Postdoctoral Researcher: Energy Equity Job at National Renewable Energy Laboratory – 3.8 in Golden, CO

Posting Title

Postdoctoral Researcher: Energy Equity



CO – Golden


Position Type

Postdoc (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols

Employment at NREL is contingent upon your compliance with all NREL and DOE safety protocols and mitigation efforts directed at the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, NREL requires all employees to be immunized against COVID-19. Upon hire, new employees must be prepared to provide proof of vaccination on your first day of employment. All employees must have completed vaccinations by November 1, 2021.

Working at NREL

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our eight employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.

NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.

Job Description

The Integrated Decision Support (IDS) group within the Integrated Applications Center (IAC) is focused on helping partners transition to clean energy by applying NREL research, analysis, and experience in real-world contexts in order to solve problems and support decision making. Staff backgrounds in IDS include public policy, urban planning, systems thinking, economics and finance, engineering, and project management.

IDS is leading or contributing to several multi-year projects that are fully focused on energy equity or energy justice in the context of specific cities and communities across the country, such as Round 3 of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) . IDS is also supporting several initiatives at NREL to advance the state of the art of applying an energy equity lens in individual technology areas (e.g., solar or buildings) and across NREL’s portfolio of projects spanning applied efforts to early-stage R&D. These projects and internal initiatives are in support of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy justice efforts (see DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity for more here ).

For these projects and this position, energy equity generally refers to supporting an equitable (or just) clean energy transition that includes and prioritizes economic and social participation in the transition of underserved or disadvantaged communities, such as low to moderate income communities or communities of color that have had more limited participation in the clean energy transition to date. Energy equity in this context includes access to clean energy, but is intended to go beyond access to a broad suite of the benefits that clean energy can provide accruing to or staying within community (e.g., wealth creation opportunities). That said, when working with specific communities, the terms, definitions, and concepts a given community prefers are used. Energy equity is used interchangeably with energy justice in this context and is intended to be inclusive of meanings applied to both or either. Environmental justice as a very related but distinct concept is also a dimension of several of the equity-focused initiatives.

To support these ongoing projects and additional upcoming equity-focused efforts, IDS is seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher. This Postdoctoral Researcher will lead and contribute to original research and analysis that pushes the cutting-edge of energy equity in the clean energy transition. NREL is excited to have the opportunity to work with communities across the United States to support them in developing their own versions of equitable clean energy transitions. In addition to making contributions to the literature on energy equity overall, this position will also lead efforts to apply the state of the art in energy equity to specific contexts and projects as appropriate. Further, this Postdoctoral Researcher will apply expertise and learnings to pioneer approaches for NREL to apply energy equity to earlier stages of the research, development, demonstration, and deployment process across NREL.

The successful candidate will have:
Demonstrated desire to contribute to the literature on energy equity in the clean energy transition.

Interest in applying research, methodologies, or frameworks for energy equity to communities forging equity pathways to their clean energy goals.

Proven organization skills.

Excel at working within a team environment.

Have demonstrated experience as a self-motivated learner with demonstrated ability to grasp new concepts quickly and to develop new skills and models as needed.

Creative problem solving and robust analytical skills will also be essential.

Exceptional writing, presentation, and communication skills.

Note: Engineering backgrounds can be applicable, but are not required .

Job duties:
Lead and support original research and analysis on energy equity, collaborating with other researchers across NREL as appropriate.

Apply energy equity concepts and methodologies to large NREL projects that are testing new approaches to weaving energy equity into the fabric of the clean energy transition

Advise researchers and practitioners across NREL on best practices for effectively integrating energy equity in projects, programs, or initiatives.

A cover letter is required as part of your application to be considered for this role.


Basic Qualifications

Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.


Additional Required Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications

PhD focusing on research on energy equity, energy justice, environmental justice, community economic development ideally with energy lens, or related.

PhD in relevant field and focused on energy equity or a component of energy equity (such as energy burden).

Relevant coursework or experience in relevant field, which could include economics, energy policy, public policy, planning, energy ethics, resilience, regulation, decarbonization, sustainability, and/or climate mitigation.

Professional experience through research or otherwise with underserved or frontline communities.

Strong publication record compared to peers at similar levels of education and career experience, and the ability to give clear oral presentations on progress and results.

Professional experience through research or otherwise with underserved or frontline communities.


Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)

Annual Salary Range: $68,000 – $112,200

Offers will typically be made in the bottom half of the listed range. NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, as well as the position’s work location, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.

Benefits Summary

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short-term disability insurance*; pension benefits*; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; personal time off (PTO) and sick leave; and paid holidays. NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement.

  • Based on eligibility rules

Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

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About the Company

Company: National Renewable Energy Laboratory – 3.8

Company Location:  Golden, CO

Estimated Salary:

About National Renewable Energy Laboratory - 3.8