DOE Inertial Fusion Energy Science & Technology Accelerated Research

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary

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 highvolume 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 multiinstitutional 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.

The objectives of this FOA are distinct from the Milestone-based Fusion Development Program. Applications focusing on FPP designs are not responsive to this FOA. However, IFE S&T Hubs will be encouraged to dedicate a reasonable fraction of their time to collaborate with the projects under the FES Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program and with any current or future efforts associated with the Bold Decadal Vision.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST May 22, 2023

DOE Pre-Application Deadline: 3:00pm MST May 30, 2023

DOE Application Deadline: 9:59pm MST July 11, 2023  

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (1 page maximum): Provide the name of the applicant, the project director/principal investigator(s), the project title, the objectives of the project, a description of the project, including methods to be employed, the potential impact of the project (e.g., benefits, outcomes), and major participants (for collaborative projects).
  • Lead PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


Multi-institutional teams must submit one application from a designated lead institution with all other teaming institutions proposed as subrecipients.

Collaborative applications (in which each team member submits its own application with a common research narrative) will not be accepted.

The PI on a pre-application, or application may also be listed as a senior or key personnel on an unlimited number of other submissions.

See the solicitation for full eligibility details.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than one pre-application and one application as lead.

Award Information

Ceiling: $4M per year

Floor: $2M per year

Period of Performance: 4 years

Anticipated Number of Awards: 2-3