(CLOSED) DOE Inertial Fusion Energy Science & Technology Accelerated Research (IFE-STAR) (DE-FOA-0003044)

Sponsor Name: 
DOE SC program in Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
Description of the Award: 

The DOE SC program in Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for the Inertial Fusion Energy Science & Technology Accelerated Research (IFE-STAR). The core of IFE-STAR will be multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary IFE Science and Technology Innovation Hubs referred to in this FOA as “IFE S&T Hubs”.

Program Objective
The objective of IFE-STAR is to provide an IFE framework that leverages expertise and capabilities across national laboratories, academia, and industry to advance foundational IFE S&T using integrated and self-consistent solutions as outlined in the BRN report, “Different IFE approaches impose a wide range of nontrivial requirements on the target physics solutions, and there are many complex cross-dependencies between individual subsystems. It is thus of prime importance from the earliest phase of this program to cultivate a set of integrated plant models and quantitative point-design parameters alongside the development of individual subsystem technologies, ensuring that these models appropriately inform decision makers with regards to the tradeoffs between specific solutions.” Therefore, an IFE Hub should address the following essential components:

  1. Target physics: IFE target designs capable of producing high gains are required for a potential IFE demonstrator or fusion pilot plant (FPP). A Hub may focus on one confinement scheme of interest or address multiple schemes. An example of a PRO of interest: Identify the underlying physics limiting the convergence/areal density required for high gains.
  2. Driver Technologies: High-efficiency drivers with the repetition rate required for a potential IFE demonstrator or FPP. Also, of interest are scalability, modularity, survivability, compactness, and cost reduction. Example of PROs of interest: (1) Perform IFE driver system-level architecture conceptual design studies and (2) Reduce the cost of diode pumps in DPSSL technologies.
  3. Target Manufacturing and Engagement: Ignition-quality and high-gain targets that can be mass produced at acceptable cost and injected at the required repetition rate in a potential IFE demonstrator or FPP. Examples of PROs of interest: (1) Demonstrate high-volume techniques for spherical capsule or wetted foam capsule fabrication and (2) Demonstrate accurate engagement on-the-fly of IFE targets by a driver beam.
  4. Experimental Validation: Conduct experiments to develop/validate high-gain target designs on large-scale facilities.

Additionally, each IFE S&T Hub is expected to demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Strong Management Structure: A management structure appropriate for a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary center is essential. The director of the IFE S&T Hub will be responsible for communications with the DOE Program Manager on behalf of the center. We expect the Principal Investigator from the lead institution to serve as the IFE S&T Center Director. This individual must be identified in the application. A management structure for various activities should be provided including the role of each private sector partner.
  • IFE Ecosystem Stewardship: IFE S&T Hub should discuss their plans to contribute to workforce development including but not limited to internal programs that could be leveraged to develop a diverse IFE workforce, workforce exchange between the public and private sector, annual meeting and networking, and internships for students and postdocs.
Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
May 30, 2023
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jul 11, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: [Last name]_DOE-0003044_2023) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than four pages, pdf) a clear and concise description of the objectives and technical approach of the proposed research. Figures and references, if included, must fit within the four-page limit.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: No smaller than 11 pt.
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Monday, May 22, 2023 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

No Applicants, Now first come, first served - Contact LimitedSubs@psu.edu if you wish to apply