Aug 03, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

Research Opportunities

Research is an integral part of the University and is broadly defined to include studies, investigations, and other scholarly and creative pursuits. Faculty involvement may be on an individual basis or as members of interdisciplinary teams. Many faculty include students in their research activities and are encouraged to do so.

The University’s membership in research oriented organizations compliments and enhances both faculty and student research opportunities. Among the organizations is Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).

Since 1981, students and faculty of Tennessee Technological University have benefited from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU is a consortium of 96 colleges and universities and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship, and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the DOE facility that ORAU operates, undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, as well as faculty enjoy access to a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Students can participate in programs covering a wide variety of disciplines including business, earth sciences, epidemiology, engineering, physics, geological sciences, pharmacology, ocean sciences, biomedical sciences, nuclear chemistry, and mathematics. Appointment and program length range from one (1) month to four (4) years. Many of these programs are especially designed to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in science- and engineering-related disciplines. A comprehensive listing of these programs and other opportunities, their disciplines, and details on locations and benefits can be found in the ORISE Catalog of Education and Training Programs, which is available at or by calling either of the contacts below.

ORAU’s Office of Partnership Development seeks opportunities for partnerships and alliances among ORAU’s members, private industry, and major federal facilities. Activities include faculty development programs, such as the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards, the Visiting Industrial Scholars Program, consortium research funding initiatives, faculty research and support programs as well as services to chief research officers.

For more information about ORAU and its programs, contact the Office of Research at (931) 372-3374 or the web site at You may also contact the ORAU Corporate Secretary, at (865) 576- 3306 or visit the ORAU Home Page at

There are identified units within the university that have a research component, and in some instances these units provide opportunities for student research focused in a particular area. One example is the Upper Cumberland Humanities and Social Sciences Institute. This interdisciplinary institute is designed to promote humanities and social sciences in the University and in the institution’s service area through the Upper Cumberland Studies Program, funded research projects, and public service activities. Of particular interest are activities that deal with the Upper Cumberland region, promote interaction between various disciplines, and encourage cooperation between the community and the University.

Research is conducted in each division of the University, including the Centers of Excellence, and there are numerous opportunities for student involvement either directly on contracts and grants or on research assistantships. The University maintains an Office of Research which assists in the procurement of funds to support research.