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Evaluation Criteria

Applications must meet the basic eligibility criteria. Final decisions regarding eligibility and compliance will be made by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Applications will be reviewed by subject-matter scientists and engineers from universities, national laboratories, and industry. Each application will be reviewed independently by several reviewers. Applications will be evaluated based on the established merit review criteria below. For each criterion, reviewers will provide both a numerical score based on an established rating scale and a narrative response. The ratings and narrative responses will be reviewed by EERE staff in order to decide which applicants will be offered EERE Postdoctoral Research Awards.

Merit Review Criteria

  1. Academic and Research Performance (30%)
    •  Academic record: Do the courses taken by the applicant, course grades, publications, and/or awards reflect excellent academic performance? Has the applicant been awarded other Fellowship(s) (e.g., National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, McArthur Foundation Fellowship, Hertz Foundation Applied Science Fellowship) in recognition of his/her academic performance?
    •  Research record: Is the applicant's research record outstanding?
    •  Do the letters of recommendation support that the applicant is an exceptional candidate and has potential for success in research?
  2. Scientific and/or Technical Merit of Proposed Core Research Project (30%)
    •  Is the 80% core research plan relevant to the EERE topic to which the applicant is applying and how does it demonstrate potential for meaningful contributions to the forefront of the field?
    •  Does the proposed plan demonstrate a solid understanding of scientific and technical challenges in the proposed area of research?
  3. Innovation Project (10%)
    •  Does the applicant have exciting ideas on how to spend the 20% innovation time (e.g., shows breadth in interests, interdisciplinary approaches, interest in commercialization of discoveries, entrepreneurial spirit)?
    •  Could these ideas contribute to the next step in the applicant's chosen career trajectory?
  4. Potential for Becoming a Scientific Leader (30%)
    •  Has the applicant demonstrated the ability to work effectively in a team? Does the applicant also have a demonstrated ability to conduct research independently?
    •  Does the mentor/postdoc match appear to be good? Are both parties committed to having a supportive and productive relationship?
    •  Based on the applicant education and professional goals and objectives, research plan and innovative ideas, does this applicant have the potential to be a U.S. leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy science and engineering?