support other expert community stakeholders to act as Clean Energy Coaches for Fellows. Coaches would serve as advisors and help build partnerships on the ground.

DOE is now accepting applications for the first round of eligible host institutions by October 4, 2023. Applications received after this date will be considered in the second round selection, due March 5, 2024. Interested Fellows must apply by October 8, 2023 for the first round, and March 16, 2024 for the second round. More information about key dates and deadlines can be found below!

Questions can be submitted to our Technical Assistance email inbox at:

Application & Fellowship Steps

Round 1

Round 2

Applications Open

 Aug. 7, 2023


Host Application Deadline

 Oct. 4, 2023

 Mar. 5, 2024

Date by which host must submit their EECBG Program Grant Application

 Oct. 31, 2023

 Jan. 31, 2024

Fellow Candidate Application Deadline

 Oct. 8, 2023

 Mar. 16, 2024

Fellow Candidate Interviews

 Late Oct. 2023

 Early April 2024

Fellowship Period 

 Jan. 2024June 2025

 July 2024Dec. 2025

Key Information for Prospective Host Local Governments and Tribes

How does the Community Energy Fellow application process work?

  • Host entities apply to the Community Energy Fellowship with a specific project scope and preferred qualifications for their fellow candidates. The staff member that will mentor the Fellow and oversee the project activities should submit the application and participate in the interview and selection process. The application form can be found here.
  • There are two application rounds for host entities with due dates of October 4, 2023 and March 5, 2024. Hosts participating in Round 1 must submit their EECBG Grant Application by October 31, 2023. Hosts participating in Round 2 must submit their EECBG Grant Application by January 31, 2024.
  • Fellows apply through Zintellect. Applications must include references, transcripts, current resume, and a description of their interest in the program, relevant skills, and experience. There are two application rounds for Community Energy Fellows with due dates of Oct 8, 2023 and March 16, 2024. 
  • Matching: DOE matches selected host institutions with the top 3-5 Fellow candidates in their regions. Hosts, along with DOE, will conduct interviews and make final selection recommendations. The program is limited to only 25-35 host institutions. DOE will do its best to make successful matches but cannot guarantee a Fellow for each host community.

Which communities are eligible to apply?


  • EECBG Formula local governments opting for grants (not vouchers), including teams
  • All EECBG Tribes, including teams
  • EECBG Competitive awardees
  • Note: States, territories, and local governments using EECBG vouchers are ineligible to apply for a Community Energy Fellow. However, additional technical assistance resources are available. Contact for more information.

What makes a strong host application?

  • SCEP will evaluate all host applications as follows:
  1. Potential Impact on EECBG project outcomes (40%)
    1. Hosts should indicate how a Fellow would contribute to their planned EECBG project or program but ensure that their EECBG effort is not reliant on receiving a Fellow in order to be successful.  
  2. Extent to which the host meets priority target areas (30%)
    1. Hosts are either designated as disadvantaged communities, or plan to use EECBG Program funds to benefit disadvantaged community members
    2. Need for a fellow to lend perspective on several EECBG Program grantees on one project or program (i.e. teaming)
    3. Following an EECBG Blueprint.
  3. Potential for a high-quality fellow experience (30%)
    1. Quality of workplan
    2. Level of institutional support from the host organization
    3. Possibility of long-term placement
    4. Other creative or unique opportunities offered.
  • DOE may also consider other factors in final selection of hosts such as:
    • Diversity of project types and regions
    • Availability of qualified fellow candidates in regions and areas of requested technical expertise.

Who funds and manages the fellowship?

  • The Fellowship is funded by DOE Office of State and Community Programs and administered in partnership with the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE). ORISE will manage Community Energy Fellow recruitment, facilitate the fellow application and selection process, and provide fellows with stipends and benefits.

How to apply?

Key Information for Prospective Fellows

Why apply?

  • We need everyone to bring about a just energy transition, and there has never been a better or more urgent time to launch a career in clean energy. As a Community Energy Fellow, you will help to put historic federal investments in climate and clean energy projects to work in local communities. As you gain valuable professional experience working with mentors in local governments and Tribes, you will have a cohort of other fellows to lean on and the opportunity to build knowledge and a network in the industries of the future.

Who is eligible?

