Laboratory Directed Research & Development


What is Laboratory Directed Research and Development?

The DOE laboratories provide the nation a key service by performing R&D in support of DOE’s goals in catalyzing the transformation of the nation’s energy system, securing our leadership in clean energy, maintaining a vibrant scientific and engineering effort, and enhancing nuclear security.  The U.S. Congress recognizes that it is important to sustain the creative and innovative vitality of the DOE laboratories.   To this end, it has authorized and encouraged them to devote a relatively small portion of their research effort initiatives of their choosing which are  relevant to DOE and national security missions.  Since 1991, these efforts have been designated as Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD). 

A broader description of DOE’s LDRD program can be found in the DOE website on Lab Directed Research and Development.  


LDRD at JLab

JLab’s LDRD program began in 2013.  It is an important element of Jefferson Lab's Strategic Plan. It enables the Lab to respond to timely scientific and technological opportunities that also support DOE’s research and development mission. The program provides the resources for JLab staff 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 and technical capability and permits seeding and exploration of exciting new opportunities. 

Initiatives in the following areas have received funding in the past:

  • 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.

Additional information about JLab's LDRD program can be found by clicking the link at the left of the page.  Information about applying for funding is accessible there as well.


Contact information

 If you have questions regarding JLab's LDRD program  please contact either the LDRD Program Manager (Leigh Harwood) at or Bob McKeown at .