WASHINGTON – Underscoring the Obama Administration’s commitment to investing in innovation and the American workforce, Acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman today announced that 61 scientists from across the nation will receive up to $15.3 million in funding for research as part of the Energy Department’s Early Career Research Program.  The effort, now in its fourth year, is designed to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

"The Early Career Research Program reflects the Administration's strong commitment to creating jobs and new industries through scientific innovation," said Acting Secretary Poneman.  "Strong support of scientists early in their careers is crucial to sustaining America's scientific workforce and assuring U.S. leadership in discovery and innovation for many years to come."

Under the program, university-based researchers will receive at least $150,000 per year to cover summer salary and research expenses.  For researchers based at the Department’s national laboratories where the Department typically covers the full salary and expenses of laboratory employees, grants will be at least $500,000 per year to cover year-round salary plus research expenses.  The funding is for the first year of planned five-year research grants, subject to congressional appropriations.

Awardees were selected from a pool of 770 university- and national laboratory-based applicants. A list of the 61 awardees, their institutions, and titles of research projects is available HERE.

To be eligible for the award, 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 national laboratory who has received a Ph.D. within the past ten years.  Research topics are required to fall within one of the Department's Office of Science's six major focus areas:

  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research
  • Basic Energy Sciences
  • Biological and Environmental Research
  • Fusion Energy Sciences
  • High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Physics