DOE grants $85 million to scientists in support of energy research

Washington, D.C., January 18, 2010 — U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that 69 scientists from across the nation will receive up to $85 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for five-year research grants as part of DOE’s new Early Career Research Program.

The new effort is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

“This investment reflects the administration’s strong commitment to creating jobs and new industries through scientific innovation,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “Strong support of scientists in the early career years is crucial to renewing America’s scientific workforce and ensuring U.S. leadership in discovery and innovation for many years to come.”

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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 DOE national laboratories, where DOE typically covers full salary and expenses of laboratory employees, grants will be at least $500,000 per year to cover year-round salary plus research expenses.

Beginning with the next fiscal year, the Department’s Office of Science plans to continue the program, choosing new candidates on an annual basis, and supporting them under annual appropriations.

To be eligible for an award, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track assistant 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 ten years. Research topics are required to fall within the purview of the Department’s Office of Science’s six program offices:

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

Awardees were selected from a pool of 1,750 university- and national laboratory-based applicants. Selection was based on peer review by outside scientific experts. Projects announced today are selections for financial award. The final details for each project award are subject to final contract negotiations between DOE and the awardees.

Related Story:

Lab wins DOE funding for research to turn algae into renewable energy


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