Skip to main content

ORAU Consortium Membership

Exclusive opportunities for faculty and students are among the benefits of ORAU University Consortium membership

Keeping our nation on the leading edge of science and technology is at the heart of everything we do at ORAU. That’s why our 100+ member university consortium is so important. Through partnerships with our university consortium, ORAU works with government agencies, national labs and private industry  to advance scientific research and education.

Being a member of ORAU’s University Consortium has its privileges, including access to unique vehicles for funding research, professional growth and development opportunities, and interesting collaborations.

  • Unique funding vehicles - ORAU has a variety of contract vehicles in place to help you establish a working relationship with us more quickly and efficiently.
    • The ORAU-Directed Research and Development (ODRD) investment program provides a path for funding innovative research-based approaches/solutions with our partner universities.
    • ORAU’s Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicles assist eligible member universities in supporting the science and technology needs of federal agencies.
    • GSA schedules provide access to a range of ORAU services that may be used by federal agencies.
  • Professional growth - ORAU’s numerous annual programs offer grants, knowledge-strengthening competitions, and interactions with scientific leaders that will enhance the professional growth and development of your institution’s faculty and students.
  • Collaborations - Exploring opportunities to foster mutually-beneficial education and research collaborations between ORAU’s programs and our university partners are a high priority. ORAU actively works with its member universities to connect their expertise with government and private sector organizations and to create meaningful partnerships for innovation in scientific research and education.

As we continue to build on our rich history of promoting excellence in science and education, we invite you to take advantage of University Consortium membership. Your institution can help influence innovative changes in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, and positively influence America’s education agenda.

  • The Board of Directors of Oak Ridge Associated Universities has approved the following criteria for evaluation of applications to become sponsoring institutions and associate members. The Council will consider applications in the context that:

    • ORAU recognizes that university partnerships and interaction with national laboratories, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have become more global in nature;
    • ORAU acknowledges that membership criteria and institutions change over time. Institutions may retain their current status by continued payment of appropriate dues, and may apply to change status at the annual deadline;
    • ORAU will recruit top tier research institutions as strategic partners that complement ORAU core competencies and enhance the competitiveness of ORAU and the existing members. ORAU will focus on colleges and universities with synergistic interests that would provide value to the consortium. ORAU welcomes universities from all geographic regions with a strong focus on how universities complement the needs and interests of current members. An international university may apply to become a sponsoring or associate member; and
    • ORAU will consider applicants for membership annually.

    Sponsoring Institutions

    A. An ORAU sponsoring institution must be a non-profit institution of higher learning granting doctoral degrees in areas complementary to the interests of ORAU members and/or the programs of ORAU itself. An institution must be accredited by regional organizations and by appropriate professional organizations.

    B. The following desirable criteria will be considered in reviewing applications. Candidate institutions that do not meet these criteria may be encouraged to apply to become associate members of ORAU.

    1. Be among the nation's top universities as measured by inclusion in the top Carnegie categories of Research Universities and/or inclusion in the top 200 institutions listed in the NSF R&D expenditures tables.
    2. Be a comprehensive program offering doctoral degrees in multiple science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields for a minimum of the five previous years.

    C. For international universities applying for membership as a sponsoring institution, the preferred approach would be for the international applicant to be recommended by an ORAU sponsoring institution.

    Associate Members

    Associate Members of the consortium are most effective when mutual benefit exists. As these institutions are often experiencing rapid growth or change in technical focus, the Associate Members are reviewed periodically to determine if it is appropriate to apply for Sponsoring Membership and if the mutual benefit remains strong. Reviews are planned at five year intervals and will be initiated for one-fifth of the Associates in 2016.

