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ARPA-E Technology-to-Market Summer Scholar (Summer 2024)

Technology-to-Market Summer Scholar Program


The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that funds creative, out-of-the-box, transformational energy technologies that are too early stage for private investment. ARPA-E programs provide top energy researchers with funding, technical assistance, and tech-to-market guidance to radically improve U.S. energy security, energy efficiency, and environmental well-being. The driving question behind all ARPA-E programs is “If it works, will it matter?

ARPA-E recruits summer scholars who have a unique combination of technical and business skills to assist in defining commercialization pathways for high-impact technology development programs. This internship opportunity offers experience in advancing the transition of cutting-edge energy technologies to market applications in a fast-paced environment. 


ARPA-E’s Summer Scholars Program is designed to prepare ARPA-E funded technologies to achieve maximum impact and return on investment for ARPA-E project teams, stakeholders, and our Nation’s taxpayers. This internship provides a unique opportunity to work under and interface with the ARPA-E Technology-to-Market team, the ARPA-E Program Directors, and ARPA-E Fellows. We are seeking graduate students interested in:

  • Researching market trends, cross-industry collaboration opportunities, and go-to-market strategies.
  • Assisting in developing techno-economic analysis
  • Performing stakeholder analysis to identify technology adopters and laggards.
  • Analyzing system reliability at varying levels or renewable penetration

Planned Projects:

  • Exploring Commercialization Pathways to Decarbonize Iron and Steel
  • Analysis of ARPA-E’s Most Funded Teams
  • Analyzing Economic Potential for a Geologic Hydrogen program
  • Cost Analysis of Carbon Capture & Sequestration in Load Following Service when Integrated with a Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC)
  • Unlocking ClimateTech Capital for BlueTech Climate Solutions
  • Navigating the Maritime Energy Regulatory Ecosystem
  • Identifying a Business Case for Electric Aviation
  • Identifying a Technological and Commercial Pathway for a National Floating Offshore Wind Test Array
  • Analyzing Commercial Pathways for Improved Data Center Cooling Efficiency
  • Investigating Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Technologies for Aviation

Applicants should be prepared for deep immersion into the project and must be comfortable working independently. Job requirements include strong analytical, written, and oral communication abilities.

The ideal candidate(s) will have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., electrical engineering, physics, material science, agriculture, economics, computer science, etc.) and be in the midst of completing a graduate level degree, preferably M.S. or MBA.

Selected Summer Scholar(s) will be paid a weekly stipend and travel costs; typical length of stay ranges from 8-12 weeks. The position is based at ARPA-E’s headquarters in Washington, DC. This opportunity is available only to U.S. citizens. 

How to Apply

Highly motivated candidates should submit a CV, a cover letter, and two references at

Please note: If you are interested in more than one proposed project, please indicate in the body of your cover letter the specific projects you are interested in pursuing. A description of the individual projects is provided as a supplement to the job posting on the ARPA-E website located here:

Questions can be directed via email to with the words “Energy Scholars” in the subject heading.

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Applications are due no later than Wednesday, January 31, 2024, and will be reviewed on a rolling schedule. Interested parties are encouraged to apply early.


Project Descriptions

Exploring Commercialization Pathways to Decarbonize Iron and Steel

As ARPA-E's Revolutionizing Ore to Steel to Impact Emissions (ROSIE) program kicks off in 2024, project teams will be selected to explore a range of transformative technologies to decarbonize iron and steel. As part of this process, each team will need to understand end markets, supply chain partners, and how to calculate and communicate the economic impact of a new technology to key stakeholders. 

Areas of study will include:

  1. Development of a techno-economic analysis framework to support the ROSIE project teams as they seek to commercialize the decarbonization of iron and steel.
  2. Engagement with key ecosystem stakeholders and outreach to identify commercialization challenges, opportunities, means of community building.
  3. Exploration of commercialization pathways to achieve scale.

Analysis of ARPA-E’s Most Funded Teams

Over ARPA-E's history, certain project teams have succeeded in raising significant amounts ($100M+) of follow-on funding to build on their original ARPA-E awards, while other teams -- even those pursuing similar technologies -- have not. This project will ascertain what factors enabled ARPA-E's most successful teams to raise growth financing and cross the "scale gap". 

