The John S. Newman Early Career Scientist

The John S. Newman Early Career Scientist


The Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has created the John S. Newman Early Career Scientist position to support exceptional early career researchers who demonstrate leadership, academic excellence, the ability to conduct innovative research, and publish impactful research articles. This researcher will possess the capability and creativity to tackle the challenges posed by the next-generation of high-energy density batteries and the thoughtfulness to incorporate the principles of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability) in their proposals and daily approach.

Guiding Principles

The John S. Newman Early Career Scientist recognizes the contributions of Professor John S. Newman to the advancement of battery research on a global scale.  It also acknowledges the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for their support of pioneering, innovative research.

John S. Newman was a University of California professor, renowned battery researcher, and developer of “The Newman Method” -- a sophisticated approach to mathematically analyzing complex electrochemical problems. He clarified the physicochemical laws that govern the behavior of electrochemical systems and demonstrated how to use these laws to correctly formulate and solve problems associated with batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers, and related technologies. He is regarded, along with Charles Tobias, as the father of modern electrochemical engineering.

The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) of DOE-EERE has been funding novel fundamental and applied research in battery technologies in the areas of Applied Battery Research, Next-Generation Lithium Ion Batteries, and Beyond Lithium Ion technologies since 1981. The program under which this position is funded, the Advanced Battery Materials Research Program, has had just two stewards since its inception: Albert Landgrebe and Tien Duong. These forward-thinking managers have operated under a common mission of seeking out the best scientists in the US and providing them the resources to do great work. The mission of EERE is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy.  This mission and vision will require the contributions from small and large institutions and investigators from all walks of life.

Eligibility to Apply

  • All applicants must either have an Advanced Degree in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics or a related field, and have less than five years of relevant experience beyond the highest customary degree in their field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Time commitment - The selected candidate must make a full-time commitment to the ESDR research program through the term of the appointment.

Required Application Materials

  • Curriculum vitae - Including three references’ names who are familiar with the candidate's capabilities and research.
  • Cover letter - Describing the candidate’s background, a short description (max. ½ page) of the research proposed for the position, and previous research experience as it relates to the research proposed.

Application Submission

Research Mentor

  • The mentor’s role is to provide guidance in the semi-finalist selection process (see below) and, if the applicant is selected for the position, provide longer term assistance by providing guidance on how to be successful at the Lab, develop proposals, and assist with access to state-of-the-art equipment, either in their own lab or equipment located throughout the Lab complex. The mentor will submit a letter of support, agreeing to mentor the candidate. 

  • A list of ESDR PIs who are available to provide mentorship can be found on this webpage.

Semi-Finalist Selection Process

  • Applicants who are selected to move forward will be required to submit a research proposal no longer than 3 pages maximum (12-pt, Times New Roman.)
  • The proposal should describe the significance and impact of the proposed research and advantages of conducting this work at Berkeley Lab.
  • Consider the alignment of the proposed research with the research mission and goals of Berkeley Lab and with the Beyond Lithium Ion research area in the field of energy storage.
  • Applicants who have been selected to move forward will work with their chosen mentor to refine their proposal.

Appointment Term and Application Cycle

  • The application cycle typically begins after the beginning of the fiscal year with applications due per posted guidelines.
  • Start date - is dependent upon the application cycle start date.
  • The appointment is for a two-year term Research Scientist Career Track position, with the possibility of extension based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs.

Funding and Salary

  • Starting salary and benefits - Starting salary is commensurate with experience. Full benefits package will be offered, as determined by the Human Resources Department. For more information on salary and benefits please go to the Berkeley Lab Recruiting website.
  • Supplemental support - A supplemental research allowance of up to $10,000 per year for professional development activities plus $25,000 per year for supplies will be provided.

Please direct any questions to [email protected]