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IGERT-SUN program

link to video, IGERT SUN traineeship programThe Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship: Solar Utilization Network (IGERT-SUN) program is an interdisciplinary PhD training program covering multiple solar energy conversion areas and integrating with policy and social understanding. The program is designed to educate the next generation of diverse citizen-scientists, innovative thinkers and enlightened policy makers. IGERT-SUN participants will be trained in the fields of photovoltaics, solar-thermal and photosynthesis-driven bioenergy approaches, along with developing an understanding for the social and policy aspects involved in global human energy use. This interdisciplinary training approach, integrating research, education and policy issues, requires a diverse group of students to meet the challenges of a complex global energy system. ASU’s goal is to increase diversity in research by recruiting and attracting more underrepresented students into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs such as the IGERT-SUN. Meet IGERT-SUN trainees.


Educating the next generation of leaders in guiding society toward a solar-based, sustainable energy future requires that future scientists can seamlessly navigate a very transdisciplinary field. Thus, the overall goal of the IGERT-SUN program is to train doctoral students who can see beyond the boundaries of traditional methodologies and disciplinary viewpoints, and who can integrate scientific excellence with societal and policy insights. IGERT-SUN graduate students will also be trained as outstanding scholars skilled in their ability to communicate energy science, technology and policy content.

program features

Program features include a 2-year, $30,000/year traineeship stipend (including summer) with full tuition remission, interdisciplinary training in solar conversion technologies, faculty and senior graduate student mentoring, opportunity for travel experiences in the U.S. and abroad, entrepreneurship training and opportunity for funding of collaborative, applied energy projects. Students receiving IGERT support must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

application process

ASU's IGERT-SUN program resulted in a new Sustainable Energy PhD program offered through the School of Sustainability. This program is now accepting applications and information is available at the School of Sustainability's Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainable Energy.

IGERT-SUN program requirements

The IGERT-SUN energy concentration program requires completion of the following elements as part of the PhD program requirements:


Wim Vermaas
Foundation Professor
IGERT-SUN Program Director
Anna Keilty
Program Manager

IGERT-SUN is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.