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The REN (Renewable Energy Network) seeks outstanding candidates for the 2012 Carson REN fellowship awards for scholarship in renewable energy science, technology, economics, business, policy or other renewable energy-related field. The fellowship is designed to complement and enhance training outside of the university laboratory and classroom to assist students in preparing to address local, regional, national and global energy challenges.
The Carson/REN fellowship provides a $5,000 stipend to students for a three-month summer position with a Federal research laboratory or industrial organization involved with issues of sustainable and renewable energy.



The program is open to Masters or Ph.D. candidates who have completed one year of graduate school (students are eligible to apply at start of second semester)


  • Present research at donor and other related events
  • Submit final progress report
  • Participate in energy-related forums
  • Make long-term commitment to participate in Carson Scholars network

Application requirements (all in .pdf format)

  • Statement (maximum two pages) from the student that 1) outlines his/her research question and approach in language clearly understandable to the interdisciplinary review committee, and 2) clearly articulates how the research area is important in the context of energy and sustainability
  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation from the student’s faculty adviser containing:  1) a description of why he/she believes the student fits the criteria for election to the Carson Energy Fellows program, 2) an appraisal of the individual student with respect to professional conduct, communication skills, and ability to be self-directed in a work environment, and 3) the adviser's commitment to assisting with student placement and providing mentorship during the summer period of fellowship.
  • One additional letter of recommendation

The Application Process

All application materials are submitted online. Students may work on their application over time and save updated versions, but it will not be received until "Submit" is selected at the bottom of the form. Once "Submit" is selected, emails will be automatically generated to your adviser and reference containing instructions for them to upload their letter of recommendation.

If you plan to wait until the deadline to submit your application, we recommend you contact your references much earlier to let them know that 1) they will be asked to upload a letter, and 2) instructions will be sent to them once you submit your application. References will have one week after the application deadline to submit their letters.

Evaluation criteria

  • Fellows are selected based on their dedication to a better understanding of renewable energy and motivation to apply that understanding to local and global energy issues
  • Identified placement with agency or industrial organization for summer months; including name and contact at the organization
  • Academic and extracurricular qualifications
  • Level of commitment for this activity expressed by the student's advisor
  • Strength of the personal essay

Many Federal research laboratories offer additional financial support through summer employment, internships, and other means. Applicants are encouraged to contact these laboratories directly.

Federal Laboratory Contact
Oak Ridge National Lab
Los Alamos National Lab
Sandia National Lab
National Renewable Energy Lab
Lawerence Berkeley National Lab
Pacific Northwest National Lab
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
National Energy Technology Lab