Each applicant is judged based on a variety of different criteria.  MES seeks individuals who show clear interest in a career dealing with Environmental Science and other areas of importance to the US Department of Energy, along with a strong academic background, a commitment to service, leadership skills, diverse interests in areas such as environmental justice and renewable energy, writing skills, and an ability to work well with teams.    A good application introduces the individual to the Department of Energy and shows his/her unique motivations, experiences, accomplishments, and career goals.  Thus, there is no specific formula for preparing a competitive application, as each applicant is unique.  However, below are a few tips.

  1. Review all application requirements for the internship to ensure you are eligible and prepared.  Applicants should review all requirements as stated on the  Requirement page. Applicants should make a plan to complete all aspects of the application on time.  This will require steps such as securing letters of recommendation and transcripts, preparing a resume, and writing a statement of interest.  The FAQ section of the website can answer many application questions.
  2. Clearly explain in your statement of career interest your motivations for applying for the internship and identify the background, experiences, skills, and motivation that you believe will make you successful at the Department of Energy lab or office. This internship provides a unique pathway to a career at the US Department of Energy and related industries.  A strong interest to pursue such a career should be the main reason for you to apply.  Thus, a first step should be to research the work of the Department of Energy (  Your statement of interest should highlight why you want to pursue this career and why you believe you will be successful. Each statement should be 500 words or less.  If your statement is too long, cut out non-essential information.  
  3. Demonstrate a strong academic background. Applicants should provide official transcripts for ALL colleges or universities that they have attended.  Failure to submit all transcripts up front can slow consideration of an application.  Applicants should request transcripts early and ensure that they are submitted to the MES Program before the deadline.  There is no specific requirement for an academic major, and the MES Program is interested in the applicant's overall academic background.  
  4. Obtain strong letters of recommendation; ensure they arrive on time. The fellowship requests three letters of recommendation; two from faculty members and one from a community leader.  The community leader should be an individual in a position of responsibility who can comment on the applicant's non-academic accomplishments and potential, including work ethic, initiative, dependability, composure, goal-orientation, inter-personal skills, etc.  Examples of community leaders could include an internship supervisor, a faculty advisor for a student organization, or a work employer or supervisor. Applicants should seek individuals who know them and their work well.  Titles of recommenders are less important than the substance of recommendations.  Thus, a professor with whom you've taken several classes will likely be able to give a more compelling assessment of your strengths and areas for improvement than the Department chairperson whom you may not know as well.  Applicants should approach recommenders early, provide them needed information, and monitor to ensure that they submit the recommendations on time.  The best letters of recommendation directly address the applicants' suitability for this internship program and the Department of Energy. Generic letters of recommendation.  Missing letters of recommendation are one of the most common problems in applications; it is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that all letters arrive on time.
  5. Include in your application all relevant extracurricular, community, or volunteer experiences and highlight any leadership roles in these efforts.  The MES Program is particularly interested in extracurricular, community, or volunteer activities that show a commitment to environmental justice, renewable energy, environmental monitoring, environmental policy, and related issues.     Applicants should list all such activities and indicate any leadership roles that they have had in such activities, including creating programs or organizations or serving as an officer in an organization.  The MES Program also values work experiences that show an interest in such issues.
  6.  Proofread all aspects of your application carefully; submit all application materials on time.The internship selection process is very competitive.  Applications that are polished, well written, address all requirements, and arrive on time and complete generally create a favorable impression.  To ensure that all supplemental materials are submitted on time, an applicant may want to consider preparing/collecting all materials and uploading at one time.
  7. Contact the MES Program staff if you have any questions after reviewing the website.  We are happy to answer e-mail or talk by phone. 

MES Online Application Open!

The MES Program consists of a 10 - week paid summer internship at one of several participating Department of Energy sites.

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