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Research Project Description

Science and Technology Policy Fellowships - Fuel Cell Technologies Office
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC


Project Description:

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) of the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is offering research opportunities through the EERE Science and Technology Policy (STP) Fellowships Program. 

FCTO fellowships provide an opportunity for scientists, engineers, and researchers to participant in projects that support hydrogen and fuel cell activities as identified in The Fuel Cell Technologies Office Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration (MYRD&D) Plan.  All fellows will be assigned to policy-related projects and mentored by senior EERE staff. 

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO), situated within Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), addresses key technical challenges for fuel cells and hydrogen production, delivery, and storage and the institutional barriers, such as hydrogen codes and standards, training, and public awareness that inhibit the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.  Fuel cells represent one of the fastest growing emerging clean energy technologies with 30,000 units shipped worldwide in 2012 and nearly 50% market growth in MW in just one year.  The FCTO conducts applied research, technology development and learning demonstrations, as well as safety research, systems analysis, early market deployments, and public outreach and education activities. These activities include cost-shared, public-private partnerships to address the high-risk, critical technology barriers preventing extensive use of hydrogen as an energy carrier. Public and private partners include automotive and power equipment manufacturers, energy and chemical companies, electric and natural gas utilities, building designers, standards development organizations, other Federal agencies, state government agencies, universities, national laboratories, and other national and international stakeholder organizations. The FCTO encourages the formation of collaborative partnerships to conduct research, development and demonstrations (RD&D) and other activities, such as deployment, that support program goals.

Fellows are expected to be onsite with the program office in Washington, DC. Fellows will receive competitive stipends that are commensurate with qualifications.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis at


US Citizenship Required

We are seeking talented and committed individuals to assist the FCTO in implementing R&D efforts to realize the full potential of hydrogen and fuel cells. Current needs are within the following sub-programs:

Hydrogen Storage - The research project will provide expert technical advice and support to the Hydrogen Storage Program, in particular in the area of carbon fiber composite and compressed hydrogen storage tank systems. 

Hydrogen Production - The research project will provide expert technical advice and support in the area of Hydrogen Production, in particular the Renewable Hydrogen portfolio, including Biological and Solar Water Splitting pathways.

Hydrogen Delivery - The research project will provide expert technical advice and support in the area of Hydrogen Delivery, in particular the delivery of hydrogen from the point of production to the point of use in automotive fuel cell applications.

Fuel Cell R&D Program - Provide expert technical advice and support in the area of Fuel Cell Research and Development to reduce cost and improve durability (e.g. catalyst and membranes).

Safety, Codes and Standards - Develop and validate test measurement protocols and methods to support and facilitate international harmonization of codes and standards for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies including their safety.

Market Transformation - Analysis is needed to evaluate the effects of potential scenarios to stimulate market growth for fuel cell technologies. Activities will address the challenges of moving today’s laboratory-produced technologies to high-volume, mass market penetration driving down the cost of hydrogen and fuel cell systems. 

Technology Validation - Activities will confirm that component technologies can be incorporated into a complete system solution and that system performance and operation are met under anticipated operating scenarios.  The research project will provide expert technical advice for systems engineering and cost analyst for hydrogen stations.

Systems Analysis - The research project will provide expert technical advice for applied research to advance the hydrogen and fuel cell technologies development and technology readiness by providing system-level analysis and evaluating technologies and pathways including resource and infrastructure issues, determining technology gaps, risks and benefits, guiding the selection of RD&D projects, and estimating the potential value of RD&D efforts. 

Manufacturing - The research project will provide expert technical advice for activities that improve processes and reduce the costs of manufacturing components and systems for hydrogen production, delivery, and storage, and for stationary, portable, and transportation fuel cell applications.

Additional Information:

Number of Positions available: (1-2 per sub-program)

The STP Fellowships are for two years. The initial appointment period is one year. The extension of the appointment will be subject to satisfactory progress toward completion of project assignments, and availability of funds. Final decisions regarding the extension of the Fellowship for a second year will be made by the EERE mentor and the EERE Program Manager.   For more information, see:

Fuel Cell Technologies Office fellowships 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).

Expectations and activities will include:

  • Expert analysis and advice for reviews of project progress reports and other technical reports (including milestones), communication with researchers to address questions and mitigate issues.  Review and summary of current research, including projects not funded by FCTO.
  • Stay abreast of current and new advances. Review and summarize new developments in designated topic areas, as well as, publish technical papers in the related professional journals.
  • Input on program planning in areas related to the hydrogen delivery portfolio, including identifying areas where basic science research can be leveraged, and suggesting topic areas for potential Funding Opportunity Announcements.
  • Contribution to writing and/or updating of program documents and plans.
  • Assist in setting performance and cost targets, and in analyzing and documenting status and progress towards targets for various projects.
  • Assist in communication and coordination in the program area with other DOE programs and federal agencies.
  • Aid in public outreach and education efforts by producing summaries and memos of research publications and other technical reports for publication on the DOE website and other venues. Assist in organizing meetings and workshops such as the Annual Merit Review.
  • Participate in crosscutting EERE-FCTO activities and planning as opportunities arise.

Fellowship Requirements

Fellowships will be awarded to applicants based on academic level and experience.

Position requirements:

US Citizenship Required

Technical Questions:

Questions about these Fellowships can be addressed to:

How to Apply:

Applications forms and instructions can be found at