Payne Scholars

World-class insights helping to inform and shape public
policy on earth resources, energy, and the environment


The Payne Scholars program gives students the opportunity to perform research, collaborate across campus and engage with a broad network of international experts on global policy challenges. Students apply to the Payne Scholars program in the spring semester. As part of a one-credit independent study course (normal Mines tuition and fees apply), Payne Scholars participate in The Payne Institute activities, write a paper for The Payne Institute Commentary series and develop a research proposal on a related policy topic during the spring semester. At the end of the semester, selected students are eligible for a PAID Payne Scholars summer internship. Working with experts, interns will elaborate on their chosen policy paper, and draft a detailed article for publication in a relevant research journal.



Rare earth and critical materials; Natural resources trade; Supply chains and security; Resource governance


Power sector planning and markets; Energy transitions; Transportation, industry, and climate policy; Geopolitics, security, and conflict


Oil and natural gas regulation; Methane and air pollution; Energy-water nexus; Environmental policy and subsidy reform


Lectures, seminars, round-tables, and public engagement

Cutting edge research and commentary

Multi-disciplinary collaboration across Colorado School of Mines campus

Visiting scholars and research scholars

Partnerships with world-class organizations

Words from previous Payne Scholars –

“You all are among the most welcoming and considerate people I have gotten to work with.  The projects I took part in these last few months have been rewarding and a great help in my professional development.  Thank you.” 8/2020

“Thank you for all that you did for me regarding outreach, questions, etc. You were so accommodating the whole semester – if I had an inquiry, you would have it taken care of in no time! Thank you for that and all that you do for not only the Payne Scholars, but Mines as a whole. Payne lectures are sought after and Mines would not be the same without you folks over at the Payne Institute.” 1/2021


Apply to be a Payne Scholar  

Please be prepared before you apply.  You will be required to enter your first name, last name, Colorado School of Mines email address, CWID, intended graduation semester and year, major of study, work study information (not a consideration for entrance to the program), a 250 words or less statement on why you would like to be considered for the Payne Scholars Program.  Optional entries include a minor.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The application process is available for the Fall 2021 semester.  Please complete the application below.


Payne Scholars: Student Commentary Series (follow this link)

Payne Scholars Spring 2021

Kayla Benson

Jessica Biddle

Deniz Ege Boz

Drew Commesser

John Folwell

Baba Freeman

Jade Glaister

George Goldade

Levi Grenier

Cash Koning

Danielle Loftis

Heaven McKinley

Anuja Oke

Tara Pelton

Chuxuan Sun

Payne Scholars

Kehinde Abiodun

PhD candidate, Economics assistant teacher

Jusse Hirwa

PhD Candidate, Mineral and Energy Economics