LLNL’s Early Career UC Faculty Initiative 2024

The Strategic Deterrence (SD) Directorate of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the UC National Laboratories (UCNL) at the University of California (UC), UC Office of the President (UCOP) are jointly inviting applications for the LLNL Early Career UC Faculty Initiative. The winning proposal is planned to commence funding in late 2024 and is focused on supporting one tenure-track faculty member in the UC system for this award cycle. The technical topic for this call is advanced materials and manufacturing with specific details centering on overlapping interests between the UC faculty and LLNL/SD’s programs and mission.

The initiative is intended to develop next-generation UC academic leadership with strong and enduring LLNL and national laboratory connections. This award allows the recipient to develop their innovative ideas, advance their research, gain tenure, and become recognized for their professional leadership. The award fund is structured to allow faculty to build a research group including undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. The award also provides LLNL researchers opportunities to collaborate and be more connected to the UC community to enhance its workforce and research objectives. The required annual onsite visit to LLNL is intended to strengthen the technical and workforce connections between UC and LLNL. Download the full call for proposals.


December 4, 2023

Award website on-line

February 5, 2024

Expression of interest submission deadline (see template below)

March 14, 2024

Information Day at the UC Livermore Collaboration Center; learn more about SD's research in advanced materials and manufacturing, meet with technical PIs, and tour LLNL’s campus

April 15, 2024

Proposal submission deadline (see template below)

April – July 2024

Award reviews by Committees

Fall 2024

Award Announcement

Requirements & FAQ

Duration and funding level: Award to untenured UC tenure-track faculty member up to $1M over a 5-year period.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the initiative, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track faculty member at one of the ten UC campuses.


  • All work will be conducted at the unclassified level.
  • The submission must include a joint technical proposal with LLNL technical staff member(s).
  • Members of the UC research group must spend an agreed amount of time on-site at LLNL each year during the funded period. Dates, duration, and visiting members to be agreed upon by UC faculty recipient and LLNL collaborators.
    • The recipient and members of the UC research group will need to provide necessary information to LLNL Badge Office for badging and site access.
  • Expressions of interest and proposals must be submitted via a forthcoming webform.

Technical Focus Areas

This funding call seeks to support early career, tenure track professors in advancing the field of advanced materials and manufacturing and accelerating the discovery to deployment cycle. We aim to empower researchers to develop cutting-edge solutions that address current and future challenges in this critical area. Proposals should align with one or more of the following topic areas supported by this year’s initiative:

Design Optimization and Process Modeling and Simulation

  • Development of advanced optimization algorithms for architected materials and advanced manufacturing processes.
  • Integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning in materials design including for closed loop design workflows.
  • Multi-scale modeling of architected materials behavior for enhanced design under extreme conditions.

Tailored Materials and Feedstocks

  • Design and synthesis of materials with tailored properties for applications that require materials to perform under extreme conditions.
  • Development of sustainable and scalable feedstocks customized for advanced manufacturing methods.
  • Functionalization of materials for improved performance under extreme conditions with improved aging behavior and durability.

Novel Advanced Manufacturing Approaches

  • Creation of new or advancement of existing additive manufacturing techniques for producing complex, multi-scale, multi-material 3D geometries.
  • Development of intelligent and adaptive manufacturing systems that leverage digital engineering.
  • Methods to scale advanced manufacturing processes such as 3D printing and additive manufacturing for production.

Advanced Characterization and Qualification and Certification Methods

  • Advancement of in-situ characterization and on-machine inspection techniques for real-time quality control.
  • Establishment of novel reliable standards and certification methods that accelerate qualification and acceptance.
  • Creation and application of high-throughput, non-destructive testing methods for quality assurance.

High-Throughput Research and Automation Methods

  • Development of automated high-throughput experimentation platforms.
  • Integration of robotics and automation in materials testing and analysis including autonomous experimentation and self-driving labs.
  • Creation of data-driven pipelines for accelerated research and development including digital twins.

Selection Committee and Sponsors

The selection committee (subject to change) consists of senior leaders from LLNL and UC:

Kim Budil, Director, LLNL

Patricia Falcone, Deputy Director for Science and Technology, LLNL

Brad Wallin, Deputy Director for Strategic Deterrence, LLNL

Craig Leasure, VP, UCNL, UCOP, Advisor to LLNL Selection Officials


LLNL has a mission of strengthening the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology to enhance the nation’s defense; reduce the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; and respond with vision, quality, integrity, and technical excellence to scientific issues of national importance.

Strategic Deterrence logo

The SD organization provides foundational capabilities to a broad range of national security missions and ensures the success of the strategic nuclear deterrent into the future. Following the strong tradition of multidisciplinary team science, SD nurtures an exceptional workforce and effectively partners with stakeholders to achieve national security impact.

University of California logo

UCNL plays a central role in providing leadership, management, and stewardship of the three UC affiliated national laboratories while informing The Regents and the UC President of national laboratory compliance and performance issues. The UCNL Mission is to advance the research, education, and public service mission of the University of California by ensuring the long-term health and vitality of UC-affiliated national labs as centers of world-class science, technology, and innovation solving the world’s greatest challenges.

Submission Templates

Templates are provided for both the expression of interest and proposal submission. Please use the form below to submit both.

Expression of interest template (.docx, 262KB)

Proposal template (.docx, 266KB)

Please note the following important elements of the proposal:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: LLNL and UC recognize and support the benefits of having diverse and inclusive scientific, engineering, and technology communities and fully expect that such values will be reflected in the composition of all committees and proposal teams. LLNL and UC welcome proposals in response to this call from all qualified and eligible UC faculty and LLNL staff.
  • Developing the proposal: LLNL and UC provide no funding for reimbursement of proposal development costs. Proposal development costs (or any other pre-award costs that have not been pre-approved by UCNL, UCOP, and LLNL) submitted in response to this solicitation will not be reimbursed. It is the policy of LLNL and UC to treat all proposals as competition-sensitive information and to disclose their contents only for the purpose of evaluation.
  • Personally identifiable information (PII): Please do not include any PII in the proposal.
  • Conflict of interest (COI): Please list any potential COIs from both LLNL and UC.
  • Export control: The majority of LLNL’s technical work is based on fundamental research that has no controls regarding broad academic collaborations. There are a limited number of technologies that may be subject to a variety of economic and security controls. LLNL’s technical co-PI and partners will need to work closely with the UC faculty to avoid any potential export controls and any other security restrictions in the research proposal, award thereof, and associated work activities.
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