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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Undergraduate Internship (year round) – Algae Biotechnology in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Undergraduate Internship (year round) – Algae Biotechnology



CO - Golden


Position Type

Intern (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

A full-time or part-time student internship is available in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) National Bioenergy Center, in Golden, Colorado. NREL is the nation's primary laboratory for research, development and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. We have an opening for a full-time (40 hrs/wk) or part-time (10-20 hrs/wk) internship in Golden, Colorado. Algal biofuels are a key developing area of research at the NBC. In particular the extraction and conversion of algal products, including lipids, and quantification and purification of carbohydrates is being investigated on a number of projects.

Job Duties

The intern will assist in the cultivation of algae, the fractionation of algal biomass to the main biochemical constituents and the conversion of algal biomass components to fuels and chemicals. The intern will help where needed with the analytical chemistry of a number of samples, keep notes and organize sample data and keeping up with the cultivation and physiological growth experiments in collaboration with researchers and technical staff. Since the intern will assist on a range of different projects, so a strong organizational background is needed and a willingness to perform routine tasks to support research staff.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

Must have completed general organic chemistry, biology, molecular biology, and/or microbiology laboratory course as well as lecture courses in inorganic, analytical and organic chemistry. A strong background in chemistry or biochemistry is required. Experience with laboratory work is necessary and instrument and chromatography experience is desired. This includes experience with the Microsoft office suite, in particular Excel and strong organizational skills are needed to set up a system for organization of large quantities of data. Strong communication skills including interpersonal, presentations, and writing required. Ability to work both independently and with a team is needed.

Proficient in research techniques and practices. Solid communication, interpersonal, project management and customer relations skills.

Additional Required Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

Ability to independently conduct laboratory experiments, stringently follow safety guidelines, and report findings to mentor and/or supervisor. Familiarity with algal cultivation methods and biofuel production processes is desirable.

Demonstrated ability to work as part of a larger research team as well as work independently. Demonstrated ability to maintain a safe working environment. Excellent communication skills.


Basic Qualifications

Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree granting program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Please Note: Before interview selection, you will need to provide unofficial transcripts to verify GPA and full time enrollment.


Additional Required Qualifications

The intern will assist in developing electronic monitoring systems for cultivation of algae. The intern will help where needed with the establishment and coding of electronics of integrated sensors for an ongoing online data logging application. The intern will be involved with developing approaches to extract and organize online data and summarize cultivation observations in collaboration with researchers and technical staff. Since the intern will assist on a range of different projects, a strong organizational background is needed and a willingness to perform routine data management tasks to support research staff. A strong background in electronics programming and data management and basic coding is required.

Preferred Qualifications


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

Annual Salary Range: $31,600 - $50,600

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; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; and sick leave (where required by law). 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. Internships projected to be less than 20 hours per week are not eligible for medical, dental, or vision benefits.

* 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.

EEO is the Law ( | Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination ( | Reasonable Accommodations (

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (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 in order 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 videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they 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 the Department of Energy (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.

Please review the information on our Hiring Process ( website before you create an account and apply for a job. We also hope you will learn more about NREL ( , visit our Careers site ( , and continue to search for job opportunities ( at the lab.