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Department of Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) is our country's largest government supporter of physical sciences research

By John Edwards

The Department of Energy (DOE) is our country’s largest government supporter of physical sciences research, providing over 40% of the total federal research funding.

It oversees, and is the principal federal funding agency, of the nation’s research programs in high-energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences. It supports tens of thousands of principal investigators, post-doctoral students, and graduate students who are researching the major scientific issues of our time. But surprisingly, the Department of Energy has actually only been in existence for a quarter century. Its roots go back to the Manhattan Project and the race to develop the atomic bomb during World War II.

The Department of Energy’s mission, according to its Web site (, is to “advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex.”

To that end, the DOE has four goals to help achieve its mission:

1. Defense Strategic Goal—To protect our national security by applying advanced science and nuclear technology to the Nation’s defense.

2. Energy Strategic Goal—To protect our national and economic security by promoting a diverse supply and delivery of reliable, affordable and environmentally sound energy.

3. Science Strategic Goal—To protect our national and economic security by providing world-class scientific research capacity and advancing scientific knowledge.

4. Environment Strategic Goal—To protect the environment by providing a responsible resolution to the environmental legacy of the Cold War and by providing for the permanent disposal of the Nation’s high-level radioactive waste.

A Future With DOE?

With DOE’s aging workforce, and the increasing numbers of employees becoming retirement eligible, the percentage of staff in entry and mid-level positions continues to decrease and diversity in many areas of the organization is inadequate. To achieve DOE’s missions, it’s critical to begin to replenish the pipelines through intern and other entry-level hiring and development programs.

Career Intern Program (CIP) is one means of addressing DOE’s planning needs and, along with other entry-level hiring mechanisms, supports the President’s initiative of moving more federal jobs to the front lines. This new program is expected to become a foundation in DOE’s efforts to rebuild its workforce. The CIP is a decentralized program, which means that any DOE offices looking to hire interns will develop their own recruitment strategy, application and evaluation procedures.

Individuals who are interested in the CIP program may complete a questionnaire that will be helpful in providing them with appropriate information on CIP opportunities. The information in the questionnaire is then shared with interested DOE managers and CIP coordinators seeking qualified individuals for their CIP programs. To view or complete this questionnaire, log onto

You can read the Office of Personnel Management’s Guide to Applying for a Federal Job at

To obtain a copy of the OF-612 (Optional Application For Federal Employment) go to:

For other job inquires, log onto DOE jobs online at qhwebdoe.exe. This site is the Department of Energy’s new automated recruitment system that allows applicants to apply for certain DOE jobs online. By using DOE jobs online, applicants can choose to receive email notifications of job openings as well as get notification of the status of each job for which you have applied.

All information courtesy of Department of Energy’s Web site at

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