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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
    HFIR/SNS Advanced Neutron Diffraction and Scattering Workshop April 29, 2019
    Call for User Proposals: High-Impact Nanoscience Research May 1, 2019
    Computational Science and Technology Advanced Research Studies (C-STARS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory Unspecified
    Data Management and Curation Fellowship at the National Transportation Library Unspecified
    Geospatial Data Creation and Curation Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Transportation Unspecified
    ORAU Events Sponsorship Program Cycle 1 deadline: Sept. 1, 2019

    Computational Science and Technology Advanced Research Studies (C-STARS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Graduate research opportunities are available at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee through the Computational Science and Technology Advanced Research Studies (C-STARS) program. C-STARS participants conduct challenging computational research in areas that support ORNL missions, with current openings in software engineering, geographic information systems, and life and medical sciences database research.

    Participants will have access to state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, professional development activities, presentation opportunities over the summer, and a large network or ORNL researchers and interns. Financial benefits include a biweekly stipend, possible housing or in- and out-bound travel reimbursements, if eligible, conference travel costs, and any publication-related fees. This opportunity is open to all current graduate students with a GPA of 3.5/4.0 or higher and those who have received a Master’s degree within the last five years; there is no citizenship requirement.

    C-STARS appointment dates and duration are decided upon between the research mentor and participant, although appointments are typically 12 months in duration. Appointments may be part-time or full-time participation. Apply now and more potential mentors will see your application—you’ll note your desired appointment dates within your application.

    For more information and instructions to submit your application, visit orise.orau.gov/ornl/c-stars/default.html. If you have any questions, please send an email to ASTRO@orau.org.

    HFIR/SNS Advanced Neutron Diffraction and Scattering Workshop

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in conjunction with North Carolina State University, and support from the National Science Foundation and the Shull Wollan Center—a Joint Institute for Neutron Scattering, celebrates a decade of neutron scattering education in structural biology at ORNL with the HFIR/SNS Advanced Neutron Diffraction and Scattering workshop (HANDS 2019).

    Detailed information can be found on the workshop web page: conference.sns.gov/hands2019/

    Application deadline: April 29, 2019

    Fellowships to support travel and accommodation are available. No registration fee.

    The workshop aims at enabling structural biologists to fully exploit the latest instrumentation and software development at the SNS and HFIR facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Participants of HANDS 2019 will become familiar with neutron techniques with hands-on experiments in sample preparation, crystallography, small angle scattering, reflectometry and neutron spin echo. The workshop is designed for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty with limited to no experience with neutron sciences.

    Call for User Proposals: High-Impact Nanoscience Research

    The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is soliciting proposals for user-initiated nanoscience research that will make effective use of CNMS facilities and staff expertise. The CNMS nanoscience research program provides users with access to a broad range of capabilities for nanomaterials design, synthesis, characterization, and theory/modeling/simulation and access is provided at no cost to users for research that is in the public domain and intended for publication in the open literature.

    Scientifically high-impact proposals are sought that take advantage of any of the following CNMS research capabilities:

    • Macromolecular Nanomaterials
    • Chemical Imaging
    • Functional Hybrid Nanomaterials
    • Nanomaterials Theory Institute
    • Scanning Probe Microscopy
    • Nanofabrication Research Laboratory
    • Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials
    • Electron & Atom Probe Microscopy
    • Opportunity to request beamtime for Neutron Scattering

    Proposal Development
    The CNMS website provides detailed descriptions of specific CNMS Research Capabilities that are offered to users, and this list of capabilities is duplicated in checklist form on the downloadable CNMS User Proposal Form. Prospective users are invited and strongly encouraged to contact CNMS staff members in the respective research areas to discuss their proposal ideas and learn more about the specific capabilities of interest to them.

    The deadline for submission of user research proposals is May 1, 2019. Please review the Guidelines for Submission of a CNMS User Research Proposal (below) and the Instructions for Submitting a Proposal. Approved projects will be granted access to CNMS facilities during the period August 1, 2019 through July 31, 2020.

    Guidelines for Submission of a CNMS User Research Proposal

    1. Content: Each user proposal must describe clearly and specifically which part of the work is to be done using CNMS facilities: What CNMS tools and expertise will be needed to carry out which steps and on what timeline? Each user proposal must also clearly define the expected outcomes from the CNMS component: What are the targets or milestones that the CNMS contribution must meet in order for the overall research project to succeed? Please keep in mind that you are proposing a specific user project; describe the overall research program only so far as is necessary to establish the context and impact of the user proposal. See Tips for Writing a Competitive User Proposal. NOTE: User proposals must not contain any proprietary or sensitive information.
    2. Proposals that require capabilities from more than one area are encouraged, as are requests for theory/modeling/simulation support for experimental projects.
    3. Proposals will be reviewed by selected members of the CNMS Proposal Review Committee using evaluation criteria adopted by the IUPAP in its recommendations on the operation of user facilities. Please see the Review Criteria for CNMS Research Proposals.
    4. Prospective users are encouraged to contact one of the staff members listed for each set of related research capabilities to discuss the suitability of any particular CNMS capability for the proposed research. General questions about the proposal process can be directed to the CNMS User Program Director, Brad Lokitz. Go to Instructions for Submitting a Proposal.

    Data Management and Curation Fellowship at the National Transportation Library

    Joining the Data Curation and Data Management (DCDM) team at the National Transportation Library (NTL), the selected participant will be offered an opportunity to gain hands-on learning and skills in data management and data curation best practices, relating to transportation data, including aviation data produced by the BTS offices and US DOT funded researchers. The Fellow will learn to create and evaluate data management plans; craft data curation standards, operating plans and policies. The Fellow will learn how to catalog datasets for preservation, conduct data format migration and be exposed to other data services; all within the context of providing access to an entire research or statistical package which will contain data and reports.

    Under the guidance of a mentor, opportunities to gain skills and experience may include:

    • Applying data management best practices to high-value transportation datasets, including aviation data;
    • Using national and international standards to author metadata documentation;
    • Programmatically minting persistent identifiers for datasets;
    • Migrating and curating legacy datasets;
    • Documenting and cataloging data packages;
    • Operating a digital repository;
    • Engaging in data management and curation outreach across the US DOT

    For a full description of this opportunity and to submit your application, visit Zintellect. If you have any questions, please send an email to USDOT@orau.org.

    Geospatial Data Creation and Curation Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

    Have you ever wanted to influence and improve the effectiveness of geospatial data at the national level? Are you detail-oriented and committed to producing high-quality data products? Join us as we lead the development of new and improved national geospatial transportation products in the era of big data.

    You will learn to create and curate geospatial datasets related to our Nation's transportation systems that are used by government officials, researchers, and the American people. To achieve your learning objectives, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with those other U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) offices and Federal agencies that help maintain geospatial data and analytical capabilities. Your learning opportunities will also include the ability to participate in inter-agency efforts relating to the development and improvement of geospatial data and analytical applications.

    For a full description of this opportunity and to submit your application, visit Zintellect. If you have any questions, please send an email to USDOT@orau.org.

  • 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 Laura Bowen. 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.