DOE Awards $135M to Early Career Scientists

Friday, August 4, 2023

Executive Summary:

  • Department of Energy (DOE) selects 93 early career scientists for research funding.
  • Combined funding of $135 million for research in artificial intelligence, astrophysics, fusion energy, etc.
  • Awardees represent 47 universities and 12 DOE National Laboratories.
  • Funding part of DOE Office of Science’s Early Career Research Program.
  • Program has made 868 awards since inception in 2010.
  • Awards distributed across 27 states.
  • Eligibility requires tenure-track assistant or associate professorship, or DOE National Laboratory employment.
  • Research topics must fall within one of eight major program areas.
  • Total funding lasts up to five years, contingent on congressional appropriations.

Unedited Press Release Text:

DOE Awards $135 Million For Groundbreaking Research By 93 Early Career Scientists

Funding Part of DOE’s Commitment to Supporting Next Generation of America’s STEM Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the selection of 93 early career scientists from across the country who will receive a combined $135 million in funding for research covering a wide range of topics, from artificial intelligence to astrophysics to fusion energy. The 2023 Early Career Research Program awardees represent 47 universities and 12 DOE National Laboratories across the country. These awards are a part of the DOE’s long-standing efforts to develop the next generation of STEM leaders to solidify America’s role as the driver of science and innovation around the world. 

“Supporting America’s scientists and researchers early in their careers will ensure the United States remains at the forefront of scientific discovery,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The funding announced today gives the recipients the resources to find the answers to some of the most complex questions as they establish themselves as experts in their fields.” 

Funding for today’s awards is part of the DOE Office of Science’s Early Career Research Program, which bolsters the nation’s scientific workforce by supporting exceptional researchers at the outset of their careers, when many scientists do their most formative work. Since its inception in 2010, the Early Career Research Program has made 868 awards, with 564 awards to university researchers and 304 awards to National Lab researchers. 

The 93 awards announced today will go to scientists in 27 different states: California (14); Illinois (10); New York (8); Tennessee (7); Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington (5 each); Arizona and Massachusetts (4); New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia (3); Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (2); and Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wyoming. 

Information about the 93 awardees and their research projects is available on the Early Career Research Program webpage. 

To be eligible for Early Career Research Program awards, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track assistant or associate professor at a U.S. academic institution or a full-time employee at a DOE National Laboratory who received a Ph.D. within the past 12 years. Research topics are required to fall within the scope of one of the Office of Science’s eight major program areas: 

  • Accelerator R&D and Production 
  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research 
  • Basic Energy Sciences 
  • Biological and Environmental Research 
  • Fusion Energy Sciences
  • High Energy Physics
  • Isotope R&D and Production
  • Nuclear Physics  

Awardees were selected based on peer review by outside scientific experts. The projects announced today are selections for negotiation of a financial award, and the final details for each are subject to final grant and contract negotiations between DOE and the awardees. 

Total funding is $135 million for projects lasting up to five years in duration, with $69 million in Fiscal Year 2023 dollars and the additional funding contingent on congressional appropriations.  

Profiles of some previous award recipients, including information about how the program helped them in their research and careers, can be found on the Early Career profiles page.



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