The U.S. Department Of Energy (DOE) has dropped some big federal bucks down into two fellowship programs designed to attract the country’s top scientific minds toward advanced clean energy technologies. DOE Secretary Stephen Chu announced the creation of the Postdoctoral Fellowships Program and the SunShot Initiative Fellowships Program-both are intent on promoting education in science, technology, engineering and math.
The Postdoctoral Fellowships program aims to gather around 20 postdoctoral fellows that have spent their academic careers in scientific areas relevant to clean energy and will financially support their research and development into “breakthrough technologies” for a period of two years. The SunShot Initiative Fellowships Program, on the other hand, is looking for recent Masters or Ph.D. graduates to work on significantly decreasing the cost of solar energy (by about 75%) so that it is cost effective, without further subsidy, by the end of this decade.
In his statement, Secretary Chu asserted that making investments that incentivize “ingenuity and discovery” is a crucial step toward strengthening the national economy that should also bring about more opportunities for future scientists to work on clean energy solutions.
Both programs are part of President Obama’s efforts to increase America’s economic competitiveness and boost job growth by “out-educating and out-innovating the rest of the world.:”- a tag line that we’re seeing reiterated often when discussing the recent surge of government funds aimed at students.
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