The U.S. Department of Energy recently has announced the selection of 76 scientists from across the nation – including 26 from DOE’s national laboratories and 50 from U.S. universities – to receive significant funding for research as part of the DOE Office of Science’s Early Career Research Program.

Among the group are five Indian Americans, who include Arun Devaraj, Ranganathan Gopalakrishnan, Vedika Khemani, Siddharth Karkare and Karthish Manthiram.

Devaraj, of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was chosen for his project, “Coupled Effects of Stress and Hydrogen on Stress”; Gopalakrishnan, of the University of Memphis, for “Thermodynamics and Transport Models of Strongly Coupled Dusty Plasmas”; Khemani, of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, was selected for the project, “The Non-Equilibrium Quantum Frontier”; Karkara, of the Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University, was selected for “High Brightness Photocathodes in Photoinjectors”; and Manthiram, of MIT, was selected for the project, “Electrocatalytic Alkene Epoxidation at Disrupted Metal Ensembles in Blended Electrolytes.”

The effort, now in its 11th year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work, the department said in a news release.

Under the program, university-based researchers will receive grants for at least $150,000 per year and researchers based at DOE national laboratories will receive grants for at least $500,000 per year. The research grants are planned for five years and will cover salary and research expenses, the DOE said.

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 six major program offices: Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics, it said.

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 DOE said.

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