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Oak Ridge Science Semester

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

From current cutting-edge scientific research in energy and environmental issues, reaching back to its history as a pivotal element of the Manhattan Project in World War II, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is recognized as a leader in scientific and technological research.  Located in Oak Ridge Tennessee, and managed by the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Batelle, scientists and engineers conduct basic and applied research in a wide variety of fields.  As the Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory, their mission to advance the nation’s energy resources, environmental quality, and scientific knowledge provides an exciting and intellectually stimulating setting for science students looking to do rigorous research.

The Oak Ridge Science Semester (ORSS) enables students to join ongoing investigations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in research areas as diverse as astrophysics, cell biology, DNA sequencing, genetic mutagenesis, parallel computing, robotics, toxicology, and much more. In their research, ORSS student participants use the sophisticated resources available at the Laboratory, including supercomputers, state-of-the-art electron microscopes, lasers, and analytical instruments such as a fourier transform mass spectrometer and a scanning tunneling microscope.  Participants in this fall semester program join one of the research groups at ORNL, with a scientist from the ORNL staff serving as a mentor.  This research experience, using the Laboratory's sophisticated resources, is the core of the program.  Students are expected to contribute significantly to the design and methodological approach of their research activity, and often find this the most demanding and rewarding experience of their college careers.

Unlike most off-campus programs, students receive significant funding to participate, including a $6,800 stipend (contingent on funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and/or ORNL) and a $1,800 housing allowance to cover living expenses.  For the duration of the semester, students are housed in an apartment complex in Oak Ridge.  The Oak Ridge Science Semester is administered by Denison University and is recognized by ACM and the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA).

For more detailed information, please use the links located on the left-hand side of this page or visit the Denison ORSS page.

Quick Facts

  • Term: Fall semester
  • Language prerequisite: None
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Living arrangements: Apartment

Application deadlines

Fall semester 2015

Final deadline: March 1, 2015

Fall semester 2016

Final deadline: March 1, 2016

If the deadline has passed and you are interested in applying, contact the ACM Office immediately. Late applications may be accepted on a space-available basis.

Program contacts

Lindsey Wolf
Program Associate

11 E. Adams Street, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312.561.5908
lwolf@acm.edu

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Publications & Resources

Oak Ridge Science Semester brochure

Oak Ridge Science Semester

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Tomomi Sunayama The Oak Ridge Science Semester gave me a great opportunity for scientific research. The attraction of this program was not only the research, but also the interaction between researchers, and having them for the seminars- this gave me a sense of science as a whole. After the semester, I have been working with my mentor, and I am now doing my senior research with him and some other researchers. My research topic is Computational Physics, and I also had the opportunity to present my work at an international conference. So, I believe that this program is very beneficial for any students who are interested in science.

—Tomomi Sunayama, Oak Ridge Science Semester, Fall 2007

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