Joint Appointments

Joint appointments are a formal arrangement for an individual to work at both Mines and an external organization. The relationships actively help align both organizations with their missions and goals. Joint appointments foster greater collaboration, allow for wider access to equipment, facilities and resources and increase the spectrum of research and teaching activities for an individual while strengthening each organization. 

Nexus is all-encompassing of all joint partnerships between the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Lab, and our members have varying levels of participation. See the Projects page for more details and specific work.  Our About Us page contains lists of Affiliate Mines Faculty and NREL Staff who have this Joint Appointment status. Check those pages out to learn more!

Mines academic faculty make the nominations

If an Academic Faculty member wishes to nominate a joint appointee, they may do so. To begin, use the form found through the Academic Affairs website. Click on the Commonly Used Forms button, and download the “Process for Appointing Affiliate Faculty, Research Faculty and Joint Appointments” form.


Benefits of Joint Appointment

Per the current Mines faculty handbook, the classification, External Joint Faculty,  is status conferred upon a special category of Affiliate Faculty who have full or part-time positions elsewhere (e.g., NREL, NIST, or USGS) and who have strong collaborations with Mines and Mines faculty.

At the request of a full-time academic faculty and as approved by the Department Head, Joint Faculty may be appointed.

Joint Appointments offers such benefits as serving on thesis committees, co-advising graduate students, serving as principal investigator on Mines research proposals with appropriate approvals from their employer and from Mines.

The Joint Faculty member may also engage in teaching with appropriate approvals of the Mines Department Head and their employer. Joint Faculty may hold their appointment for up to three years with the possibility of renewal.

nexus-logo_rgb_digital_200wide Joint Appointments

NREL’s University Partnership Program

NREL, like Colorado School of Mines, has a wide portfolio of institutional partnerships established, to help leverage and strengthen their research capabilities. Please see their University Partnership’s page for more information regarding joint appointments and their various collaborative programs. Nexus’ co-lead, Ellen Morris, can answer questions at

Nexus Membership

Participating and engaging with Nexus does not require a joint appointment. Nexus is all-inclusive of the Mines-NREL relationship and welcomes support, feedback and questions.

For information and specifics and to get on our mailing list, contact us at


Equipment and Facilities

Nexus does not directly manage access to any equipment or labs. For Colorado School of Mines, you may find those contacts under the Shared Instrumentation Facility through Nexus’ parent department, the Office of Research and Technology.

Please see NREL’s Research Facilities page for their equipment, labs and capabilities.

Prospective Graduate Students

Colorado School of Mines is currently seeking applications for all graduate programs for the Fall 2022 start.  If you’re interested in graduate school at Mines, start here to learn more about the academic programs and application process.

Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden, Colorado is one of the top-rated science and engineering schools in the country [1], with faculty that are both world-renowned researchers and accessible [2]. Faculty represented within Nexus span 10 different academic departments across Mines, with a range of needs for new graduate student researchers.

Golden is located at the along Clear Creek at the base of the Rocky Mountains and is widely considered one of the best places to live America for its numerous outdoor and cultural offerings. The front-range of the Rocky Mountains is a unique ecosystem of research activity with 33 national laboratories (one of the highest concentrations in the country)[3] including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory-NREL (~2 mile from campus), US Geological Survey-USGS (on-campus) and National Institute of Standards and Technologies –NIST (~18 miles) that have extensive interactions with Mines.