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Solar Energy Innovators Program

The purpose of the Solar Energy Innovators Program is to enable selected applicants to conduct practical research on innovative solutions to the challenges faced by electric utilities, energy service providers, and electric public utility commissions (PUCs) as the deployment of solar energy, as well as other distributed energy resources (DERs), increase on the electrical grid.

Selected applicants, referred to as Innovators herein, will be a research participant for up to two years at a Host Institution on one or more topics related to the integration of solar energy. The Applicant to this program is the prospective Innovator. The applicant must identify a Host Institution and potential mentor at a utility, energy service provider, or PUC currently conducting research in an area related to the integration of solar energy onto the electricity grid. DOE nor ORISE will match Applicants with Host Institutions. Host Institutions may seek potential Innovators that are eligible to apply to the program, but it is the potential Innovator, not the Host Institution or mentor, who submits the application and supporting materials to this site.

Eligible applicants include recent Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate graduates, as well as applicants with technical or research post-degree experience in a field related to the application of solar integration.

Host Institutions can be:

An electric public utility commission,
An electric utility operating in the U.S., or
An energy service provider operating in the U.S. (including, but not limited to, independent system operators, balancing authorities, and retail electricity providers).
For a list of electric public utility commissions, electric utilities, and energy service providers visit

Host Institutions are expected to commit to providing a mentor for the Innovator, as well as workspace, equipment, and resources needed for the Innovator to conduct his or her research.

The Solar Energy Innovators Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO). For more information about SETO, visit

Participant Benefits
Appointments are for up to two years. The initial appointment period is one year. Extension of the appointment will be subject to satisfactory progress toward completion of the project goals and availability of funds. Final decisions regarding the extension of the appointment for a second year will be made by SETO in consultation with the Host Institution.

Stipends will be based on appointment level and commensurate with qualifications:

Level 1: Participants with a Bachelor's degree will receive a stipend starting at $40,000.
Level 2: Participants with a Master's degree will start at $50,000. Participants with a Ph.D. will receive a stipend starting at $70,000.
Level 3: The stipend amount will be based on the Level 2 rate plus a factor for years of relevant experience after the receipt of the degree.
Participants will be eligible to receive an allowance of up to $10,000 for education and/or scientific activities, health insurance supplement, and possible relocation travel up to $5,000.

The appointment is full-time and cannot be supplemented with additional salary from the Host Institution.

Nature of Appointment

The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOE, or the Host Institution. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE letter of appointment and Terms of Appointment.

DEADLINE: 01/08/2018
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