Washington Research Foundation Innovation Fellows FAQ

For Prospective Fellows

Do I have to send my referees a reminder through the online application system?

No. If you leave your referees’ email address fields blank in the online application, the system will not send a reminder to your referees.  You are responsible for asking them to send their reference letters directly to uwcei@uw.edu.

Can I have my referees send my reference letters before I submit my application?

Yes, please ask referees to send their reference letters to uwcei@uw.edu and include your last name and their own last last in the name of the file.

How can I find a UW/CEI faculty to write a nomination letter for me?

You are encouraged to consult the list of CEI Member Faculty to find a local nominator, though nominations from any UW faculty member will be accepted.

If you do not already have an established relationship with a UW/CEI faculty member, we encourage you to provide your CV and a brief statement of your CEI-related interests and fit with the their research group when you contact him or her to facilitate the discussion about the position.

What happens if I submit an application with a non-UW faculty member as my prospective mentor?

Proposals to work with non-UW faculty will not be considered. If you wish to be considered to work in the lab of a UW faculty member, you must resubmit your application after speaking with and receiving confirmation from your prospective mentor from the UW. Please ask your prospective UW advisor to provide you a 1-2 paragraph letter, confirming commitment to sponsor you to work in his or her lab by providing 1/3 of the cost of salary and benefits.


For Prospective Faculty Nominators

What is my commitment to sponsored candidates?

Faculty nominators are required to contribute 1/3 of the annual salary of $65,000 + benefits and mentorship for the term of the appointment (one year, with expected renewal for second year given satisfactory progress). This commitment should be spelled out in a brief a 1-2 paragraph letter that the applicant will include his her or her application.

Who administrates the fellowship program?

The program and related activities are run by the Clean Energy Institute. Postdoctoral fellows will be appointed and paid through the CEI/CEI’s home department but directly mentored and supervised by the sponsoring faculty member.

How many postdoc fellows may I support?

We ask that UW faculty members support no more than 2 candidates for the Washington Research Foundation Innovation Fellows program.

May I nominate a current UW postdocs?

Current UW postdocs and UW graduates are not eligible for this program. All applicants should have recently received their Ph.D. degree (or foreign equivalent) (within 6 years).

The Washington Research Foundation has provided a six-year gift of $6.74 million to support nine new faculty hires, six postdoctoral researchers and the creation of a new experimental manufacturing facility on campus that will help move discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. This investment in the CEI is truly transformational.”
– Daniel Schwartz, CEI Director
“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy
Since its founding the Clean Energy Institute has contributed more than $1.1 million toward the education of 66 STEM scholars and recruitment of 12 students through our fellowship programs.