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Fellowships and Postdoctoral Research Awards

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.

Application Information


There are four types of fellowships for recent graduates and experienced scientists and engineers. Click through to find more information and to apply:

Postdoctoral Awards

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 the next round of this program.

A variety of other internships, fellowships, and scholarships are available through EERE. Learn more.

Meet SunShot's Fellows

AAAS Fellows

Dave Rench McCauley
B.S. Miami University (of Ohio), Physics (2007); Ph.D. Penn State University, Condensed Matter Physics (2013); SunShot Program(s): Photovoltaics and Soft Costs
Dave Rench McCauley joined the SunShot Initiative in September 2014, attracted to the office by the level of technical rigor applied in the office every day and its highly quantitative approach to improving the adoption of solar energy in America. He works on a broad array of technical and policy-related issues, including the STEP solar workforce training initiative and reliability concerns in photovoltaic materials and systems, as well as advancing the office’s efforts in utilizing new analytical methods to improve the execution of its programs. Dave is particularly interested in workforce trends, university technology transfer, and studying innovation. Dave received his Ph. D. in condensed matter physics in 2013 from Penn State University. For his graduate work, Dave developed novel III-V GaAs-based ferromagnetic semiconductor materials and studied artificial spin ice device phenomena. He received his B.S. in physics from Miami University, where he developed instrumentation and software for measuring novel cuprate superconductors.

Ryan Stolley
B.S. Fort Lewis College, Chemistry (2008); Ph.D. University of Utah, Organic Chemistry (2013); SunShot Program(s): Soft-Costs and Technology-to-Market
Ryan Stolley joined the SunShot Initiative in September 2015. He works on a broad array of technical and policy-related projects working primarily with the technology-to-market and soft-costs teams. Ryan was attracted to SunShot Initiative’s holistic approach to making solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity. While technically inclined, Ryan is passionate about issues with a focus on human capital such as a solar workforce training, providing solar power to low- to moderate-income and underrepresented communities, and other non-hardware hindrances to solar deployment. Prior to joining SunShot, Ryan was a post-doctoral research associate at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where his work focused on homogenous catalysts for the electrochemical activation of hydrogen for energy storage and solar fuels applications. Ryan received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 2013 from the University of Utah where he developed a number of new reactions for the synthesis of heterocyclic organic compounds.

SunShot Fellows

Brion Bob
B.A. Harvard Physics (2009); Ph.D. UCLA Materials Science (2014); SunShot Program(s): Photovoltaics Research and Development
Brion Bob joined the SunShot Initiative in January 2015, and works primarily within the Photovoltaics Research and Development program. His interests revolve around supporting the development of a national research portfolio that is conducive to maintaining manufacturing competitiveness while training the next generation of industrial researchers. Brion holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, where his graduate studies were focused on the areas of thin film solar cell fabrication and device physics, with additional work dedicated to investigating new contact structures and junction architectures.

Kyle Fricker
B.S. University of Florida, Chemical Engineering (2008); Ph.D. Columbia University, Earth and Environmental Engineering (2014); SunShot Program(s): Technology to Market
Kyle Fricker joined SunShot in February 2015 as a member of the Technology to Market (T2M) team. He is inspired by the potential of solar to democratize our energy system and de-carbonize the economy, and was attracted to SunShot’s mission of reaching unsubsidized grid parity by 2020. At SunShot he helps run the Incubator funding opportunity within T2M as well as facilitates the Finance and Business Models working group of the National Community Solar Partnership—an effort to increase access to solar to new demographics and geographies. Prior to SunShot, Kyle co-founded Divvy Power LLC (“Divvy”), an online platform that facilitates the development of community clean energy projects via matchmaking with local professionals and crowdsourcing of necessary capital. Under his leadership, Divvy hosted two pilot projects raising roughly $10,000 from 93 individuals for off-grid solar at a school and community garden in the Bronx, NY. While completing his Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University, Kyle’s research elucidated the fundamental chemistry of a combined CO2 capture and storage process based on Mg(OH)2. He authored three peer-reviewed journal articles, a book chapter, and a United States patent application in addition to presenting at numerous international research conferences. Also during his graduate studies, Kyle was a Fellow at Columbia Technology Ventures—the university technology transfer office—where he assessed the commercial viability of new technologies. 

Stephanie H. Johnson
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University (2013); M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University (2010); B.S. Chemistry, Chatham University (2008); SunShot Programs: Soft Costs and Photovoltaics
Stephanie Johnson joined as a SunShot fellow in September 2014, working primarily with the photovoltaics and technology-to-market teams to explore program success metrics and methods for accelerating the transition of lab-scale innovations into commercialized products. Prior to joining SunShot, Stephanie worked for Croda, Inc. investigating the applications and scalable production of nanomaterials. Stephanie also served as a visiting scholar for the LeBlanc lab in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at the George Washington University, investigating how material properties can be maintained in large scale, cost effective manufacturing methods. Stephanie holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Drexel University, where she researched the influence of size, shape, and interfacial coupling on the physical properties of single-component and core-shell multi-component nanostructures.

SunShot Junior Fellows

Erin Cheese
B.S. Creighton University, Energy Science; Applied Physical Analysis (2015); SunShot Program(s): Photovoltaics Research and Development and Soft Costs
Erin Cheese joined the SunShot team in August 2015 as a Junior Fellow. She is interested in understanding the economic and technical challenges impeding wide spread adoption of solar energy. Erin was inspired to join the SunShot Initiative by the office’s mission to make solar fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by 2020. She works on a variety of projects including the STEP solar workforce training initiative and National Community Solar Partnership, as well as a project to understand the impact of government research funding on the acceleration of the solar industry. Erin is particularly interested in making solar affordable and accessible to all Americans regardless of income or roof accessibility.  Prior to joining SunShot, Erin served on the Nebraskans for Solar board of directors. She received her B.S. in Energy Science and Applied Physical Analysis from Creighton University, where she researched thin-film copper sulfides as potential transparent conducting materials for photovoltaic applications.

Erik Landry
B.S. The University of Chicago, Chemistry (2013); SunShot Program(s): Concentrating Solar Power and Systems Integration
Erik Landry joined the SunShot team in September 2014 as a Junior Fellow interested in understanding the collective economic, political, and technological landscape of solar energy and the implications it holds for future deployment.  Erik’s work with the Concentrating Solar Power program consisted of managing techno-economic analysis efforts and exploring alternative applications for solar thermal energy.  His current focus now resides within the Systems Integration program exploring the challenges and opportunities of integrating large amounts of solar energy onto the electric grid.  Before joining SunShot, Erik worked at Argonne National Laboratory on increasing the material efficiencies of thin film organic photovoltaic cells and understanding the molecular morphologies therein using grazing incidence wide angle x-ray scattering.