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ORAU-Directed Research and Development Grants

ODRD: The benefit of broadening your research base

One of the most important benefits of your institution’s partnership with ORAU is the potential for funding through the ORAU-Directed Research and Development (ODRD) program.

This investment program provides a path for funding innovative research-based approaches/solutions that fall within the intersection of core capabilities of ORAU and our member universities’ research interests. We envision the successful ODRD funded projects to result in proposals that can generate new sponsored research jointly performed by ORAU and partner universities.

Program Deadlines

FY22 ODRD proposals are due January 10, 2022. Awards will be made in February.

Frequently asked questions

  • ODRD is a research and development program that supports collaborations between ORAU and member universities. This investment program provides a path for funding innovative research-based approaches/solutions that fall within the intersection of core capabilities of ORAU and our member universities' research interests. We envision the successful ODRD funded projects to result in proposals that can generate new sponsored research jointly performed by ORAU and partner universities. ODRD funding, distributed through a competitive process, serves as seed money for exploratory research and collaboration opportunities among ORAU subject matter experts and our university partners. This seed money and exploratory research provides greater potential for significant funding from external sources.

    Led by ORAU subject matter experts, ODRD projects will strengthen and expand the scientific and technical capabilities of ORAU programs and enhance ORAU’s ability to address current and future customer needs. By leveraging the talents and strengths of our member universities, ODRD supports university-engaged, applied research while increasing the potential for significant external research funding.

  • The ODRD Program is comprised of core and cross-cutting initiatives focused on developing or advancing strategic capabilities at ORAU. Due to programmatic changes, FY22 ODRD resources will be invested in strongly-focused portfolios of smaller, short-term projects. We encourage researchers to formulate innovative concepts that offer the potential to achieve breakthrough advances to support ORAU’s FY22 priority focus areas.

    The ODRD program invests in research projects that will:

    • advance the study of hypotheses, concepts, or innovative approaches to scientific or technical problems,
    • produce research and analyses directed towards “proof of principle” or early determination of the utility of new ideas and concepts, and
    • enhance ORAU and member university research capabilities.

    For FY22, projects should be achievable in six months or less, and between $10-75k is shared between ORAU and the university partners.

    The ODRD Program will return to awarding large scale, one year projects in FY23. The FY22 change has been made to align ODRD projects with the ORAU fiscal year. The FY23 Call for Proposals will be issued in March 2022.

  • TThe FY22 ODRD Call for Proposals seeks high quality proposals in the following priority focus areas:

    1. Public Health and Environment
      Areas of Emphasis: Health Communication, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Worker Health, Ecology, and Climate Resiliency
    2. Data Science and Analytics
      Areas of Emphasis: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Analytics
    3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Studies
      Areas of Emphasis: Climate and Environmental Justice, Minority Health Disparities, STEM Education, and Effective Career/Workforce Development and Mentoring

    Proposals may span one or more of the priority focus areas. Cross-cutting proposals are encouraged.

  • ORAU has subject matter experts (SMEs) with unique experience and education specific to a particular research topic. ORAU SMEs serve as the project lead and are responsible for submitting proposal applications through an internal ODRD application process. The SMEs represent ORAU’s thought leaders and are the best resource to determine the value of a collaborative ODRD project.

    University faculty interested in collaborating may also submit a brief interest statement, to be shared with our ORAU SMEs. Statements must be received by Oct. 15 for FY22 consideration. You may also refer to ORAU’s SMEs listed around our website, and contact them directly.

  • ODRD uses corporate funds to support awarded projects. No federal monies are used to fund ODRD projects and activities. The number of projects awarded may vary.

  • ODRD funds may be used for direct charges only (no indirect or overhead charges are permitted), and in accordance with your university’s policies pertaining to grants and travel charges.

  • ORAU does not require a final financial report for ODRD grants.

Interested in ODRD?

ODRD is only open to member universities in good standing.

If you have questions about membership, please send an email to university.partnerships@orau.org.

Contact Us

To learn more about the ORAU-Directed Research and Development (ODRD) program, contact the Research and University Partnerships Office (RUPO).

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Contact us

To learn more about the ORAU-Directed Research and Development program, contact the University Partnerships office at 865.576.6513 or university.partnerships@orau.org.