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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Summer Graduate Internship: Atmospheric Science in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Summer Graduate Internship: Atmospheric Science



CO - Golden


Position Type

Intern (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado, is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) provides leading-edge, objective, high-impact research and analysis to guide global energy investment and policy decisions and to support education and human development. Focused on the nexus of energy, financial sector, and society, JISEA is guiding the transformation of the global energy economy.

JISEA is seeking a graduate intern to join a highly interdisciplinary project in atmospheric sciences looking at the relationship between renewable energy generation and local climate change, with a particular focus on energy equity. The intern will work with experts in energy systems, atmospheric sciences, air quality, and scientific visualization to extend a survey of the existing scientific literature in this area, identify open research questions, perform quantitative analysis, and prepare a survey paper to be submitted to the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Because of the highly interdisciplinary nature of this research, graduate students from a range of research backgrounds are encouraged to apply. JISEA is particularly interested in students with the following research backgrounds:

  • Atmospheric sciences : Students with computational experience in atmospheric science, including both use of the WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) Model and climate or air quality simulations designed to incorporate larger time scales and more complex physics, will be well positioned to contribute to the climate and air quality aspects of this project.

  • Remote sensing and Earth systems : Students with knowledge of satellite remote sensing data related to climate, atmospheric, and land use modeling will be able to contribute to integration of these datasets to understand the impact of long-term energy systems changes.

  • Energy Systems Analysis : Students with an interest in and overall understanding of energy systems, including wind and solar energy, or of capacity planning and modeling in renewable energy systems, to be able to contribute to the energy modeling aspects of this project.

Regardless of scientific background, the graduate intern will be expected to absorb information and provide, with assistance from experienced NREL staff, analysis in all of the areas described above. Strong analytical, synthesis. and writing skills are essential.

This internship is designed as a remote internship for summer 2021. In addition to the research described above, students and recent graduates will participate in professional development activities that will help strengthen their technical and professional skills. NREL’s intern program provides a diverse opportunity for students and recent graduates. In addition to mentorship and real, hands-on experience, students and recent graduates will participate in professional development activities that will help strengthen their technical and professional skills.

Depending on the availability of funding and the intern’s performance, the internship may be extended on a part-time basis through the fall or spring semester.


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

  • Completion of a Bachelor's degree in engineering, physical sciences, environmental science, or other energy or atmospheric-related field or equivalent relevant experience. Interns should be undertaking Masters, or Doctoral or post-doctoral work in a related field.

  • Knowledge of the energy sector with focus on clean energy technologies.

  • Demonstrated strong analytical skills and ability to conduct academic research.

  • Excellent written skills and experience in designing and preparing research papers.

  • Presentation skills including effective visual presentation of quantitative data.

  • Ability to work independently to meet requirements and produce quality work in a timely fashion.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated interest in equity issues, as shown through coursework, research, work experience, or extracurricular activities.

  • The ability to effectively use computational tools in a desktop or HPC environment.

Preferred Qualifications


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

Annual Salary Range: $39,600 - $63,500

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 (

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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.