Student Fellows Program and Undergraduate Seminar

Position Details

Organization: Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Location: Philadelphia
Type: Other Timeframe: ​Spring Compensation: Unpaid Level: Undergraduate Start/End Dates:
January 15, 2020 to April 29, 2020
Application Deadline: November 25, 2019 Application Document: PDF icon Undergraduate seminar call for applications.pdf Contact Information: Oscar Serpell

In the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year, the Kleinman Center is inaugurating an undergraduate Student Fellows program. This program is designed as a competitive and selective appointment for committed undergraduates. Admitted students will be expected to attend a lunchtime seminar every other week at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. These energy and climate policy seminar sessions will provide students with the opportunity to meet and hear from energy researchers within the Penn community and discuss the findings and policy implications of their research. The lectures and discussions in this seminar may cover a wide range of energy and climate topics including:

  • Energy Markets
  • Renewable energy, storage, and transportation technology
  • Climate Science,
  • Environmental Risk Management
  • Adaptive Design
  • Environmental Justice.

Although these seminar discussions will be designed to challenge students to think critically, they will not require students to have pre-existing expertise on these topics.  

Opportunities of the Program

Undergraduate Student Fellows of the Kleinman Center will have many unique opportunities for both academic and professional development. In addition to learning from many of Penn’s top energy researchers, admitted students will have opportunities at each seminar to network with the presenter and other student fellows. At the end of the year, student fellows will be invited to join a voluntary and all-expenses-paid daytrip to New York, Washington D.C., or a regional energy facility to meet with energy policy experts and decisionmakers. Both the trip and the seminar sessions will be excellent career building opportunities and will help each student fellow develop a deep understanding of energy and climate policy topics. Finally, as official members of the Kleinman Center community, student fellows will receive a number of ancillary benefits such as occasional opportunities to meet visiting scholars and speakers, advanced notice of Kleinman Center events, and the professional benefits of having an official association with a globally respected energy policy center.

Student Fellow Responsibilities

The Spring 2020 seminar will be held every two weeks for the entirety of the spring semester – a total of 8 or 9 seminar sessions. These seminar sessions will be held on every other Wednesdays from 12pm to 1pm. Accepted Student Fellows will be expected to attend all of the seminar sessions. If, for any reason, an accepted student is not able to attend one or more of the seminars, they should notify the Kleinman Center as soon as possible. In addition to attending these seminar discussions, each student fellow must submit a blogpost (~600 words) on an energy or climate topic of their choice by the end of the semester. Student fellows will then work with the Kleinman Center’s editorial and communications team to publish their blog on the Kleinman Center website.

Application Requirements

The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy’s Undergraduate Student Fellow’s Program will accept applications from any Penn undergraduate students who will be enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester. Applicants do not need to be pursuing a degree related to energy or climate policy and science. The Center will, however, be looking for applicants who have demonstrated an interest in energy and climate policy. This interest may be reflected in academics, extra-curricular activities, or in a student’s submitted writing sample.

Application Instructions

If you are interested in being considered for the Kleinman Center Undergraduate Fellows Program, please email the following to Oscar Serpell at with the subject line “Application for KCEP Undergraduate Seminar and Fellows Program.” If you have not received confirmation within 48 hours that your application was received, please send a follow-up email. All applications must be completed and submitted no later than Monday, November 25th 2019 at 5pm.

  1. A 1-page resume reflecting your most relevant experiences and achievements.
  2. An academic transcript of your time at Penn including courses taken and grades earned in each course. This does not need to be officially sent by your academic advisor. You can email a copy with the rest of your application.
  3. A statement of interest which briefly answers the following questions: 1) Why are you interested in attending the undergraduate seminar on energy and climate policy? 2) What do you hope to gain from this fellowship experience? And 3) How do you hope to apply the knowledge you gain from this seminar series in your future professional and academic pursuits? Your answers to these three prompts should be no more than 250 words total.
  4. A writing sample that demonstrates your ability to discuss and synthesize a research interest. This writing sample could be related to energy, climate, human health, or the environment, but this is NOT a requirement.