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Fellowships and Postdoctoral Research Awards

SunShot Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

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).

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:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with two annual review dates: January 15 and June 15. Download the fellowship flier

Postdoctoral Awards

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

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

George Livingston
B.S. University of Michigan, Biology (2008); Ph.D. University of Texas, Ecology (2014); SunShot Program(s): Soft Costs, Technology to Market
George joined SunShot in fall 2016 as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow. He is involved in a range of programs targeting community solar, open data, and solar technology diffusion. Prior to SunShot, George was a 2016 summer fellow at the Breakthrough Institute in Oakland, CA where he worked on the nexus of energy and technology. He also completed a postdoc at the University of California, Davis where he worked with the California Dept. of Pesticide Regulation and citrus growers to improve pest management. George has led diverse research projects on ecosystem resilience, biodiversity, agriculture, and science policy. He is the author of over ten publications. With the support of fellowships, he has spent time living and working alongside scientists in Mexico, Costa Rica, France, and Japan.

Jonathan Trinastic
B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Psychology (2005); Ph.D. University of Florida, Physics (2015); SunShot Program(s): Photovoltaics
Jonathan joined the SunShot team as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in September 2016. He is interested in developing efficient ways of joining multiple stakeholders together to overcome the technical and non-technical barriers to solar energy development. He currently assists the Photovoltaics team with the Photovoltaic Research and Development funding programs and the DuraMat consortium, which brings together expertise from national laboratories and industry to increase the rate of material development for solar technology. In addition, he is working on a project to evaluate the impact of SunShot funding on solar energy research and development using quantitative metrics and data analytics. Jonathan is also committed to understanding the holistic challenges related to solar deployment, including grid integration issues and empowering human capital in the solar industry. His past research focused on the use of computational models and high-performance supercomputing to understand the nanoscale structure and electronic behavior in organic solar cells, tunnel junctions, and graphene. He has also worked with large collaborations to improve glass coatings for mirrors used in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). In addition to these research interests, Jonathan continues his passion for science communication through online science writing and outreach.

SunShot Fellows

Emanuele Pecora
B.S. University of Catania, Italy, Physics (2004); Ph.D. University of Catania, Italy, Physics (2010); SunShot Program(s): Technology-to-Market 
Emanuele is a SunShot Science and Technology Policy Fellow since May 2016. He supports the creation, negotiation, execution, and monitoring of Funding Opportunity Announcements for large companies and start-ups with the goal of creating and commercializing new innovation in the solar community. Before joining Sunshot, he was a PostDoc at Stanford University (2013-2016) and Boston University (2011-2013) working on the interaction between light and matter, with a particular interest on light emission from semiconductor nanostructures, and the use of nanostructures and metamaterials to increase solar cells performances. He is author or co-author of more than 40 scientific papers, presented his works at more than 20 international scientific conferences, and published a book on his research activity. He is a reviewer for more than 30 scientific journals and mentor of young students. Emanuele holds a Ph.D. in Physics (University of Catania, Italy, 2010). He was awarded a full scholarship for his Master program at the Scuola Superiore di Catania (top 1% of his class). Over the years, Emanuele also developed leadership and management skills. He is the founder and first organizer of a TEDx event, he was President of his Alma Mater Alumni Association, and facilitator for a class on communication and management at Stanford University. His passion about innovation brought him to volunteer for the Stanford Office of Technology Licensing, where he assessed the business model for new technologies. He was also a communication coach for start-ups in the StartX accelerator.

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.