Researchers from LLNL’s Physical and Life Sciences Directorate (PLS) partner with universities, companies, and various state and federal government agencies to accelerate innovation and solve increasingly complex scientific and national security challenges.
These collaborations bring diverse perspectives, capabilities, and creativity to our mission-critical research, while fostering opportunities to engage tomorrow’s innovators. Partnerships also maximize the impact of discoveries made at LLNL as we explore options to commercialize these discoveries to benefit the U.S. economy and our national security.
Many of LLNL’s experimental and computational resources are open to our collaborators, including partners on joint research projects, as well as our student interns. By fostering access to these resources, we provide a venue for early-career scientists to gain hands-on experience using sophisticated tools, while also sparking ideas regarding future enhancements to these resources.
Examples of user facilities at LLNL that are regularly used by PLS scientists include the:
In addition to facilities that offer formal user programs for external researchers, other LLNL scientific resources are often available to collaborating researchers from academic institutions and industry partners who are working on joint research projects with LLNL scientists. Postdocs and visiting faculty at LLNL—including faculty who are part of LLNL’s mini-faculty sabbatical program—are able to access these resources as part of their research at LLNL.
To learn more about opportunities to access LLNL resources, visit LLNL’s Facilities, Centers and Institues webpage.
Many PLS research projects involve collaborators from other national labs, industry, and academia. These types of collaborations benefit our staff, as well as our collaborators. For example, researchers benefit from access to experimental resources not available at their home institution. In addition, they can participate in LLNL’s mini-faculty sabbatical program, where they visit LLNL for up to three months to exchange knowledge and build partnerships.
Examples of multi-institutional research collaborations where PLS staff serve as project leads or co-leads include:
We collaborate with academic institutions to help them achieve their educational goals for their undergraduate and graduate students. For example, we collaborate with colleges and universities to raise awareness of emerging career pathways that their students might want to explore. In addition, we partner with institutions to enhance curricula, or to develop a workshop, seminar, or summer institute in a specific science area.
The cornerstone of these student-focused collaborations is our internship programs. PLS hosts student interns over the summer or during the academic year, providing hands-on research experience and mentoring by a PLS scientist. We partner with our colleagues at academic institutions to promote internship opportunities at LLNL and other national laboratories.
Many of our collaborations involve student outreach, where we help raise awareness of careers with a science and technology focus. For example, PLS scientists can participate in a university’s career event, answering questions informally or serving as a guest speaker. Our internship mentors can join with their student intern to discuss what it’s like to serve as an intern at LLNL.
Several of LLNL’s research centers are the focal point for our academic outreach in specific disciplines, including:
We are also involved in externally funded initiatives aimed at engaging students from minority-serving institutions. Examples of these types of initiatives include:
LLNL partners with industry through sponsored research and development projects that solve technical challenges and accelerate scientific advancements. For example, we collaborate with industry partners to adapt technology created by LLNL innovators so it can more effectively address national security and energy security needs. We also partner with U.S. companies to commercialize technology developed at LLNL, growing our nation's economy through commercialization of scientific discoveries.
Examples of efforts led by PLS scientists include:
For more information about ways that LLNL collaborates with industry to advance the development and commercialization of scientific discoveries, contact LLNL’s Innovation and Partnerships Office.