University Partnerships Program

At NREL, we seek to build and strengthen collaboration with universities around the world on cutting-edge research.

By partnering with leading universities and research institutions, we leverage our scientific knowledge and state-of-the-art facilities to solve complex, multidisciplinary challenges in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, renewable power technologies, and grid integration.

West-facing view of NREL's South Table Mountain campus in Golden, Colorado.

Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

Partnership Expands Pathway to Careers in Renewable Energy

RED Magazine, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Giant illuminated letters spelling out UCONN on a snowy landscape.

Photo from University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut and NREL Announce Partnership for Research and Innovation

UConn Today, University of Connecticut

Working hand in hand with universities across all of the technical disciplines at NREL, we aim to:

  • Enhance research collaboration between NREL and universities through joint appointments, funding proposals, publications, and research facilities.

  • Foster the exchange of ideas to expand research capabilities that lead to scientific breakthroughs and global recognition.

  • Attract rising stars in scientific and engineering disciplines who can gain experience and training at NREL's world-class research facilities.

  • Create pathways for graduate and undergraduate students—as well as postdoctoral researchers—to work jointly with NREL scientists and university professors to pursue innovative research leading to joint publications, funding, and career advancement.

  • Explore new ways to engage with a range of educational institutions to broaden the reach of NREL's engagement.

Learn more about global research collaborations, including joint institutes.

Opportunities at NREL for University Engagement

A postdoctoral researcher and NREL scientist.

Postdoctoral Opportunities

Postdoctoral researchers at NREL have the opportunity to receive advanced training from a mentor and to enhance their professional skills during an appointment.

 A scientist in a lab at NREL.

Director's Fellowship

The Director's Fellowship program attracts exceptionally qualified scientists and engineers with outstanding credentials in renewable energy research and related disciplines.

An intern presents research poster to another person.


NREL offers several internship opportunities to full-time undergraduate and graduate students.

Researchers from NREL and the University of Georgia.

Joint Appointments

Joint appointments are offered between NREL and universities to promote research and education in scientific, analytic, and technical fields.

A researcher in the lab.

Guest Researchers

NREL provides a unique opportunity for researchers worldwide to participate in a Research Exchange Program in which they collaborate with NREL on various projects as guest researchers.

A man and woman work outdoors on a mini-solar concentrator.

Workforce Development Programs

NREL's Workforce Development Affiliate Programs provide additional pathways for students, faculty, and others to further their knowledge of and careers in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Current Collaborations

Arizona State University

Bakersfield College

Boston University

Carnegie Mellon University

Colorado State University

Georgia Tech

Howard University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Princeton University

Stanford University

Texas A&M University

University of Colorado

University of Connecticut

University of Illinois

University of Texas

Washington State University

NEXUS logo

Nexus is a joint initiative that strengthens, accelerates, and enhances collaborative efforts between NREL and the Colorado School of Mines.


Ellen Morris

Director, University Partnerships Program