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Best and Brightest: ONR's 2021 Young Investigators

For Immediate Release: May 06, 2021

ARLINGTON, Va.—Today, (ONR) recognized awardees of the 2021 Young Investigator Program (YIP).

Thirty-eight recipients will share $20 million in funding to conduct innovative scientific research that will benefit the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

“In this era of great power competition, our nation must sustain a military advantage,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby. “To do so, it is essential that we attract the best and brightest scientists and engineers from across academia to tackle naval warfighting challenges. The Young Investigator Program does just that, and I am excited to announce the recipients for 2021.”

The ONR YIP is a highly competitive and popular early-career award program in which prior academic achievement and potential for significant scientific breakthrough are key elements of the evaluation criteria. The final candidates were chosen from more than 260 applicants—all of whom are college and university faculty and obtained a Ph.D. on or after Jan. 1, 2013.

Awardees represent 25 academic institutions in 13 states, supporting naval-relevant research including autonomy, deep learning, optimization, artificial intelligence, wireless communications, energetics, power and energy, propulsion, turbulence, hypersonics, remote sensing, bio-sensors, bionic composites, nanocomposites, multi-function materials and additive manufacturing.

The YIP awards support laboratory equipment, postdocs, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to the planned research. Typical grants range from $510,000 to $750,000 over a three-year period.

Established in 1985, the ONR YIP is one of the nation’s oldest and most selective basic-research, early-career awards in science and technology. Its purpose is to fund tenure-track academic researchers, or equivalent, whose scientific pursuits show outstanding promise for supporting the Department of Defense, while also promoting their professional development.

View the list of 2021 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator awardees.

About the Office of Naval Research

The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and nonprofit institutions, and more than 960 industry partners. ONR, through its commands, including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.