Fellowships & Postdoctoral Research Positions
SunShot fellowships provide an opportunity for scientists, engineers, and researchers to lead and improve projects to meet the goals of the SunShot Initiative. All fellows are assigned to policy-related projects and mentored by senior EERE staff. SunShot fellowships are paid positions, and are administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) in collaboration with the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
SunShot postdoctoral awards are geared to foster the next generation of scientific leaders in energy efficiency and renewable energy. They provide Ph.D. recipients the opportunity to conduct applied research at universities, national laboratories, and other research facilities. SunShot postdoctoral researchers have access to unique education and training opportunities, top scientists in their field, and state-of-the-art projects and equipment. Postdoctoral awards are also administered by ORISE in collaboration with EERE.
There are four types of fellowships for recent graduates and experienced scientists and engineers. Click through to find more information and to apply:
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows: Graduates holding a doctoral level degree (PhD, ScD, MD, DVM, etc.) at the time of application.
- Senior SunShot Fellows: M.S. or Ph.D. graduates who have more than three years of post-degree experience in a technical or research capacity at the time of application.
- SunShot Fellows: Ph.D. graduates who have held a graduate degree for less than three years at the time of application.
- SunShot Junior Fellows: Bachelor's degree graduates who have held a degree for less than five years at the time of application.
Postdoctoral researchers receive an annual stipend, allowances for health insurance and research-related expenses, and limited reimbursement for relocation expenses. Learn more about current research topics and apply today.
A variety of othe internships, fellowships, and scholarships are available through EERE. Learn more.
Meet SunShot's Fellows
Michael Contreras joined SunShot in September 2013 motivated by the office's unique approach to drive down the cost of solar energy through strategic technology investments. He is currently developing an innovative challenge platform that leverages solar data assets to rapidly generate scalable startups. Additionally, he employs risk analysis methods to advise funding opportunities that will potentially reduce across-the-board system integration costs. Most recently, Michael was a spacecraft structural analyst at the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) advancing the technology readiness of innovative aerodynamic decelerator systems funded by NASA. He holds a B.S. and M.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University.
Candace Pfefferkorn supports the concentrating solar power (CSP) team in overcoming hurdles associated with the cost-effective deployment of CSP systems. Specific efforts are centered on CSP-enabled thermochemical energy storage, the reliability of optical coatings and materials, and novel cost-effective concentrators. Candace holds a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and conducted graduate and postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health where she gained expertise in numerous steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic characterization techniques. Candace joined the program in September 2012.
Adam Cohen is a SunShot fellow focused on accelerating soft cost reductions. Adam spearheaded a new program that merges big data processing, predictive analytics, behavioral economics, and pilot experimentation to develop novel techniques for driving solar cost reduction. The Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies program now supports seven research teams across the country. Adam also helped lay the groundwork for the SunShot Prize competition that spurs businesses and communities to implement disruptive strategies for reducing soft costs. Adam holds a Ph.D. in physics from University of Maryland and a B.S. in physics from Bucknell University. He joined SunShot as a fellow in September 2011.
Avi Shultz joined as a SunShot fellow in October 2013, working primarily on the CSP team to help determine how cost-analysis metrics can guide technical development of next-generation CSP technology. Before coming to SunShot, Avi was an NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) Rubicon postdoctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam, where he worked on developing supramolecular strategies for photocatalytic water-splitting for solar fuel applications. Avi holds a B.A from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, where he conducted research on the synthesis of catalytically active metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and related porous materials.
SunShot Junior Fellows
Anna Brockway is a SunShot junior fellow interested in both the technical and policy aspects of solar energy. Anna is SunShot's point-of-contact on shared solar business models and community-based approaches to solar deployment. Anna is also working to improve forecasting metrics to better predict the temporal and spatial availability of solar resources. Previously, Anna contributed to an effort targeted at achieving a deeper understanding of the chemical and physical reliability of solar system components. Anna joined the SunShot program in January 2013 and holds a B.S. in chemistry from Haverford College. At Haverford, her research focused on computational physical chemistry modeling related to alternative energy and sustainability technologies.
Doug Fabini is a SunShot junior fellow focusing primarily on grid integration of solar energy and power electronics for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Through his efforts, he seeks to enhance the functionality and reliability of solar power electronics and to enable the integration of distributed and central-station solar generation at scale. As part of his fellowship, Doug conducted a short-term placement at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he investigated the use of reactive power from PV inverters for optimizing electricity distribution system performance. Doug joined the program in January 2012 and holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Edward Hoegg is a SunShot junior fellow focusing on concentrating solar power. Of primary interest to him are the sensible, latent, and thermochemical forms of energy storage. Edward became a fellow in July 2012 after working as a contractor for the SunShot Initiative. Edward holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Washington College. His research includes a new method for palladium-catalyzed indenoannulation for the formation of large bowl-shaped molecules and the unusual fragmentation of ethyl dihydrocinnamate and related arylalkanoates in mass spectroscopy.