  • To be considered for the Fellowship, candidates must:
    • Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) at the time of application. Evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted to ORISE at the time the appointment is accepted.
    • Be at least 18 years old by the time of their potential start date.
    • Have completed an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree in science, social science, environmental studies, economics, mathematics, engineering, public policy, business, law or other field relevant to the DOE mission. Applicants pursuing a degree at the time of application must show proof of completion of the degree before starting an appointment.
    • Be available to start their Fellowship by January 2024 for Round 1 Fellows, and by July 2024 for Round 2 Fellows.
  • Fellows should bring a strong interest in clean and equitable energy solutions for Tribal and local governments, particularly for environmental justice and disadvantaged communities. DOE seeks candidates with expertise and experience working with Tribes and local governments and/or the clean energy sector. Applicants with diverse backgrounds and lived experience are encouraged to apply.

What are the Fellowship stipend and benefits?


  • Fellows receive a stipend to support their participation as a Community Energy Fellow. Stipend rates are determined by DOE officials and are based on the candidate’s academic and professional background. Fellows can expect annual base stipends to start at the following amounts, depending on location:
    • Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree: $51,700 to $64,000 
    • Master’s Degree: $62,900 to $77,800 
    • PhD: $69,100 to $85,500
  • For every complete year of full-time relevant professional experience from 2-10+ years, fellows can expect a 3% increase in their stipend amount.
  • Fellows are eligible for additional benefits including health, vision, and dental insurance.

How to apply?

  • Fellow Candidates apply here through this Zintellect form.
  • Application materials requested include: references, transcripts, resume, and a description of their interest in the program, relevant skills, and experience.
    • There are two application rounds for Community Energy Fellow candidates:
      • Deadline #1: October 8, 2023
      • Deadline #2: March 16, 2024

Key Information for Prospective Coaches

What is a Community Energy Coach? What is the time commitment and compensation?

  • Community Energy Coaches will be paired up with 1-5 Fellows, ideally in their region. They will provide professional guidance, mentorship, troubleshooting, and career advice. They will also support Fellows by making connections with other members of the industry and region.
  • Coaches will meet with each assigned fellow for a minimum of one hour per month, preferably in person, over the course of the 18-month fellowship. This time would be supported by an honorarium from DOE.

What is the general profile of a prospective Community Energy Coach?

  • Coaches are experienced professionals in clean energy or utility industries, local or Tribal governments, or are members of environmental justice, or clean energy non-profit organizations. They are mid- or late-career experts in their fields eager to amplify clean energy impacts in communities and mentor newer professionals.

How should I apply to become a Community Energy Coach?

  • DOE has not launched the full application for Community Energy Coaches. If you are interested, please let us know by filling out this optional interest form!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can states or territories implementing their EECBG Program projects apply to receive a Fellow?

  • No. Community Energy Fellows will be placed at eligible local governments opting in to grants and Tribes only.

What types of work might we expect a Community Energy Fellow to support?

  • Fellow workstreams will depend on the host’s EECBG Program project. Examples include: Community and/or stakeholder engagement efforts, helping to navigate a procurement process, conducting research or policy or technical analysis, creating communication materials, collecting and evaluating metrics, or supporting team members across jurisdictions.

Can I host a Fellow if I am pursuing an EECBG Program voucher?

  • It depends. Tribes may apply to host a Fellow regardless of grant or voucher status. Local governments may only host a Fellow if they are applying for a direct grant.

Can I host a Fellow if I am pursuing an EECBG Competitive Program grant?

  • Yes. Entities that are awarded an EECBG Competitive Program grant may apply to host a Fellow.

Must I have already submitted my EECBG Program application to apply to host a Fellow?

  • To be considered for Round 1, host entities must submit a complete EECBG Program grant application to DOE by October 31, 2023.
  • Host entities applying for the second round of Fellows may submit their EECBG Program grant application up to the January 31, 2024 deadline.

How will I know that the Fellow is a good fit for our community?

  • Host institutions will have the opportunity to review Fellow applications, conduct interviews, and recommend Fellow candidates for selection.

My local government or Tribe is working with a team on our EECBG grant. Who should submit the application to host a Fellow?

  • The person who would be managing the Fellow should apply. Their institution would be the host.

Can our local government or Tribe share a Fellow with other EECBG communities if we’re not currently working in a team?

  • This is possible and encouraged. Coordinate with your potential community partners directly. Determine how you’ll split up the fellow’s time and which organization will serve as the host as described above.

Are entities eligible to host a Fellow regardless of grant amount?

  • Yes.

If I host a Fellow, can I still access other technical assistance offerings?

How can I express interest in becoming a Community Energy Coach?

  • Fill out this form. Stay tuned for more information to come late 2023/early 2024.