Application Requirements

To apply for the ORNL Challenge program, applicants must write a proposal that identifies possible Solutions to one or more of the official Challenge Questions.  Applicants must then submit their Solution document through the application system, Zintellect.

Winning candidates will need to convincingly demonstrate that their proposed plan will make a contribution to the Solution of the stated research Challenge.

Challenge Solutions MUST be prepared using this template (MS-Word) to format submissions. All uploads to Zintellect must be in PDF format. The Solution document should be between 7-11 pages (not including title page) and should present the following as headings in the written document:

Proposal ComponentSuggested Length
(using 11-12 point size, and Arial or Times New Roman font only)
Title Page
Abstract  ½ page
Research hypothesis 1 - 2 pages
Material and Methods (complete study design, including proposed data collection techniques, required instruments, and analysis) 4-6 pages 
Study period - Timetable for completion of the project ½ - 1 page
Conclusion/Justification  ½ page
Works Cited ½ -1 page
TOTAL 7 – 11 pages



Submit a Solution for ORNL Challenge #1   Submit a Solution for ORNL Challenge #2


Download the ORNL Challenge Proposal Template Here

Solutions that are missing one or more of the above sections may not be considered. Please carefully write and proofread your Solution document before submission.

Application deadline: February 19, 2016

Submission instructions:

  1. Log into Zintellect or create an account if a new user.
  2. Create a Zintellect profile, entering preliminary educational and contact information and then release the profile.  
  3. Apply for the opportunity, using the links above, or by searching for the opportunity by name (ORNL Challenge Program) in the opportunity catalog. 
  4. Upload your transcript or academic record, and your Challenge Solution in PDF format. Finally, answer the eligibility questions in the application, and then Click "Submit" when done.

Challenge candidates must certify that the ideas they submit in the attached Solution document are their own, although the ideas submitted may be developed under the supervision of a university faculty mentor.

For any questions about the application process, please email Dr. Nicie Murphy at or For any questions about Zintellect, please email