Areas of study will include:

  1. Conduct online research and interviews to analyze the journeys of these highly successful teams and understand common attributes, milestones, and best practices that led to their growth.
  2. Understand how to apply these findings to expand the funding opportunities and accelerate the commercialization trajectories for current and future ARPA-E project teams.

Analyzing Economic Potential for a Geologic Hydrogen Program

ARPA-E’s Geologic Hydrogen program is planned to kick off in 2024 with a particular focus on stimulation and other sub-surface engineering. Provided the findings of these exploratory projects demonstrate technical feasibility, conducting a tecno-economic analysis to understand the economic potential of new technologies in this area may support further interest from the investment community. Additionally, this analysis would provide foundational information to support future geologic hydrogen programs for ARPA-E. 

Key areas of analysis would include:

  1. Develop a techno-economic analysis/life-cycle analysis for the production of geological hydrogen or the framework for said production.
  2. Analyze the expected (economic) impact of geological hydrogen under the constraints of geography of production (where production sites will likely be located) and installed utilization infra-structure (where the demand will be).

Cost Analysis of Carbon Capture & Sequestration in Load Following Service when Integrated with a Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC)

ARPA-E’s Flexible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program is developing and commercializing technologies that couple highly responsive natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).

CCS systems under design and deployment are generally anticipated to serve under steady-state conditions. However, an increasing percentage of NGCCs are deployed in transient, load-following service under mission of nearly instantaneous firm power to supplement renewable but intermittent power generation. Load-following CCS systems will require design provisions for transient service that will likely increase both capital and O&M costs.

Key areas of analysis would include:

  1. Technical comparison load-following CCS technology options with other technologies such as renewables plus large-scale storage and nuclear fission.
  2. Understand economic implications and market receptivity to technical and design requirements of load-following CCS technologies.

Maritime Technology Program Summer Scholar Topics 

ARPA-E has a growing portfolio of energy-relevant marine technology programs, already totaling over $175M of investment across floating offshore wind (ATLANTIS), hydrokinetic energy generation (SHARKS), macroalgae aquaculture (MARINER), direct ocean capture carbon removal (DOC Exploratory Topic), marine carbon sequestration sensing (SEA-CO2), and other OPEN projectsThe U.S. coasts and maritime exclusive economic zone offer enormous potential for generating renewable energy, sequestering carbon, and achieving U.S. climate goals.

A. Unlocking climateTech Capital for BlueTech Climate Solutions

Many of ARPA-E's performers in these programs are entering the final phases of their projects, when securing private follow-on funding (venture capital, angel investors, etc.) is critical to continued product and business development. Investing in marine technologies often requires calibrating expectations, given particularly long development timelines, high costs, and high-risk profiles associated with operating and testing in the ocean. There are dozens of ocean technology-focused incubators, accelerators, and investment groups that have formed over the past five years, however, there is still potential to tap into even more resources across the ClimateTech ecosystem.

This Summer Scholar position will assist in the development of communication and investment pitch strategies to unlock broader ClimateTech capital for BlueTech energy solutions. This will require extensive outreach and community building both within and outside the existing ARPA-E ecosystem. The deliverables of this position will be enormously valuable to ARPA-E staff and performers.

Areas of study will include:

  1. Conduct financial analyses and capital stack assessments for a range of ocean-based technologies.
  2. Investigate a range of business models related to sustainable ocean-based technologies.
  3. Assess the desired levels of impact and risk that are attractive for private investment in ocean-based technologies.
  4. Conduct marine technology community outreach, including participation in ARPA-E's "Ocean Week" in June 2024.

B. Navigating the Maritime Energy Regulatory Ecosystem

One key commercialization challenge for startups that develop innovative marine technologies is to understand and navigate regulatory and permitting pathways, which may be unprecedented. This position will investigate regulatory and policy ecosystems for deploying and scaling transformational maritime technologies, potentially in the fields of maritime nuclear energy, algal mining, ocean-based carbon sequestration, seaweed aquaculture, marine hydrokinetic energy, and more. This will include identifying social and socio-economic factors and investigating how new technologies can address these public considerations.

