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Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars (PECS): Call for Student Applications

The Faculty Board of Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars (PECS) is seeking applications from highly motivated graduate students who are conducting research within the broad area of climate change and energy. Since the creation of the group in 2008, PECS has typically had a balanced membership across disciplines within engineering, policy, and economics. PECS has been designed to enhance the research experience of Princeton’s graduate students by encouraging the most talented of these students to transcend the boundaries of their fields. PECS fosters a sense of a common intellectual adventure.

Students interested in joining PECS nominate themselves. The selection process will be rigorous, however, so only graduate students strongly motivated to participate should apply.

In their self-nominations, in at most 500 words, applicants should summarize their research topic and its intersections with energy and climate, and they should explain how they would contribute to the PECS community. They must also provide a letter of recommendation from their primary advisor highlighting their qualifications and motivations for joining the group. Applications are due Friday, March 23rd, 2012. Please email your application materials to Pascale Poussart, Assistant Director of Energy Initiatives, at poussart@princeton.edu.

Because PECS is largely governed by its student members, the selection process will give considerable weight to indications that a student likes to interact with peers and take initiative. Students plan their own meetings. They meet once a month, over lunch or dinner, to share research results and to introduce their work to each other. In these informal discussions students often find themselves probing topics that are remote from their own research, yet still insightful to their own work. They also meet a second time each month at a dinner with the PECS faculty board. These dinners either highlight the research of a faculty board member or are integrated into the hosting of an outside speaker visiting the campus.

PECS membership lasts for two years. Students selected in this round will begin their tenure in the spring of 2012. Historically, best suited applicants are Ph.D. students in their 2nd or 3rd years, but special cases will be considered. PECS fellows are eligible to receive up to $1000 to cover approved expenses associated with their graduate research. Funds may be used for a range of purposes, including fieldwork support, travel, conference participation, the purchase of equipment, and costs associated with data analysis and facilities use. In addition, the group is awarded an annual budget of $15,000 to support group activities such as outside conferences and workshops.

PECS is supported by the Siebel Energy Challenge. For more information on the group, please visit the PECS website, www.princeton.edu/grandchallenges/energy/pecs/. For questions about the application process, please contact Joe Roy-Mayhew at jdroy@princeton.edu or Pascale Poussart at poussart@princeton.edu.