The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recently announced its selection of 93 early career scientists from various institutions nationwide to receive a combined total of $135 million in funding. These talented researchers will explore diverse fields, including artificial intelligence, astrophysics, and fusion energy. Representatives from 47 universities and 12 DOE National Laboratories are among the 2023 Early Career Research Program recipients. The DOE’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of STEM leaders aims to bolster America’s standing as a global powerhouse of scientific innovation.
Empowering America’s Scientists
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized supporting young scientists early in their careers. By providing ample resources to these promising researchers, the DOE aims to address some of the most complex questions and solidify America’s position at the forefront of scientific discovery.
The DOE Office of Science’s Early Career Research Program funds the grants, which is critical in developing the nation’s scientific workforce. The initiative enables great researchers at the start of their careers to make critical contributions to their respective disciplines by offering support. Since its start in 2010, the Early Career Research Program has awarded 868 grants, 564 of which have gone to university researchers and 304 to National Lab researchers.
Geographic search in 27 states
The 93 awardees hail from 27 states, with California leading the way with 14 recipients. Other states with significant representation include Illinois, New York, Tennessee, Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington, each having 5 awardees. The distribution of awards across the nation highlights the DOE’s commitment to fostering scientific talent and innovation throughout the United States.
DOE Office of Science program areas
The Early Career Research Program focuses on eight major DOE Office of Science program areas. These areas include 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, and Nuclear Physics. Eligible awardees are untenured, tenure-track assistant or associate professors at U.S. academic institutions or full-time employees at DOE National Laboratories who received their PhDs within the past 12 years.
The 93 awardees were chosen through a rigorous peer review process by external scientific experts. The selected projects will now proceed to negotiate a financial award, with final details subject to grant and contract negotiations between the DOE and the awardees.
Five-year duration and funding
The projects will span up to five years, and the total funding allocated is $135 million. Of this, $69 million will be in Fiscal Year 2023 dollars, with the additional funding contingent on congressional appropriations. The substantial financial backing provided by the DOE will enable the researchers to delve deeper into their respective areas of study and make significant contributions to scientific knowledge.
The Early Career Research Program has a history of supporting outstanding researchers, and its past awardees have achieved remarkable success in their research and careers. Their profiles highlight the program’s transformative impact, not only in advancing their scientific work but also in shaping their academic journeys.
The DOE’s commitment to fostering early career scientists and supporting groundbreaking research in various scientific disciplines is a testament to its dedication to scientific excellence and innovation. By empowering talented researchers through the Early Career Research Program, the DOE aims to continue driving scientific progress and cement America’s status as a global leader in scientific discovery.