Proposed work will include:

  1. Extensive outreach to U.S. federal and state regulatory bodies, as well as other stakeholders (e.g., port facilities, ocean scientists).
  2. Technical assessment of the appropriateness of new technology concepts and systems for maritime decarbonization and energy generation.
  3. Investigation of specific regulatory, policy, and permitting pathways for deploying and scaling transformational marine technologies.
  4. Analysis of critical social and socioeconomic considerations.

Identifying a Business Case for Electric Aviation

Aviation electrification is generating a lot of interest for understandable reasons. An electric airplane is quiet, clean and eliminates the production of harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and water vapor.  However, the techno-economics of electric aviation are not yet fully understood. 

The proposed study will support ARPA-E's PROPEL-1K program, which is expected to launch in 2024.

Area of study will include:

  1. Identify potential use cases for a 1000 Wh/kg or 1000 Wh/L energy storage system (battery and fuel cells) by conducting primary research.
  2. Perform a detailed techno-economic analysis of the most promising use case(s).
  3. Develop a range of business models for electric aviation.
  4. Identify challenges and propose solutions that will propel electric aviation forward.

Identifying a Technological and Commercial Pathway for a National Floating Offshore Wind Test Array

Current forecasts for offshore wind (OSW) in the US exceed 50GW by 2050 with the majority of that expected to come from floating offshore wind. However, given the scale of these systems both in terms of physical infrastructure required to fabricate, assemble, and install and the associated capital, prototyping novel technologies in the space is a serious challenge.  ARPA-E’s ATLANTIS and SCALEUP programs are currently developing innovative OSW technologies at wave tank scale and are looking to grow into full-scale technologies for commercial deployment.

One approach is to develop a national test array that has common infrastructure (transmission lines, onshore interconnection to the grid, port facilities, etc.) where novel turbine, platform, mooring line, and anchoring system designs can be tested. A key goal is to find the proper balance between i) minimizing the cost for testing any single unit against ii) deploying a prototype at a scale that is sufficient to de-risk the design for commercial stakeholders such as developers, bankers and insurers. 

Areas of study will include:

  1. Market research: Develop an understanding of what commercial stakeholders need to see before funding a design at commercial scale (15-20MW).
  2. Conceptual design of an array: How many turbine slots, how large a turbine, what port infrastructure is required to meet the number and size of turbines proposed, etc.
  3. External stakeholder considerations: What issues related to permitting, other uses (fishing, military), and supply chain need to be considered in selecting a site.
  4. Mapping exercise: Based on items 1-3, identify potential sites that warrant further study.
  5. Funding: Explore different aspects of funding from federal, state and local governments and private industry to develop a proposed funding structure.

Analyzing Commercial Pathways for Improved Data Center Cooling Efficiency

U.S. data centers have been estimated to utilize up to 2% of U.S. electricity production, with cooling accounting for up to 33-40% of total data center energy usage. ARPA-E’s COOLERCHIPS program is pursuing a 90% decrease in energy devoted to cooling data centers. 

Work in this study will include:

  1. Market research: Understand major decision makers, which parts of the industry are most influential in driving advances, what entities capture the most value, etc.
  2. Opportunities and barriers: Engage major industry stakeholders involved in data center planning, construction, and maintenance to identify both existing pain points and practical concerns around new technologies, whether they be related to technical aspects like reliability or longevity, or business aspects like payback time.
  3. Go-to-market opportunities: Identify alternative markets or smaller scale and/or more favorable cost deployments that might be ideal for a first market entry; establish key technical and financial criteria.

Investigating Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Technologies for Aviation 

The analysis of different clean aviation solutions, encompassing a thorough examination of propulsion technologies, infrastructure development, operational considerations, and economic viability, is pivotal in steering the aviation industry toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future while maintaining operational efficiency and economic viability.

This study will examine commercialization considerations around the various hybrid-electric propulsion technologies (e.g., the power generation and electrical drive train technologies developed under ARPA-E's ASCEND and REEACH programs) that are envisioned to enable the aviation sector to achieve its goal of Net Zero by 2050.

Work in this study will include:

  1. Analyzing the efficiency, emissions reduction capabilities, and scalability of these technologies.
  2. Analyzing the economics of these technologies in terms of operation and maintenance.
  3. Analyzing the compatibility with existing aircraft and infrastructure, as well as their potential for widespread adoption in the aviation industry.
  4. Identifying key barriers for market entry, such as certification, public perception, regulation and infrastructure.