“The only problem with this job is figuring out a next step that can possibly measure up to it.”

Dr. Ashwin Salvi, ARPA-E Fellow 2013 – 2015


The ARPA-E Fellows position is a prestigious two-year role that has existed since the start of the agency as a means to seed innovation and creativity in the design of transformational technologies. The Fellows position empowers the next generation of scientific leaders to help solve urgent and exciting challenges in energy by contributing to the direction of American energy innovation.

Fellows are early-career Ph.D. scientists and engineers who assist with program creation, agency strategy, and outreach. They are tasked with generating new ideas to create cross-disciplinary solutions to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy imports, and reduce energy-related emissions. They identify these breakthrough energy solutions by conducting technical and economic analyses and by engaging with world-class government officials, entrepreneurs, academics, and industrial researchers.


Dive into energy technology innovation.

Fellows actively help shape the strategic direction and vision of an agency devoted exclusively to transformational energy technology research and development. Fellows undertake independent explorations of promising future research areas for the agency.

Serve as ARPA-E’s think tank.

Fellows engage with researchers and innovators to develop theses for high impact ARPA-E research program areas, prepare energy technology and economic analyses, and make recommendations to the ARPA-E team and leadership.

Gain hands-on experience with program development.

Fellows can work closely with ARPA-E’s Program Directors, gaining valuable experience by learning about program development, project management, and outreach. Fellows can support Program Directors by contributing to program concept formation through technical and market analysis, and engagements with the ARPA-E team and energy R&D communities.

Join an influential network of fellows.

Fellows often maintain close ties with the broader Fellow alumni network, supporting each other as energy professionals during and after their time at ARPA-E.

Strengthen your transferrable skills.

Fellows gain a deep understanding of a diverse range of innovative technologies and learn to contextualize technical innovation within a market-driven economy. They hone cross-disciplinary communication skills via representing ARPA-E at conferences and workshops and delivering Fast Pitch presentations onstage at the annual ARPA-E Summit.

Experience life in the nation’s capital.

Washington, D.C. is a vibrant home to monuments, museums, parks, social, cultural, and sporting events, and easily accessible public transportation.

Lead new technical initiatives.

ARPA-E Fellows have leadership opportunities to envision and build new strategic and technical initiatives. For example, Fellows have led agency strategic retreats, helped to organize the ARPA-E Summit Student Programs, and have developed and led technical challenges and competitions.

Engage in professional development opportunities.

Fellows have wide latitude in their position, including opportunities to publish technical and/or market analyses on energy sector topics, travel to conferences and workshops, and give technical talks

Enjoy a dynamic, multi-disciplinary, and collegial working environment.

At the heart of ARPA-E’s success is its people. At ARPA-E, we are all committed to making an impact—enhancing the United States’ economic competitiveness, energy security, and environment. We are a mission-driven community with camaraderie, professional rapport and strong communication channels. We brainstorm and debate together in order to strengthen our ideas, and collaborate closely to achieve the agency’s goals.

Broaden your career options.

Learn about career opportunities in academia, nonprofit, government, and the private sector throughout your time as a Fellow and at the ARPA-E Innovation Summit. Fellows have continued on to a wide variety of impactful career paths in energy.


Fellows have been interviewed about their experiences on our Blog:

Fast Pitches are rapid-paced presentations of exciting current program concepts as well as some completely new, “out-of-the-box” ideas. Recordings and Powerpoint slides are available online. Some Fellow Fast Pitches are available below (see Summits for all Fast Pitches):

Energy Briefs are an informational webinar series providing insight and practical information on ARPA-E activities and innovative programs. Fellows may develop Energy Briefs to communicate their technical work broadly, e.g.:


ARPA-E Fellows have gone on to a diversity of career sectors, including:

  • early-stage energy technology R&D (including startups)
  • energy technology investing (venture capital)
  • academia (tenure-track faculty)
  • government, national labs, and think tanks
  • industry (from tech companies to utilities and beyond)


  • STEM PhD received within the last 5 years OR plans to defend within 1 year
  • Ability to relocate to Washington, DC for the duration of the 2-year fellowship
  • Current US citizen

Apply to be an ARPA-E Fellow