DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program

The Office of Science of the Department of Energy has announced the Early Career Research Program (ECRP) proposal call for FY 2018. Now in its ninth year, this DOE award program supports the development of individual research projects of outstanding scientists early in their careers, and stimulates careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science.

Pre-proposals due: Jan. 25, 2018 (by 5 pm EST)

Full proposals due: April 4, 2018 (by 5 pm EDT)

Berkeley Lab encourages all eligible scientists to apply. This is a very prestigious award, but perhaps more importantly, the process of applying for this award invites early career scientists to think strategically about their long term plans and how these plans fit into program goals of the Lab and the DOE Office of Science.

Applicants are encouraged to talk with their peers and senior scientists, and to connect often with their Divisional ECRP Network representative. Let your representative know of your intent to submit a pre-proposal through the LBNL Registration link.

 Want to hear about how it’s done?

Each year, the Laboratory Director hosts a Brown Bag Roundtable discussion with past ECRP winners to discuss tips for successful proposal development (and pitfalls to avoid), insights into what DOE and reviewers look for, how to frame your research and more. You can watch videos from previous Director’s Discussions here.

ECRP opportunities fall into these DOE program areas:

Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR);
Biological and Environmental Research (BER);
Basic Energy Sciences (BES);
Fusion Energy Sciences (FES);
High Energy Physics (HEP); and,
Nuclear Physics (NP).

Program Funding:

$2.5 million over five years*. Typically, 15-25 awards are given out each year. *This is a typical award; all awards are subject to fund availability.


You are eligible to apply if you are a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab employee, in a full-time, career (or career track), non-postdoctoral scientist position, and you received your Ph.D. no earlier than January 2007. Please check with your ECRP Network POC for specific information on eligibility. (If you are a faculty member, you must apply through your campus to the separate funding opportunity for universities.)

What’s the process?

 Register with LBNL to indicate your intent to submit a pre-proposal. This information will be shared with your LBNL Divisional POC.

√  Register with the DOE Portfolio Analysis and Management System (PAMS).

Interested applicants are asked to submit a short pre-proposal outlining their project. After review of the pre-proposals, the DOE will invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal. Winners are expected to be announced sometime in late Spring 2018.

What if I don’t win? 

You can apply a total of three times – and several awardees have done just that. Other applicants who were not chosen found that their proposals can be successfully re-purposed for other opportunities such as the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program.