Call for Preliminary LDRD Letters of Intent (LOI)

Call for Preliminary LDRD Letters of Intent (LOI)

As has been discussed briefly in each of the meetings associated with the strategic planning process now underway, we anticipate beginning a modest JLab LDRD program in FY14.  Before proceeding we want to evaluate more completely both the level of interest in an LDRD program and the range of ideas for using such funding at the lab.  Therefore, as a preliminary step, we are requesting Letters-of-Intent for LDRD funding for projects that could be considered for funding in FY14.  These requests will inform the strategic planning effort as it moves forward with a laboratory management retreat on July 5-6, and help us set the parameters for an LDRD program intelligently.  The remainder of this note describes the LDRD program briefly and outlines the LOI process.  The due date for these LOIs is June 15, 2012.  If you have further questions please contact Bob McKeown at

The implementation of a Lab Directed Research and Development (LDRD) at JLab will enable the laboratory to respond to timely scientific and technological opportunities that also support DOE’s research and development mission. This program will be a critical tool for directing the Laboratory’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 Laboratory’s core scientific capability and permits seeding and exploration of exciting new opportunities.

Areas eligible for support will include:

  • Advanced study of new hypotheses, new concepts, and innovative approaches to scientific or technical problems;
  • Experiments directed towards "proof-of-principle" or early determination of the utility of new scientific ideas, technical concepts, or devices; and
  • Conception and preliminary technical analysis of experimental facilities or devices.

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:

  • Small-scale research and development activities or pilot projects;
  • Bench-scale research projects;
  • Computer modeling, conceptual design and feasibility studies.

Consistent with DOE policy, funding cannot be used for construction line-item projects, maintenance projects, or general purpose equipment acquisition. Projects may not substitute for, or increase the budget of, projects or tasks already funded at JLab by DOE or other sponsors.
JLab's LDRD program will provide an opportunity to advance the Laboratory's mission as described in the Annual Lab Plan and the JLab Strategic Plan that is currently under development. Proposers are encouraged to consider this in developing their proposals, and should consult with the cognizant AD(s) at a very early stage.

We anticipate beginning a modest (~$0.5M total) JLab LDRD program in FY14.  For now, we are requesting Letters-of-Intent to assess the level of interest and collect a baseline set of concepts for future proposals.  These LOIs will inform the discussion about the value of the program and help determine the level of its initial funding.  The process is described at the LDRD website at  A proposal template, guidelines for completing the template, as well as other information and background materials should be accessed from the same web link.

Letters-of-Intent can be for a single year of funding or up to three years, with an upper bound of ~$0.2M/year in funding.  LOIs should be forwarded to the proposer's AD in Experimental Physics, Theory, Accelerator, Free Electron Laser or Engineering Divisions who will review for responsiveness and forward to Larry Cardman for consideration.  Proposals that are cross-cutting, engaging and leveraging the core capabilities across multiple divisions are welcomed, and relevant ADs will each participate in the review of such proposals.

Thank you for your interest in the LDRD program and we look forward to seeing the innovative ideas that you propose.

Bob McKeown

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