March 22 Deadline: New Applicants to the Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars (PECS) Program

Holly Welles ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

The Faculty Board of Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars (PECS) is seeking applications from talented and highly motivated graduate students throughout the University who are conducting research within the broad area of climate and energy. PECS is designed to enhance the graduate research experience by encouraging students to transcend the boundaries of their fields. PECS fosters a common intellectual adventure.

Since the creation of the group in 2008, PECS has sought a balanced membership across disciplines. However, representation from the social sciences and the humanities has been small. Accordingly, students in these areas will be admitted with preference in this application cycle.

Students nominate themselves. 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 academic qualifications and their capacity for initiative. The selection process is rigorous. Please email your application materials to Holly Welles, Manager of Communications and Outreach, Applications are due Friday, March 22nd, 2013.

PECS is largely governed by its student members. Students plan their own meetings. They meet once a month by themselves, over lunch or dinner, to introduce their work to each other. In these informal discussions, they probe topics remote from their own research. The students also have a dinner each month with the PECS Faculty Board where members of the board or visitors to the campus introduce their research.

PECS membership lasts for two years. Students selected in this round will begin their tenure in the spring of 2013. Historically, best suited applicants are PhD 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, an annual budget of $15,000 is available to support activities that the scholars conduct as a group. For example, in 2012 PECS scholars attended the Rio+20 Conference and were a registered group.

PECS is supported by the Climate and Energy Challenge. For more information on the group, please visit the PECS website, For questions about the application process, please contact Mary Kang or Holly Welles at

Thank you on behalf of Robert H. Socolow, PECS Faculty Coordinator, Head of the Climate and Energy Challenge, and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Princeton Environmental Institute.