(CLOSED) ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards

Sponsor Name: 
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Description of the Award: 

Oak Ridge Associated Universities' (ORAU) commitment to enriching the research skills and professional growth of young faculty members at ORAU member institutions is embodied in the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards Program. These competitive research awards provide seed money for junior faculty members that often result in additional funding from other sources.


Funding is provided exclusively from non-federal monies by ORAU. The award amount provided by ORAU is $5,000. Penn State is required to match the award with at least an additional $5,000. This is a one-year grant (June 1 to May 31).

This award can include funds for faculty summer salary, graduate student salary, travel, equipment, or other assistance relevant to the faculty member's research. ORAU does not allow overhead charges or indirect costs on the award from ORAU or the university match.


Full-time assistant professors at ORAU member institutions within two years of their initial tenure track appointment at the time of application are eligible. If there is a question on eligibility, the ORAU Councilor makes the final decision. Only two nominations are allowed per institution.

Research projects must fall within one of the following six disciplines:

  1. Engineering and Applied Science
  2. Life Sciences
  3. Mathematics/Computer Sciences
  4. Physical Sciences
  5. Policy, Management, or Education
  6. Health Disparities/Equity*

*New Research Category: As a result of ORAU’s partnership with The MITRE Corporation, a new research discipline has been added to the list for you to select from: Health Disparities/Equity. MITRE is interested in promoting multi-disciplinary research that focuses on understanding and addressing health disparities and promoting health equity. The following examples are representative of potential research topics:

  • How can emerging medical technology innovations in areas like digital health, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics drive to create more equitable health outcomes? What potential pitfalls exist in these technologies to exacerbate inequities?
  • How does climate change affect health outcomes of different populations and what measures can be taken to address inequitable outcomes found in underserved populations?

Applicants are encouraged to develop research collaborations with government, private-sector, and other academic researchers. Such alliances enrich and extend not only the reach of your efforts, but the nation’s research enterprise, overall.

Because of the close working relationship between ORAU and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Award Committee particularly encourages collaborative interaction with ORNL. Thus, substantive interdisciplinary research and inter-institutional research partnerships will be considered as very positive factors in the review process, and will increase chances for success.

This award can include funds for faculty summer salary, graduate student salary, travel, equipment, or other assistance relevant to the faculty member’s research. ORAU does not allow overhead charges or indirect costs on the ORAU grant award or the university match.

Questions regarding the award: visit the ORAU frequently asked questions web page.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jan 07, 2022
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

nterested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_ORAU Powe_2022 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  1. One-page abbreviated resume
  2. One-page listing publications and/or presentations
  3. Two-page research proposal that should address the following:

    • Research goals and objectives and relevant background
    • Expected research outcomes and relevance
    • Research design and methodology
    • Competence of the applicant to perform the proposed research
    • Available research facilities and resources
    • Budget justification
    • Additional single page of references relating to the proposal (optional)
  4. Nomination Letter from Chair/Department Head that includes approval/agreement to match fund
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

Iffath Syed (PS Shenango); Priya Kumar (IST)