Research Geologist Job at National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Albany, OR

  • National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
  • Albany, OR

Job Description


The National Energy Technology Laboratory's (NETL's) record of success has been built on understanding the future of energy and the technologies required to make that future possible. We’ve long touted our success in developing the technologies that took on acid rain in the 1970s and mercury in the early 2000s. More recently, NETL has a leading role in President Biden’s ambitious climate goals, including a carbon emission-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.

Program Goals

The Professional Internship Program is designed to introduce undergraduate students and recent Bachelor's graduates to the challenges of conducting energy research, and enable graduate students to further build off their studies an experience as they join the scientific community. Participants interact daily with assigned mentors who guide research and project activities during the internship, while they become integral members of project teams.

The program goals include providing the opportunity to participants to:

  • Develop skills and knowledge in their field of study
  • Engage with new areas of basic and applied research
  • Transition classroom theory into hands-on experience
  • Network with world-class scientists
  • Exchange ideas and skills with the Laboratory community
  • Use state-of-the-art equipment
  • Contribute to answers for today's pressing scientific questions
  • Collaborate with the broader scientific and technical communities

Project Details

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program, this opportunity seeks a recent Bachelor's graduate or student researcher to engage in projects with the Research Innovation Center (RIC) at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in the area of Critical Minerals (CM), under the mentorship of C. Gabriel Creason. This project will be hosted at the NETL Albany, OR campus.

The participant will collaborate with a team of researchers focused on accelerating commercial utilization and application of an NETL-developed technology that rapidly characterizes critical mineral and rare-earth element (REE) occurrences within secondary and/or unconventional feedstocks. The project involves deploying a machine-learning enhanced advanced x-ray fluorescence (XRF) characterization system that enables near real-time detection of unconventional CM and REE resources both at the surface and subsurface. This field-deployable system will characterize the mineralogical form and distribution of the material’s REE/CM content, providing strategic information for extraction approaches and technologies.

The participant will have the opportunity to learn how to use data collection equipment such as a portable X-ray Flourescence (pXRF) machine and a portable Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) device. The participant will also have an opportunity to engage with the broader project team to assist with preparation of samples as needed for analytical lab processing. They will also gain experience with data management and integration of field and lab data into purpose-built databases for use in cutting-edge machine-learning modeling software. Specific objectives will be determined between the mentor and participant based on the learning goals of the participant.

Stipend: Participants receive a biweekly stipend based on their educational level. Stipend payments are taxable as an educational benefit. Stipends for full-time participation start at:

  • $450 per week - $620 per week for undergraduate students
  • $690 per week - $770 per week for recent Bachelor's graduates
  • $690 per week - $1,050 per week for graduate students

Deliverables: To document the effectiveness of the program, participants are required to submit a pre-appointment and post-appointment survey, as well as a reflection on their appointment experience when they renew or end their appointment. The reflection should summarize their project(s), additional activities, and overall experience. Details are provided as the appointment end date approaches.
Participants may also have the opportunity to contribute to manuscripts, journal articles, book chapters, conference presentations, posters, patents, and other publications as a part of their appointment. Such achievements should also be reported to ORISE; additional details are provided after an offer has been accepted.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system, is owned and operated by the DOE. NETL supports the DOE mission to advance the energy security of the United States. This is an educational opportunity offered by NETL and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Participants in the program are not considered employees of NETL, DOE, the program administrator, or any other office or agency.


The ideal candidate would have some, but not necessarily all, of the following skills:

  • Basic geologic knowledge, such as ability to identify and describe lithologies, sedimentary structures, and minerals in rock samples.
  • Geologic field and/or lab experience is beneficial but not required.

It is recognized that not all applicants will have knowledge and experience in all of these areas. This opportunity will provide exposure to/interaction with technical experts in several of these areas

To be eligible for this opportunity, you must:

  • Have one of the following academic statuses
    • An undergraduate student *1 in good standing at a regionally accredited college/university *2
    • A recent Bachelor's degree graduate *1who has received the Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university *2within the last 24 months at time of application
    • A graduate student in good standing at a regionally accredited college/university
  • Have an overall GPA of 2.5/4.0 or higher
  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application
  • Provide confirmation of coverage under a health insurance plan prior to the beginning of the internship

*1Soon-to-be Associate's degree graduates are eligible to apply if enrolled as a student at time of application. 
*2Students and recent Bachelor's degree graduates from accredited Community Colleges and Technical Schools are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree.
  • Overall GPA: 2.50
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students, Post-Bachelor's, or Undergraduate Students.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (51 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (29 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age

How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

  • An application, including academic history, work history experiences, and honors/awards
  • Description of your goals, related experience, and related skills – refer to NETL's Core Competencies and ongoing projects when applicable
  • Transcripts – Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts
  • A current resume or CV
  • Two educational or professional recommendations
    You must provide contact information for at least two recommenders in your application. The first two recommendations received will be attached to your application for review by NETL. You may click the "send" (paper airplane) button to send the recommendation request email immediately after entering their information prior to submitting your application; if not, a request will automatically be sent when you submit your application. Your recommenders will receive an email with a subject line of "[Your Name] - ORISE Recommendation Request - [your email]", from This email will include information on the opportunity to which you have applied, as well as a secure link to submit a recommendation for you for this application. If you ask the same person to submit a recommendation for you for multiple applications in Zintellect, they must click the unique link in each email request, but will be given the opportunity to copy over what they had previously submitted.

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

If you have questions about the application process, contact .

After you have submitted an application in Zintellect, you may reach out to to request to talk with the hosting researcher if you would like additional information on the project or to express particular interest. You must have a completed application in Zintellect to receive a response.

Application Tips

NETL values a combination of academic success, experience, and leadership potential as demonstrated in all aspects of your application. NETL's goal is to create, maintain, and support a diverse environment that encourages creative ideas and leadership. In the words of Lab Director Brian Anderson , "our differences make us stronger and we’re united in fostering inclusivity in all aspects of our research to drive innovation and deliver solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future." In your application, show us who you are!

To increase your chances of being selected for an appointment, we recommend:

  1. Reading about NETL projects, and tailoring your responses to align with Laboratory focus areas. What parts of the project(s) are most interesting to you?
  2. Spending sufficient time on your essay responses and your resume. Give yourself time to review your writing!
  3. Ensuring that everything you submit is grammatically correct and clearly expressed.
    • Consider using a word processor to draft your answers and then copy and paste into the application.
    • Review and edit repeatedly until you have a strong response.
    • Ask someone whose judgement you trust to proofread it and make suggestions for improvement.
    • Efficient writing is valued over quantity of writing.
  4. Submitting the application -- we can’t select you if you don’t submit an application!
    • To be considered for this opportunity, you must press the submit button!

Job Tags

Full time, Internship, Immediate start,

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