    A. An ORAU associate member institution must be an accredited institution of higher learning offering bachelor’s, master’s or a limited number of doctoral degrees in areas complementary to the interests of ORAU members and/or the programs of ORAU; AND

    B. The applicant must be recommended/supported by either a sponsoring institution or an ORAU program based on client needs; AND

    C. The applicant will typically be ranked in the top 400 institutions for science and engineering research federal expenditures by NSF (Table 17 NCSES HERD) or have received an annual average of $2 million of federal research funding over the prior 3 years; AND

    D. The applicant must offer graduate degrees in at least two science, engineering or mathematics fields.

  • Each institution in ORAU’s University Consortium appoints a representative to the Council of Sponsoring Institutions, which governs ORAU in accordance with the Council’s Charter and By Laws. These representatives, called Councilors, are appointed by the executive head of each Sponsoring or Associate member institution.

    Preferably, the appointed Councilor is the Chief Research Officer for the institution. The Councilor serves as the liaison between the member university and ORAU. Councilor responsibilities and functions include the following:

    • Casts the Sponsoring institution’s vote at the Annual Meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions (Associate Members do not vote on matters considered by the Council).
    • Notifies the ORAU University Partnerships Office of changes in the appointed Councilor or Chief Research Officer at the institution.
    • Receives and disseminates information on ORAU grant programs and activities to administrators, faculty and students at the institution, including but not limited to Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Program, Event Sponsorship GrantsHeidelberg and Lindau Meetings of Nobel Laureates and Students and the ORAU-Directed Research and Development Program.
    • Manages information flow regarding opportunities for joint funding, participant programs, and ORAU grant programs to appropriate personnel in the university and may choose to engage a team of colleagues to maximize engagement.
    • Arranges campus visits by ORAU staff.
    • Serves as the conduit for submission of proposals to ORAU grant programs, which limits the number of applications from an institution.
    • Understands ORAU core competencies and facilitates partnerships for joint proposals involving university faculty and ORAU subject matter experts.
    • Understands institutional capabilities and interests, strategic plans and asset availability. 
    • Employs technical background, expertise, and interests as a volunteer for service on Council committees, such as award selection committees.
    • Monitors and facilitates payment of the ORAU annual membership dues.

    ORAU New Councilor Orientation from ORAU on Vimeo.

  • A benefit of membership in the ORAU University Consortium is exclusive access to grants, science and technology events, and collaborative opportunities.

    Opportunity Deadlines and Upcoming Events

    Opportunity Deadline
    Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Using Wastewater—A Leading Edge Indicator Webinar July 21, 2020
    Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences 2020 User Meeting Aug. 10-12, 2020
    Call for Expertise: U.S. Air Force (USAF) Nuclear Triad Supply Chain Study No deadline
    Postgraduate Research Opportunity at the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Laboratory No deadline
    Postdoctoral Fellowship Immersed in Synthetic Data Generation and Testing No deadline
    National Science Foundation (NSF) Statistics Research, Analysis & Data Visualization Opportunity No deadline
    Clean Energy Policy Internship for Post-Degree Candidates No deadline
    Solar Energy Innovators Program Opportunity No deadline

    Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Using Wastewater—A Leading Edge Indicator Webinar

    ORAU and The MITRE Corporation will host a webinar on the Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Using Wastewater on July 21, 2020, 1:00-2:00 p.m.  Monitoring of wastewater for infectious pathogens is an established environmental surveillance technique being used successfully by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help eradicate polio. Early research indicates that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19, can be detected in the feces of infected individuals (including asymptomatic individuals). This type of surveillance is particularly valuable in settings where groups of people are housed in congregate settings such as university campus  dormitories, where recurrent universal diagnostic testing is cost-prohibitive, and where there is a need to protect vulnerable populations.

    The presence of SARS-CoV-2 within the wastewater offers an opportunity to:

    • Detect trends in disease burden within a population prior to changes in cases and deaths
    • Identify the presence of the virus in an otherwise uninfected population
    • Monitor the genetic evolution of the virus
    • Estimate the prevalence of disease within a population at a given point in time

    There is a need to better define and develop the end-to-end process for implementation of wastewater surveillance for relevant and priority use cases. Please register to attend the webinar at https://www.orau.org/impact/webinar.html.

    Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences 2020 User Meeting

    The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and the User Executive Committee cordially invite all to register for the 2020 User Meeting! This year's meeting will be held virtually from Aug. 10-12, 2020, and will offer the opportunity to highlight research areas and exchange ideas – bringing together leading researchers, junior scientists, postdocs, and students. 

