Eugene Wigner Fellowship

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The Eugene P. Wigner Fellowship honors Eugene P. Wigner, Nobel Laureate (1963) and first Director of Research and Development at ORNL. The Wigner Fellowship aims to attract early career scientists who have demonstrated outstanding scientific ability and research interests that align with the core capabilities of ORNL in basic science areas including materials research, nuclear science, neutron scattering science, and quantum computing, and transformational energy science  The Fellowship provides the opportunity for recent doctoral degree recipients of exceptional ability to bring new scientific experiences and approaches to DOE-relevant research that can result in new discoveries, directions, and solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing challenges in basic science research. ORNL focusses research on a variety of critical areas and initiatives to meet the needs of the U.S. Department of Energy and important national requirements for science and technology. 


Applicants should demonstrate competency in one or more areas of nuclear physics, condensed matter physics and materials science, chemical and molecular science, climate change science, nuclear and radiochemistry, plasma and fusion energy science, computational science, and cyber and information science. The Wigner Fellow program provides a unique opportunity to pursue research within these areas of interest and expertise, collaborate with Laboratory R&D staff and distinguished scientists, and have access to Laboratory expertise, facilities, and programs.

ORNL hires Wigner Fellows as staff associates and aims to retain each Fellow at the Laboratory as a staff member at the end of the three-year Fellowship term if it is mutually desirable for ORNL and the Fellow.  Applicants must have received their doctoral degree before his or her start date and can be no more than five years beyond receiving their doctoral degree at the date of application submission. 

The Wigner, Weinberg and Russell Fellowships are jointly posted as the ORNL Distinguished Staff Fellowship Program. The application window is now open and will close on October 30, 2018. If you are interested, Apply Here! If you have questions, please email


For more information about the Wigner Fellowship contact Paresh Patel  -