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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.

  • 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, Travel Grants, 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 Council 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
    69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Sept. 28, 2018
    ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads Cohort 3 applications opening this September Unspecified
    ORAU and Florida Institute of Technology Partnering to Study Workplace Restrictions on Personal Mobile Devices Unspecified
    ORAU Events Sponsorship Program Cycle 1 deadline: Sept. 1
    Cycle 2 deadline: March 1
    ORAU-Directed Research and Development Grants Open for continuous submission

    69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

    ORAU is again privileged to provide funding to support graduate students to attend the annual meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany. We have sponsored students for this historic event for a number of years, and we are currently soliciting graduate student nominations in the field of physics to attend the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting to be held June 30-July 5, 2019.

    • ORAU member institutions may nominate two students per university.
    • Deadline for nominations is Sept. 28, 2018 at 4 p.m., Eastern Time
    • Applications may be found online at

    Selected students will have the opportunity to attend formal lectures and informal meetings with Nobel Laureate scientists and peers from around the world.  Information on past meetings is available at

    In 2019, the meeting will feature recipients of the Nobel Prize in the field of physics.  Assuming funding becomes available as anticipated, nominations will be accepted for eligible candidates who:

    • Are U.S. citizens and are currently enrolled at a member university as full-time graduate students;
    • Have completed by June 2019 at least two academic years of graduate studies toward a doctoral degree in the disciplines of physics or a related discipline; and
    • Are planning a dissertation/thesis defense no earlier than January 1, 2020.

    We are seeking nominations for a diverse group of students including, women, minorities and people with disabilities. Students must show a genuine interest in science and research; display a strong commitment to the field of physiology/medicine; and be a well-rounded individual who can converse with scientists and peers in a meaningful way.

    The competitive selection process for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting occurs in three phases, starting with university nominations. Universities must submit all student nominations by email to before Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 at 4 p.m., Eastern Time.

    If you have any questions regarding the Lindau meeting, please contact Michelle Goodson. Questions regarding ORAU institution eligibility should be directed to

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    ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads Cohort 3 applications opening this September

    June 7, 2018

    Innovation Crossroads is an entrepreneurial fellowship program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that supports leading technology innovators as they work to transform an energy or advanced manufacturing idea with global potential into a successful startup company. ORNL will be accepting applications for cohort 3 this September.

    Entrepreneurially-minded individuals can learn more about the program and sign up for Cohort 3 updates at

    Program Benefits

    • A two-year fellowship stipend to allow innovators to focus totally on their startup company
    • R&D funding support to be used in collaboration with ORNL researchers and facilities
    • Business mentorship, education, and introductions to potential customers, partners and investors

    Important Dates

    • September 2018 - Applications open
    • May 2019 - Cohort 3 begins

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    73rd Annual Meeting of the Council of ORAU Sponsoring Institutions - Presentations Available

    April 6, 2018

    Presentations from the 73rd Annual Meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions are available on our annual meeting website. The presentations are linked through their corresponding presentation time on the agenda pages.

    The presentations for the Business Meeting session are available on our Value Through Partnerships SharePoint site under Business Sensitive Presentations. If you need access to this site, please contact us at

    The following is the link for APLU’s Guide to Implementing a Safety Culture in our Universities that was mentioned during the annual meeting. This guide is a roadmap for a university-wide effort to strengthen a culture of research safety. The guide has action steps, resources, and recommendations to help navigate the challenge of changing the culture of the institution. The guide is intended for university presidents and chancellors who have made a renewed commitment to improve their institutional culture of safety, and it is intended for the campus leadership team that the president appoints to helm this effort. The task force encourages each institution to use the guide in ways that fits their unique institutional contexts.

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    ORAU and Florida Institute of Technology Partnering to Study Workplace Restrictions on Personal Mobile Devices

    Jan. 17, 2018

    The White House announced last week that it will prohibit staffers who work in the West Wing from using personal mobile device because work there is in the security interest of the nation. The reality is, many workplaces prohibit the use of personal mobile devices and restrict access to social media during the workday.

    ORAU and the Florida Institute of Technology are collaborating on an ODRD project to conduct a survey of people in this situation. Are you restricted from using personal mobile devices or accessing social media where you work? If yes, we would like to hear from you.

    Take Survey

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  • 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 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