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Immediate Release

DOD Awards $24 Million for the 2020 Class of the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship

The Department of Defense has selected eight distinguished faculty scientists and engineers and provided $24 million in fellowship funds as part of the 2020 Class of the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows. Click here for a complete list of this year’s winners.

For the fiscal year 2020 competition, the Department received more than 200 white papers, from which several panels of experts invited 35 full proposals for review, leading to the selection of the final eight fellows. Each fellow will receive up to $3 million over the 5-year fellowship term to pursue cutting-edge fundamental research projects.

The Basic Research Office, part of the Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology (DDRE(R&T)) within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, sponsors the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship. The Office of Naval Research manages the grants.

“The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship program is a shining example of why the Department values exploratory basic research,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, acting director of DDRE(R&T). “Not only has this high-risk, `blue sky’ academic research resulted in extraordinary scientific discoveries in multiple disciplines, but it is also opening entirely new fields of research that will sustain the scientific leadership of the Nation. The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows also represent a unique pool of scientific talent that the Department can rely upon for advice, as well as an exceptional resource for developing future scientists and engineers for the defense workforce.”

The highly-competitive fellowship, named in honor of Dr. Vannevar Bush, the director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development after World War II, is the Department’s flagship single-investigator award for basic research. In line with Dr. Bush’s vision, the fellowship aims to advance transformative, university-based fundamental research.

The 2020 class will join a cadre of 56 current fellows who conduct basic research in areas of importance to DOD, ranging from materials science and cognitive neuroscience to quantum information sciences and applied mathematics. In addition to pursuing their research projects, fellows engage directly with the DOD enterprise to collaborate with defense laboratories and to share insights with Department leadership and the broader national security community.

For more information on the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, click here.

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across DOD and fosters technological dominance across the DOD enterprise to ensure the advantage of the American Warfighter. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter: @DoDCTO.