March 2014—The FINAL cohort of IGERT fellows to be chosen soon!

The National Science Foundation awarded a 5-6 year IGERT grant on Distributed Renewable Energy: From Science and Technology to Entrepreneurship and Policy to the University of Rochester. The IGERT program supports 6 new PhD students each year. We are seeking candidates for 6 new IGERT Fellowships starting July 1, 2014. The stipend is set at $30,000 per year and the selected students will be supported for 24 months.

Students finishing their first year toward a PhD from any department in the College, who are US citizens or permanent residents, and are or will be conducting research in the areas covered by the IGERT grant, are eligible to become IGERT fellows. Students who are beyond their first year in a PhD program will be considered. The research of the students supported by the IGERT grant must be related to solar energy, either directly (such as any aspect of photovoltaics or hydrogen generation) or less directly (such as fuel cells or impact of solar energy on the grid). Both the students and their advisors need to commit to complete the IGERT program, including its special features that are listed below.

Applications can be made directly by the students. Nominations can be made by the faculty advisors.

The application/nomination must include:

  1. A statement from the student explaining their interest in the IGERT program;
  2. a current CV;
  3. a brief description of their research directions that also indicates who their advisor is and what courses they have taken so far;
  4. a letter of recommendation from their advisor(s).

Applications/nominations are due no later than Friday, April 25, 2014 by email to Vicki Heberling, the IGERT Program Coordinator at victoria.heberling@rochester.edu. All questions regarding the program should be addressed to Ms. Heberling or to Prof. Matthew Yates, Program Director. Applicants will be notified by early May.

The IGERT program supports engineering or science students who conduct research related to solar energy. The program also addresses the changes in economic and business models necessitated by such distributed energy sources. It also strives to understand consumer and industry motivations in adopting renewable energy and use this understanding to focus efforts on solutions that can be adopted faster and more widely. One of the IGERT’s goals is to create a multidisciplinary community where scholarly research blends with entrepreneurship and policy, where academia, government and industry work synergistically, and where students develop first-hand understanding of all the key aspects of the global energy problem. To achieve these goals, special educational and training initiatives that will ensure that the IGERT students are prepared to assume leadership positions have been put in place.

The requirements of the program include: [click for pdf]

  1. a summer internship in industry, a national laboratory, or a foreign research institution;
  2. a summer of teaching and fieldwork in Ghana;
  3. incorporation of the student's experience in the PhD thesis;
  4. a multidisciplinary graduate curriculum that includes 1 required engineering course and 1 required technical entrepreneurship course; and 4 short courses/seminars designed for IGERT students.

IGERT students also have the opportunity to earn an MS in Technical Entrepreneurship while they pursue their PhD research.