About Laboratory Directed Research and Development

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The LDRD Program, established by Congress at DOE national laboratories in 1991, is LLNL’s most important single resource for fostering excellent science and technology for today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges. The LDRD internally directed research and development funding at LLNL enables high-risk, potentially high-payoff projects at the forefront of science and technology.

The LDRD Program at Livermore serves to:

  • Support the Laboratory’s missions, strategic plan, and core competencies
  • Maintain the Laboratory’s science, technology, and engineering vitality
  • Promote recruiting and retention
  • Pursue collaborations
  • Generate intellectual property
  • Strengthen the U.S. economy

Myriad LDRD projects over the years have made important contributions to every facet of the Laboratory’s mission and strategic plan, including its commitment to nuclear, global, energy, and environmental security, as well as cutting-edge science and technology and engineering in high-energy-density matter, high-performance computing and simulation, advanced material and manufacturing, data science, lasers and optical systems, and energy manipulation.

Because LDRD funds exciting research and development projects, the program helps recruit, train, and mentor top talent in new and emerging fields of science and technology. The LDRD Program, for example, generally supports about 50% of the Laboratory’s postdoctoral researchers, more than any other program, and many go on to become full-time employees. Many LDRD researchers are recognized as world-class scientists in their field.