Department of Energy Early Career Research Program for FY 2021

Awards Will Support University and National Laboratory Scientists


Announcement of 2021 Awards for the Early Career Research Program

Today, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science announced selection of 83 scientists from across the nation – including 32 from DOE’s national laboratories and 51 from U.S. universities – to receive significant funding for research as part of DOE’s Early Career Research Program. The effort, now in its twelfth 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.

Under the program, university-based researchers will receive about $150,000 per year to cover summer salary and research expenses. For researchers based at DOE national laboratories, where DOE typically covers full salary and expenses of laboratory employees, grants will be about $500,000 per year to cover year-round salary plus research expenses. The research grants are planned for five years.

To be eligible for the DOE 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 DOE national laboratory, who received a Ph.D. within the past 10 years. Research topics are required to fall within one of the Department's Office of Science's eight major program offices: Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Isotope R&D and Production, and Accelerator R&D and Production.  

Awardees were selected from a large pool of university- and national laboratory-based applicants. Selection was based on peer review by outside scientific experts. Projects announced today are selections for negotiation of financial award. The final details for each project award are subject to final grant and contract negotiations between DOE and the awardees.

The list of the planned awards for 2021 and the abstracts for the 2021 and prior year awards under this program are listed below.  

Planned awards for FY 2021

FY 2022 funding opportunity:  The announcement for the 2022 Early Career Research Program can be found on the funding opportunities page.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found here.