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Laboratory Directed Research & Development


Lab Directed Research and Development

An important element of Jefferson Lab's Strategic Plan is the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. It enables the Lab to respond to timely scientific and technological opportunities that also support DOE’s research and development mission. This program is a critical tool for directing the Lab's forefront scientific research capabilities towards vital, excellent and emerging scientific challenges. The program provides the resources for JLab scientists to make rapid and significant contributions to critical national science and technology problems of mission relevance to JLab and the DOE. LDRD also can advance the Lab’s core scientific capability, and permits seeding and exploration of exciting new opportunities.

JLab's LDRD program provides an opportunity to advance the Laboratory's mission as described in the Annual Lab Plan and the JLab Strategic Plan. Proposers are encouraged to consider this in developing their proposals, and should consult with the cognizant AD(s) at a very early stage.

Areas of Research
Areas eligible for support will include:

We have identified several areas of strategic value to the future of the Laboratory that would benefit from R&D. These particular areas are:

The TJNAF call for LDRD proposals does not specify particular directions, as we prefer to receive proposals on a wide selection of potential topics. However, relevance to these strategic areas is given strong consideration in the evaluation of the LDRD proposals.

Scale of Proposed Projects
Within these eligible research areas, the LDRD program is conducted with a scale of effort typically utilizing existing research facilities. The projects can be characterized as:

Formal information on LDRD program can be found in:
The DOE Order on Lab Directed Research and Development - , which summarizes the program and the "rules" under which any lab's LDRD program must work.

Finally, the last link on the left side of this page leads to a listing of the proposals that were submitted to the initial JLab LDRD program in previous years, and identifies the proposals that were funded. This provides examples of the type of projects that have been deemed appropriate for LDRD funding.

Funding for LDRD projects at JLab began in FY2014. The timetable for the FY2018 program is summarized in the calendar accessible via a link at the left, with proposals due by April 28, 2017. Note that there is an option for submitting a Letter of Intent (by March 6, 2017).

LDRD Proposals can be for a single year of funding or up to three years, with an upper bound of ~$0.2M/year in direct funding (~$0.3M including overhead).This year, the lab anticipates a funding level between $0.75M and $1.0M (including overhead) for LDRD; however, the final budget will depend on the overall budget for the lab, which is still under development. We are now aiming at a sustainable program within that overall budget envelope and including continuing support for three of the four projects underway in FY17 (assuming their continuation is judged to be merited). The exact level will also be subject to the realities of the final FY18 budgets. You are encouraged to discuss your ideas for an LDRD proposal with the cognizant associate director(s) at an early stage.

Templates and instructions for formal LDRD proposals (and budgets) and for optional LDRD Letters of Intent (which includes a summary budget table) are posted at the links to the left. A link to a page that facilitates the uploading of proposals and LOIs is also provided.

A link is also provided to a list of frequently asked questions about the LDRD program and another link connects to proposals from the previous year for your information. If you have further questions regarding the program that are not answered there (or in the instructions or program description) please contact either Bob McKeown at or the LDRD Program Manager (Larry Cardman) at