The National Laboratories have served as the leading institutions for scientific and technological innovation in the United States for more than seventy years. As they have tackled the Nation’s biggest scientific challenges, the biggest asset of the National Labs has always been its incredibly talented and dedicated workforce. An important initiative to develop and retain the Labs’ most talented leaders is the Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program (OSELP).
Established in 2016, OSELP is a distinguished Fellowship Program that brings together exceptional leaders to explore the complexities, challenges and opportunities facing the National Lab system and the Department of Energy (DOE).
Through site visits to National Labs and the development of strategic think-pieces, OSELP immerses its Fellows in the singular breadth, diversity, and complexity of the National Labs, DOE, and their partners.
Currently in its seventh year, OSELP represents a collective commitment from all 17 DOE National Labs to cultivate the leaders needed to sustain long-term impacts throughout the complex, with the NLDC personally engaged in selecting each Cohort, participating in strategic dialogues, and engaging meaningfully in think-piece discussions.
OSELP is designed to bring together exceptional professionals who have the potential to contribute significantly to DOE’s work, whether at DOE or in the National Labs, academia, or industry. The core goals of the program goals are to:
Program Benefits and Impact
By delivering a program that achieves these goals, OSELP provides distinct and substantial benefits to the Fellows, the Labs, DOE, and the Nation. Fellows benefit by achieving an advanced, system-level understanding of the DOE-Lab system. They also benefit from the being part of a growing network of alumni that possess a shared commitment to and understanding of the DOE-Lab system. Through the Oppenheimer Leadership Network (OLN), alumni are given opportunities to network, engage in strategic think-piece initiatives, and continue their system-level engagement with DOE-Lab opportunities and challenges.
The Labs benefit by having staff that are more equipped to navigate, impact, and envision change opportunities for the entire DOE-Lab system. In addition, the program enables Fellows to bring best practices back to their own Labs through site visits, think-piece research, discussions with other Fellows, and interactions with mentors.
Participation in the program—and the alumni network—can also strengthen the Fellows' commitment to improving the DOE-Lab collective enterprise. The program enables the Fellows to genuinely see themselves as future leaders through the candid conversations provided them by senior Lab leadership, as well as mentor and peer interactions.
OSELP can also provide non-Lab staff (e.g., academics or industry employees) a unique opportunity to see the inner-workings of the DOE-Lab system. This insight facilitates movement into the DOE-Lab system of leaders equipped with a sophisticated understanding of complex.
By creating a growing network of Fellows that span operational, technical, scientific domains—and represent diverse backgrounds—OSELP helps to build and support the future leaders of the DOE-Lab system.
Each of DOE's 17 National Laboratories is led by a Laboratory Director. Together, these Directors form the National Laboratory Directors’ Council (NLDC), an independent body that coordinates initiatives and advises the Department of Energy and other Laboratory stakeholders. OSELP is an NLDC program that is administered by the University of Colorado Boulder.
Learn about the history of the Oppenheimer Program.
Building a network of future DOE leaders.
Global leaders in science, technology, and innovation.