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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Post-Undergraduate Intern (Year-Round) - Chemical Engineering in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Post-Undergraduate Intern (Year-Round) - Chemical Engineering



CO - Golden


Position Type

Intern (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The Bioenergy Science and Technology (BEST) directorate within the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) performs a full range of research from exploring biomass at the molecular level through biorefinery process optimization to bring biofuels and bio-products to market. The directorate has recently expanded its research focus to include polymer recycling and bioderived polymer replacements. This research encompasses multiple areas including analysis & characterization, biochemical processes, bioenergetics, and thermochemical processes.

Our research group is focused on developing a true circular economy for performance advantaged polymers, recycling, and upcycling. Our team brings together a wide range of technical expertise and global experience unified by a passionate drive to increase the technoeconomic feasibility of global adoption of a circular economy. Interdisciplinary collaboration and a relentless pursuit of advancing understanding at the intersection of fundamental science and industrial application is paramount to every member of our team.

The BEST Directorate is seeking a full-time post-undergraduate year-round intern to provide researchers within our group the support necessary to achieve their cutting-edge research safely - ranging from catalytic depolymerization of existing polymers to novel bioderived polymer synthesis. The successful candidate will perform hands-on tasks and experimentation in a laboratory setting including:

  • operation and maintenance of analytical instrumentation,

  • batch and flow reactor operation

  • benchtop wet chemistry

  • separations

The ability to conduct laboratory experiments with minimal supervision, with the utmost regard to safety is required. Adaptability and an aptitude for learning are critical in this role.

This is an excellent opportunity for a Chemistry or Chemical Engineering student invested in the NREL mission who desires relevant laboratory experience in preparation for graduate school or a career in the biofuels or chemical industries.


Basic Qualifications

Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a Bachelor's, Master's or PhD degree program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Please Note:

•You will need to upload official or unofficial school transcripts as part of the application process.

•If selected for position, a letter of recommendation will be required as part of the hiring process.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated general laboratory experience and exposure to analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, or biochemistry

  • Attention to detail, a fast learner, and excellent time management skills

  • Works well with a variety of personality types with various backgrounds

  • Demonstrated experience following Standard Lab Safety Procedures and setting a safe example

  • Be willing to take direction and work independently to support team goals

Preferred Qualifications


Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)

Annual Salary Range: $31,600 - $50,600

Offers will typically be made in the bottom half of the listed range. NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, as well as the position's work location, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.

Benefits Summary

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; and sick leave (where required by law). NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement. Internships projected to be less than 20 hours per week are not eligible for medical, dental, or vision benefits.

* Based on eligibility rules

Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

EEO is the Law ( | Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination ( | Reasonable Accommodations (

E -Verify |For information about right to work, click here ( for English or here ( for Spanish.

E-Verify is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This business uses E-Verify in its hiring practices to achieve a lawful workforce.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (DOE) access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance within a reasonable time frame for the specified position in order to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by the Department of Energy (DOE). We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.

Please review the information on our Hiring Process ( website before you create an account and apply for a job. We also hope you will learn more about NREL ( , visit our Careers site ( , and continue to search for job opportunities ( at the lab.