Employment Policies

NREL's employment policies reflect our commitment to providing a safe and nondiscriminatory workplace in accordance with federal and state laws.

As a member of the NREL team, you will contribute to a growing, dynamic national laboratory that is developing new energy technologies to benefit our environment and economy. The following policies allow us to accomplish our mission in a safe, supportive environment.

Smiling male NREL researcher holds a cup of coffee in front of green algae vials.

NREL scientist Phil Pienkos' research at NREL focuses on algal biofuels, with an interest in waste-to-energy research. This means recycling waste materials, like coffee grounds, to more efficiently create energy products. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

Equal Opportunity Employer

NREL provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified persons without regard to 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, and breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and other applicable statuses protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Also learn about our diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.

Drug-Free Workplace

NREL is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace in accordance with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug.

If you are offered employment at NREL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. Unless prohibited by state or local law, the drug test will include marijuana. If you test positive on the drug test, your offer of employment may be withdrawn.

Reasonable Accommodations

If you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for an NREL position, please email our People Services team with the following information:

  • Subject Line: Accommodation Request
  • Provide a description of your accommodation request
  • Include your contact information
    • Full name
    • Email address
    • Best number to reach you (optional).  

COVID-19 Protocols

NREL follows the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) COVID-19 Workplace Safety and Reentry Framework issued in May 2023. NREL's COVID-19 protocols meet the DOE and Safer Federal Workforce Requirements. We encourage everyone to take personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others. If you’re ill, stay home. Do not come on campus if you’re sick. NREL continues to monitor the CDC Community Level of COVID for Jefferson County, Colorado; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Washington, D.C. Masks are required in Level High, and masks are optional in levels Medium and Low.  

Site Access and Work Authorization

NREL is subject to DOE access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance, within a reasonable time frame for the specified position, to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or video conference.

Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). Candidates currently participating in an FGTRP will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by DOE. We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.