Low-Income Community Solar and Energy Assistance Fellowship

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Reference Code
How to Apply

To apply click on Apply at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions about the application, please contact ORISE at DOE-RPP@orise.orau.gov with “The Low-Income Community Solar and Energy Assistance Fellowship” in the subject line.

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Application Deadline
3/10/2023 5:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

The Low-Income Community Solar and Energy Assistance Fellowship offers fellows the opportunity to learn and collaborate with state organizations to support the pilot test of the Low-Income Community Solar Subscription Tool. This tool, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with three pilot regions (District of Columbia, Illinois, New Mexico), aims to make community solar subscriptions that include verified savings and consumer protections more accessible to households participating in government-run low-income support programs, beginning with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The fellowship will enable talented candidates from diverse backgrounds to spend up to two years embedded within host organizations in participating pilot regions. Fellows receive a stipend, health benefits, and an educational allowance.

Fellows will learn and engage with community solar and LIHEAP program offices in piloting the tool, which may include: 1) engaging the management and verification of community solar projects included through the tool, 2) engaging LIHEAP administrator education and capacity needs, 3) creating and providing education and outreach to aid low-income household enrollment in community solar, and 4) developing a program guidebook and other materials for implementation of the tool beyond the pilot regions.

Fellows who are self-motivated, can participate both independently and with a team, and have experience with complex projects are encouraged to apply. The DC Department of Energy and the Environment is seeking a fellow with experience in data management and analysis, program evaluation using performance data and indicators, with preference for coding experience in R, Python, or Stata. The Illinois Power Agency and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission are both seeking fellows with experience in stakeholder engagement and community outreach and education.

Available Host Institutions

In the application, you will indicate your preferred host institution from the list below.  You must be willing to relocate to the host facility's area, if selected:

Fellowship Details

Fellows receive a stipend, health insurance, and a generous allowance for education and professional development.  The fellowship appointment is for one-year, renewable for a second year, with opportunities for peer-to-peer learning provided for each cohort. Stipends are determined by highest degree level received and years of relevant professional experience and location. For the District of Columbia, stipends begin at $53,105 for a bachelor’s degree, at $64,957, for a master’s degree, and $78,592 for a Doctoral degree. For Illinois, stipends begin at $52,022 for a bachelor’s degree, at $63,633 for a master’s degree, and $76,990 for a Doctoral degree. For New Mexico, stipends begin at $47,148 for a bachelor’s degree, at $57,672 for a master’s degree, and at $69,777 for a Doctoral degree. We calculate an ‘adder’ to the stipend base for your degree based on the number of years of relevant experience you have.

Nature of Fellowship Appointment

The Low-Income Community Solar and Energy Assistance Fellowship program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The program is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). During the appointment, the fellow will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, DOE, the host institution, or any other office or agency. Instead, the fellow will be considered a participant and will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment. 


The fellowship is open to individuals with degrees in fields relevant to clean energy, energy affordability, communications and education, and/or community engagement. Fellowship candidates should have an interest in the application of clean energy, energy assistance, and/or education and outreach. If more than five years since receipt of degree, the applicant must have an academic background and experience in a relevant field and must be seeking to gain new knowledge/experience in order to expand career opportunities or to advance professionally. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience in project or program management, with experience in community solar or LIHEAP.

Selection Criteria

In addition to the merit criteria, the Selection Official may consider program policy factors in determining which applications to select. For candidates, program criteria include motivation and their academic or professional qualifications.

Merit Review Criteria

  • Degree to which the candidate has the training and qualifications required to undertake the fellowship goals.
  • Degree to which the candidate’s application is clearly articulated, with appropriate levels experience, education, and/or training.
  • Degree to which the candidate is highly motivated, takes initiative, and can work independently.

Program Policy Factors

  • Applications may be selected to ensure diversity of the overall Low-Income Community Solar and Energy Assistance Fellowship cohort (demographic diversity, diversity of prior experience, and a diversity of colleges and universities).
  • Applications may be selected that best reflect & engage local communities in their host institution’s jurisdiction or service territory.

The application is open from February 6 through March 6, 2023. Ideally fellows will start on May 1, 2023.  Only completed applications will be reviewed.    

A Complete Application Consists of:

  • Complete Zintellect profile and responses to opportunity specific application questions.
  • Transcripts/Academic Records - Recent unofficial transcripts or copies of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institutional systems may be submitted to complete the application, if a copy of the official transcript is not available at the time of application. Transcripts/Academic Records must include the name of the academic institution, name of the student, completed/in progress coursework and grades.  If you are selected, you will be required to provide a copy of your most recent official transcript showing proof of degree before the appointment can start. Selected individuals must provide proof of degree before the start of the fellowship.
  • Current Resume/CV (two-page limit), including academic history, employment history, and relevant experiences.
  • One Academic or Professional Recommendation: The recommendation should address a candidate's academic record and potential for success as a fellow, as indicated by communication, motivation, and collaboration skills, and must be submitted through Zintellect.  Although only one recommendation is required, you are encouraged to enter more than one contact to request a recommendation since you need at least one recommendation in the system to count as part of the completed application. Applications without a recommendation will not be reviewed.

NOTE: All documents must be submitted through Zintellect, and must be in English or include an official English translation. Documents must have all social security numbers, student identification numbers, and/or dates of birth removed (blanked out, blackened out, made illegible, etc.) prior to uploading into the application system. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Supporting materials must be uploaded as PDF files to ensure the document can be searched by Zintellect’s search engine. Documents sent by email, postal mail, or fax will not be considered.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students, Post-Bachelor's, Postdoctoral, Post-Master's, or Undergraduate Students.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Business (11 )
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (6 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (48 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (13 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (29 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age

I understand that if I am selected, I will be expected to serve on-site.


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