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ORNL’s Early Career Research Program award winners

Three ORNL scientists are among the 83 selected to receive Early Career Research Program awards from DOE's Office of Science.

The best is yet to come

Since 2010, DOE’s Office of Science has helped to expand and invigorate the nation’s scientific workforce by supporting 785 young scientists at universities and national laboratories through its Early Career Research Program.

This year, three ORNL scientists were among the 83 selected to receive ECRP awards. Each will be awarded $500,000 annually for the next five years to cover their salary and research expenses. Awardees were selected based on peer review by outside scientific experts.

“These ORNL researchers exemplify the groundbreaking work done by DOE to advance clean energy technologies and scientific discovery,” said Susan Hubbard, ORNL deputy for science and technology. “Supporting these scientists as they begin their careers will have a lasting impact on ORNL’s and the nation’s research efforts in critical fields.”

ORNL’s ECRP award recipients are:

  • Trey Gebhart, a research and development staff member in the Fusion Energy Division, who was selected by DOE’s Fusion Energy Sciences Program for his proposal “Solutions for a More Efficient and Economical Fusion Fuel Cycle.”
  • Elizabeth Herndon, a senior R&D staff member in the Environmental Sciences Division, who was selected by DOE’s Biological and Environmental Research program for her proposal “Biogeochemical Controls on Phosphorus Cycling in Urban-Influenced Coastal Ecosystems.”
  • Guannan Zhang, a computational mathematician in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division, who was selected by DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program for his proposal “Advanced Uncertainty Quantification Methods for Scientific Inverse Problems.”

“Supporting America’s scientists and researchers early in their careers will ensure the U.S. remains at the forefront of scientific discovery and develops the solutions to our most pressing challenges,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The funding announced today will allow the recipients the freedom to find the answers to some of the most complex questions as they establish themselves as experts in their fields.”

Read the profiles that follow to learn more about the ORNL researchers who won DOE ECRP awards this year and the research their awards will help fund.

Profiles of ECRP award winners from previous years, including information about how the program bolstered their research and careers, can be found here.