    Plenary addresses will be given by Yury Gogotsi (Drexel University) on The Huge Variety of MXene Structures and Compositions - Opportunities in Applications and Challenges in Characterization, and Susan Trolier-McKinstry (Pennsylvania State University) on Domain Wall Functionality in Ferroelectric Films.

    Session topics include Next-Generation Quantum Materials, Multimodal in situ Methods at the Materials Interface, Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion, and Emerging Transdisciplinary Concepts in Practical Machine-Learning.

    Abstracts must be received by June 30. There is no cost to register, but registration is required before July 22. Learn more at https://cnmsusermeeting.ornl.gov.

    Call for Expertise: U.S. Air Force (USAF) Nuclear Triad Supply Chain Study

    ORAU has a potential new opportunity with the USAF’s Office of Commercial Economic Analysis (OCEA) related to characterizing the nuclear weapons supply chain, with a specific focus on current warheads. OCEA is an Air Force-led, multi service office established to preserve Air Force and DoD military advantage from commercial and economic risks.

    The key goal is to map the supply chain down to the lowest tier possible (including raw materials).  The risk areas include the following:

    • Sole source - Only one supplier is able to provide the required capability
    • Single source - Only one supplier is qualified to provide the required capability
    • Fragile supplier - A specific supplier is financially challenged/distressed
    • Fragile market - Structurally poor industry economics; potentially approaching domestic extinction
    • Capacity constrained supply market - Capacity is unavailable in required quantities or time due to competing market demands
    • Foreign dependency - Domestic industry does not produce the product, or does not produce it in sufficient quantities
    • Diminishing manufacturing sources & material shortages (DMSMS) - Product or material obsolescence resulting from decline in relevant suppliers
    • Gap in U.S.-based human capital - Industry is unable to hire or retain U.S. workers with the necessary skill sets
    • Erosion of U.S.-based infrastructure - Loss of specialized capital equipment needed to integrate, manufacture, or maintain capability
    • Product security - Lack of cyber and physical protection results in eroding integrity, confidence, and competitive advantage

    If your university has capabilities to support one or more of the risk areas, please contact Cathy Fore, cathy.fore@orau.org. University subject matter experts who may be involved in performing any of the potential research for this study would be restricted to U.S. citizens.

    Postgraduate Research Opportunity at the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Laboratory

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering post-Master’s and post-Doctoral fellowships for their Visiting Scientist Program cohort at the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL).

    You will join a cohort of post-graduates in a new endeavor in threat detection technology and applied research, specifically related to synthetic data generation, testing and evaluation. The project involves a team of TSL staff and researchers focused on a two-fold approach involving x-ray and millimeter wave regimes. The first component involves creating synthetic signatures of prohibited materials from laboratory computed tomography (CT) data, and inserting these into acquired CT images of passenger baggage. The second component will use millimeter wave data of actual threats to create synthetic images of personnel with threats for analysis.

    Within the proposed project, there are multiple opportunities available to engage in your applied research and evaluation interests. These include, but are not limited to,

    • Deep learning algorithm testing
    • Synthetic signature and/or image generation
    • Data manipulation and quality assurance
    • Threat analysis testing and evaluation

    This opportunity is open until filled, and is located in Atlantic City, NJ. As a participant with TSL, you will receive a stipend starting at $80,000, Health Insurance Allowance, and Relocation Allowance up to $2,000.

    Contact DHSEd@orau.org for questions. For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/TSL-PostGraduate-Fellowships-2020-0001.

    Postdoctoral Fellowship Immersed in Synthetic Data Generation and Testing

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering post-doctoral fellowships with the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL). TSL is seeking applicants to participate in a new endeavor in synthetic data generation and testing. The need to develop synthetic methods to develop and test new Deep Learning algorithms is paramount and the proposed work is new and cutting edge.

    As a TSL Post-Doctoral Fellow, you will be a part of a team of TSL staff and researchers focused on a two-fold approach involving x-ray and millimeter wave regimes. You will be given challenging assignments, under the guidance of a DHS TSL mentor, who will provide you with a broad perspective of DHS and TSL, knowledge of cutting edge research, and access to unique facilities.

