NSF News

NSF and DOE partner on new internship opportunity in clean hydrogen energy

The U.S. National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, through its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), have initiated a joint training and professional development opportunity for NSF-supported graduate students in the area of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The opportunity, named Hydrogen INTERN, is offered through the NSF Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (NSF INTERN) program.

Hydrogen energy holds great promise as a renewable, reliable source for transportation, industrial and stationary power applications. A skilled workforce is needed to drive research and development of hydrogen generation, production, delivery, infrastructure, storage and fuel cell technologies, and to help commercialize and unlock the societal benefits of hydrogen as an energy source. 

"This NSF-DOE opportunity for hydrogen and fuel cell technology research and professional development will prepare graduate students for diverse careers in hydrogen energy and help spur U.S. growth in clean energy," said Susan Margulies, NSF assistant director for Engineering.

"We are thrilled to see Hydrogen INTERN come to life," said DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office Director and Hydrogen Program Coordinator Sunita Satyapal. "Equipping the next generation of clean hydrogen professionals with real-world experience and perspective is crucial given the industry’s growth projections over the coming decades."  

Established in 2017, NSF INTERN provides graduate students with six-month experiential learning opportunities through research internships where they acquire core professional competencies and skills working on-site at a non-academic host organization. 

"The burgeoning hydrogen sector is creating a multitude of high-quality jobs — from R&D and engineering to facility management, community engagement and more," said Terrence Mosley, DOE EERE senior advisor for diversity and STEM. "This exciting new internship program in partnership with NSF demonstrates EERE's commitment to exposing students to clean energy careers, while providing them with the experience and resources they need to succeed." 

INTERN complements academic research training, enhances preparation of graduate students for multiple career paths and encourages the participation of the full spectrum of diverse talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"Hydrogen INTERN will provide geoscience-focused graduate students with a unique opportunity to expand their skillset, join the cutting-edge field of hydrogen exploration, and explore clean energy solutions. We are very excited to support this activity," said Alexandra Isern, NSF assistant director for Geosciences. 

The NSF-DOE EERE Hydrogen INTERN opportunity will fund approximately 10 internships per fiscal year, providing up to $55,000 per student in a six-month period. Internships may take place in industry (startup, small, medium or large firms), nonprofit organizations, national laboratories, other government agencies and laboratories or other settings outside of academia. 

This activity is 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 Hydrogen INTERN opportunity is available at www.nsf.gov.