NSF News

NSF and DOE partner on geothermal internship opportunity

November 15, 2022

The U.S. National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, through its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE, have initiated a joint training opportunity in the area of geothermal energy through NSF's INTERN program.

Geothermal energy has potential as a renewable, reliable and flexible source for electricity, heating and cooling. While geothermal resources can be found nationwide, science and engineering barriers have limited the growth of geothermal industry.

"Training diverse graduate students for careers in geothermal energy, whether in academia, industry or government, will enable the U.S. to speed growth in clean energy technologies and support our research and industrial leadership," said Susan Margulies, NSF assistant director for Engineering.

"We are very excited to support emerging geothermal energy professionals alongside our partners at the National Science Foundation," said Alejandro Moreno, acting assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE. "Geothermal energy already provides enough electricity to power more than 2.7 million American homes, but this is just a small portion of its vast potential. Investing in the geothermal energy workforce will help unlock this resource and put new, clean, dispatchable electricity on the grid."

Established in 2017, NSF's INTERN program (formally known as Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students) provides graduate students with six-month experiential learning opportunities through research internships where they acquire core professional competencies and skills.

INTERN complements academic research training, enhances preparation for multiple career paths, and encourages the participation of graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The NSF-DOE EERE Geothermal INTERN opportunity will fund approximately 10 internships per Fiscal Year, providing up to $55,000 per student in a six-month period.

The Geothermal INTERN opportunity supports the DOE's recently launched Enhanced Geothermal Shot, part of DOE's Energy Earthshots Initiative, which aims to help break down the biggest remaining scientific and technical barriers to tackling the climate crisis. NSF is collaborating in this effort, including by helping to develop the workforce needed to support a growing geothermal energy industry.

This is the first activity coordinated through the NSF-DOE Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2022, continuing the agencies' longstanding partnership for collaboration on scientific and engineering research to bolster national energy policy.

More information about the Geothermal INTERN opportunity is available at www.nsf.gov.