    This position is located in Atlantic City, NJ. As a participant with TSL, you will receive a stipend starting at $80,000, Health Insurance Allowance, and Relocation Allowance up to $2,000.

    For more information, eligibility requirements, and to apply, visit www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/TSL-Post-Doctoral-SyntheticData-2020. This position is open until filled. Questions can be directed to Holly Bizoe at dhsed@orau.org.

    National Science Foundation (NSF) Statistics Research, Analysis & Data Visualization Opportunity

    https://zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/NSF-NCSES-2019-0001

    The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) — part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) — is the world’s premier source for data and information on the science and engineering enterprise. NCSES is one of only thirteen principal statistical agencies in the U.S. federal government.

    This is an open opportunity to participants in a wide variety of fields including, but not limited to, Bioinformatics, Biophysics, Business Management, Communications and Graphic Design, Computer Sciences, Computational Biology, Demography, Economics, Engineering, Epidemiology, Finance, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Marketing, Mathematics and Statistics, Neurosciences, Physics, and Public Policy.

    NCSES is seeking participant involvement in a variety of interesting and original activities. These challenging projects make use of expertise from a variety of fields such as research and analysis, statistics, economics, survey methodology, demography, data science, data visualization, graphic design, data journalism, communications, and project management, among others.

    The scope of the work relates to both domestic and international data and information. Participants will have the opportunity to make use of, or support and improve, NCSES and other available data on

    • Innovation
    • Research and development (R&D)
    • The science and engineering workforce
    • U.S. competitiveness in science, engineering and technology, and
    • Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

    Participants may have the opportunity to be part of a data collection program, to search for and analyze key trends and patterns, and to visualize their analyses in novel and informative ways. Both independently, and as part of a team effort, participants may help define specific projects that will advance the Center’s ability to generate, document and analyze statistics on the science and engineering enterprise. Individual innovation and novelty in approach and techniques (including the use of non-survey data and methodologies) are highly desirable.

    There will also be opportunities to collaborate with some of the world’s leading experts on the science and engineering enterprise and in fields such as statistics, survey methodology, and economics. These interactions will inform policy discussions related to the science and engineering enterprise, the federal data strategy, and potentially to support key NCSES and National Science Board products such as Science and Engineering Indicators; the National Patterns of R&D Resources; the Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering Report; and the Annual Business Survey, which includes data on R&D, innovation, technology and globalization, among others.

    To learn more about NCSES, visit https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/. If you have questions, send an email to SciEdPrograms@orau.org. Please list the reference code of this opportunity in the subject line of the email.

    Clean Energy Policy Internship for Post-Degree Candidates

    The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is currently accepting applications for the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Science, Technology and Policy Program. This internship is with the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative. As an intern embedded within the C3E initiative, you will get to develop educationally and professionally while participating in policy-related projects at DOE’s EERE office in Washington, D.C.

    The goal of the C3E effort is to close the gender gap and increase participation, leadership and success of women in clean energy fields. You will collaborate with DOE Senior Program Advisors and engage closely with your mentor to move this initiative forward. You will also learn how to plan, manage and execute initiative activities, including organizing meetings and collaborations within the agency and with partnering organizations, solicitation of new ideas for how to grow the C3E, as well as new strategic directions and activities.

    For a full description of this internship and to submit your application, visit www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/DOE-EERE-STP-SP-2019-2200. If you have questions, send an email to DOE-RPP@orise.orau.gov. Please include the reference code for the opportunity [DOE-EERE-STP-SP-2019-2200] in your email subject line.

    Solar Energy Innovators Program Opportunity

    The purpose of the Solar Energy Innovators Program is to enable selected applicants to conduct practical research on innovative solutions to the challenges faced by electric utilities, energy service providers, and electric public utility commissions as the levels of solar energy, as well as other distributed energy resources (DERs), increase on the electrical grid.

