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Advanced Short-Term Research Opportunity (ASTRO)

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Advanced Short-Term Research Opportunity Program is a highly selective program offering challenging short-term research opportunities to recent recipients of Master’s and Doctoral degrees. ASTRO participants conduct research in areas that support ORNL missions in the basic and applied sciences, energy, and environment. Appointments are available in all current research and development programs at the Laboratory.


  • Applications are accepted on a year-around basis
  • Appointments are for a minimum of one month or as long as twelve months
  • Participants engage in research or technical projects related to DOE’s ongoing research and development programs under the guidance of Laboratory staff scientists or engineers
  • Applicants must hold a recent (within the past five years) M.S. or Ph.D. degree in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM area), or expect to complete all degree requirements before starting the appointment
  • There are no U.S. citizenship or GPA requirements


  • Participants receive a monthly stipend; amount commensurate with the participant’s 
    academic status
  • The mentor can allocate funds for a one-time dislocation allowance
  • Participants can attend enrichment activities, including professional development
    workshops, Laboratory tours, lectures, seminars and poster presentations, with mentor approval


  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Applicants must hold a recent (within the past 5 years) M.S. or Ph.D. degree in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM area), or expect to complete all requirements for at least a MS degree before starting the appointment
  • Be a U.S. citizen or hold a visa allowing the participant to be paid
  • Have medical insurance during the appointment – verification required


  • Participants must abide activities that could present a conflict of interest, and behave in a responsible and professional manner
  • Participants must complete pre- and post-appointment surveys

Next Steps

If you are ready, you can apply to the ASTRO program now

Advanced Short-Term Research Opportunity (ASTRO)

More research programs for:

Tyler Pannell

Tyler P.

ASTRO Participant
Research Focus:

Pannell is digging deeper into the energy potential of organic waste. He uses a process called anaerobic digestion, which utilizes methane-producing micro-organisms to produce a biogas similar in feature and capability to natural gas.

Experience Gained:

“My research, and the questions arising from my research, keep me thinking about the importance of sustainability and specifically, about the relationship between chemical/organic wastes and energy.”

Thoughts on Program:

“This experience has given me valuable practical engineering experience in research and development.”