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
    Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program Internship Jan. 31, 2020
    DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Robotics Internship Program Accepting Applications Feb. 3, 2020
    8th Heidelberg Laureate Forum Applications Feb. 14, 2020
    Faculty-Student Team Defense Lab Research Program Applications Feb. 18, 2020
    Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program Accepting Applications Feb. 28, 2020
    ORAU Events Sponsorship Program March 1, 2020
    ORAU-Directed Research and Development (ODRD) March 23, 2020
    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

    Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program Internship

    The Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) is a program to promote the education and development of the next generation workforce in critical science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) related disciplines that compliment current and future missions of U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM).

    The MSIPP Internships Program is designed to provide an enhanced training environment for next generation scientists and engineers by exposing them to research challenges unique to our industry. MSIPP interns will be given the opportunity to complete Summer Internships aligned with ongoing U.S. DOE-EM research under the direction of a host national laboratory. The internship will be performed at the host national laboratory, utilizing their facilities and equipment under the guidance of a senior research mentor. Interns will collaborate with subject matter experts, work in a collaborative environment, gain hands-on experience, and connect with other professionals in their field while pursuing growth opportunities. Selected candidates will be compensated by either a stipend or salary commensurate with the cost of living at the location of the host laboratory.

    Visit the opportunities and apply online at https://www.zintellect.com (keyword: MSIPP). The application deadline is January 31, 2020.

    DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Robotics Internship Program Accepting Applications

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Robotics Internship Program is a 10-week summer internship program for students majoring in a field related to robotics. The program provides opportunities for high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students and postgraduates to intern at federal national laboratories throughout the United States. The EERE Robotics Internship Program is sponsored by the EERE Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO).

    View the complete list of opportunities at https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/EERE-Robotics-2020.  Applications and letter of recommendations are due February 3, 2020, at 8:00 AM EST.

    For questions, please contact Igrid.Gregory@orau.org.

    Faculty-Student Team Defense Lab Research Program Applications

    The Faculty-Student Team Defense Lab Research (FSR) Program provides faculty and student research teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Serving Institutions (MIs) with the opportunity to conduct research at a Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory. All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply.

    The mission of the FSR program is to increase and enhance the scientific leadership at underserved populations such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Serving Institutions (MIs) in research areas that support the mission and goals of the Joint Science and Technology Office JSTO-CBD. As a FSR participant, you will train under the mentorship of a DoD scientist while working on a mission-focused research project. During the 10-week appointment, you will receive a weekly stipend and may be eligible for travel allowances. The research activity requires teams to be composed of one faculty member and one undergraduate student. Appointments will not be made to teams without a student member or to teams without a faculty member. All team members must be U.S. citizens.

    Visit the FSR program website for more detailed information on the program at https://orise.orau.gov/FSRP/default.htm. View the opportunities and apply online at https://orise.orau.gov/FSRP/apply.htm. The application deadline is February 18, 2020.

    Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

    The Intelligence Committee (IC) Postdoc Program offers scientists and engineers from a wide variety of disciplines unique opportunities to conduct research relevant to the Intelligence Community. The research is conducted by the Postdocs, while working in partnership with a Research Advisor and collaborating with an advisor from the Intelligence Community. Postdoc appointments are for 24 months. The Program has the discretion to fund a third year, if outlined in the original proposal and approved by ODNI. Applications are now open.

    View the complete list of opportunities at https://orise.orau.gov/icpostdoc/current-opportunities.html.  Deadline to apply is February 28, 2020.

    For questions, please contact ICPostdoc@orau.org.

    8th Heidelberg Laureate Forum Applications

    Young researchers in computer science and mathematics from all over the world can apply for one of the 200 coveted spots to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an annual networking event. The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great opportunity to personally interact with the laureates of the most prestigious prizes in the fields of mathematics and computer science. For one week, the recipients of the Abel Prize, the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the ACM Prize in Computing, the Fields Medal, and the Nevanlinna Prize engage in a cross-generational scientific dialogue with young researchers in Heidelberg, Germany.

    The 8th HLF will take place from Sept. 20-25, 2020. This prominent, versatile event combines scientific, social and outreach activities in a unique atmosphere, fueled by comprehensive exchange and scientific inspiration. Laureate lectures, young researcher workshops and a structure welcoming unfettered discussions are the elements that compose the Forum’s platform.

    All applications that are completed and submitted by the deadline are meticulously reviewed by an international committee of experts to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are invited. There are 100 spaces available for each discipline of mathematics and computer science. All applicants will be notified by the end of April 2020 whether or not they will be invited. PhD students from the United States may apply for travel grants from ORAU. There will be a separate application process after nominees have been confirmed by the Heidelberg Laureate Forum selection committee in April 2020. If selected by HLF’s international committee, PhD students from the United States will be contacted by the ORAU team to discuss the application process for available travel grants. Travel grants for the Forum offered by ORAU are not guaranteed and are reserved for US PhD students only.  

    For more information, please visit: www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org. For questions regarding requirements and the application process, please contact Young Researchers Relations at: yr@heidelberg-laureate-forum.org.

    The application period for the 8th HLF closes Feb. 14, 2020 at midnight. Young researchers at all phases of their careers (undergraduate/pre-master, graduate PhD or postdoc) are encouraged to complete and submit their applications at: https://application.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/site/index.php

    ORAU Events Sponsorship Program

    https://www.orau.org/university-partnerships/member-grant-programs/events-sponsorship.html

    Cycle 2 applications are due March 1, 2020 for events occurring between May 1 and September 30. Each member university is limited to one award per fiscal year. Awards in the 2020 Cycle 1 competition are included in the limit.

    Up to $4,000 may be requested to support an event that involves participants from more than one ORAU member institution, including students. Examples of such events include visits to an ORAU consortium member by a renowned speaker, conferences or workshops with a focused theme, or a technology transfer/business plan competition. Any ORAU member institution in good standing may submit an event grant application through their ORAU Councilor. Only applications endorsed by an institution’s ORAU Councilor will be considered. An institution is considered in good standing when membership fees are up-to-date and required reports for existing award programs are current.

    ORAU-Directed Research and Development (ODRD) Program

    https://www.orau.org/university-partnerships/member-grant-programs/odrd.html

    The FY 2020 competition for ODRD Phase 2 collaborative awards of up to $75,000 to be shared between the university and ORAU researchers is now open. We anticipate and expect that these seed funds will position the collaborative teams to be more competitive for new, external funding opportunities. The deadline for joint ORAU/university Phase 2 proposals is March 23, 2020 and potential university partners are encouraged to submit concepts for discussion with ORAU partners as soon as possible.

    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 Laura Bowen.

    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.