    Selected applicants, referred to as “innovators” herein, will participate for up to two years at a Host Institution on one or more topics related to the integration of solar energy. The applicant to this program is the prospective Innovator. The applicant must identify a Host Institution and potential mentor at a utility, energy service provider, or public utilities commission currently conducting research in an area related to the integration of solar energy onto the electricity grid. Host Institutions may seek potential Innovators that are eligible to apply to the program, but it is the potential Innovator, not the Host Institution or mentor, who submits the application and supporting materials to this site.

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications are downloaded for review on the first of the month, and applicants can expect to hear whether they move to the next stage within 30 days. Subsequent selection process stages include telephone interviews of the applicant and mentor. The process from application submittal to Innovator start date is approximately three months. For more information and to apply, visit www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/DOE-EERE-RPP-SETO-2019-2100.

  • Now that you are an ORAU Consortium Member, you want to begin reaping the full benefits as quickly as possible. That’s why the Memorandum of Understanding is so important.

    Our MOU facilitates rapid collaboration between ORAU and your institution on potential proposals or projects. The MOU allows a pre-negotiation of standard terms for a Non-Disclosure Agreement and Teaming Agreement before they are required. Member Institutions are requested to sign the MOU and NDA after terms have been negotiated and needs of the institution have been met. 

    The fully executed MOU, which remains active for a three-year period, meets the requirement for access to the Value through Partnerships external, secure SharePoint site where partnership opportunities are posted. As these opportunities result into specific proposals and projects, a statement of work is incorporated into the Teaming Agreement.

    If you have business questions about the MOU, please contact Casey Thomas.

    If you have legal questions regarding modifications of the terms, please contact Rachel Lokitz.

  • Adding value to your membership in ORAU’s University Consortium is a priority for us. To that end, ORAU partners with private industry on major government contracts, primarily Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) awards. Many of these awards provide opportunities for Consortium members to conduct real-world research for government agencies. 

    Information on available opportunities can be found on our secure Value through Partnerships SharePoint site. Only members that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) with ORAU are granted access to this site. If you have already established an account, please visit the SharePoint site via the link below and enter your login credentials.

    Value through Partnerships SharePoint site

    If your institution is an ORAU Consortium member and has not signed an MOU and NDA and wishes to do so, please contact Cathy Fore or Casey Thomas. Once these documents are fully executed, a SharePoint account can be created.

  • A visit from ORAU to your campus should be a valuable highlight of your membership in the ORAU University Consortium. A campus visit offers an opportunity for ORAU representatives to join in value-added conversations with university leadership, faculty and students. Campus visits help us gain a deeper understanding of your institution’s research agenda and priorities, and they help us learn how your priorities align with ORAU's core competencies. Through this alignment, we can build a better, stronger partnership together, resulting in mutually-beneficial collaborations.

    A campus visit may be a newsworthy event, especially if a presentation or seminar by a member of ORAU’s team is included in the visit agenda.

    Because campus visits can be newsworthy, we have developed a campus visit toolkit to assist you in planning and organizing the visit. The toolkit includes:

    • A campus visit agenda template
    • A seminar announcement template
    • A biography for the ORAU representative(s) conducting the visit
    • A sample news release for use in publicizing the visit and seminar or for new members to announce ORAU visits during and after the membership process.

    To schedule a campus visit, or to obtain a copy of the campus visit toolkit, call the University Partnerships Office at 865.576.6513 or university.partnerships@orau.org.

University researcher in laboratory
Enhancing awareness and opportunities for research collaborations

Enhancing awareness and opportunities for research collaborations

ORAU continues to enhance its consortium members’ awareness of a variety of ORAU contract vehicles, avenues for joint proposals with ORAU, and opportunities to engage in applied research with ORAU, private industry and/or federal customers. While opportunities are continually being generated and refined, the ultimate goal is to provide a strong benefit to consortium members and ORAU alike by supporting research and scientific advancement in mutually beneficial areas, enhanced collaborations between members and ORAU and increased support for university initiatives that align with private sector and federal customer needs.

Contact us

To learn more about how to become an ORAU consortium member, contact ORAU's University Partnerships at 865.576.6513 or university.partnerships@orau.org.