Graduate Research at ornl (GRO)

The Graduate Research Program at ORNL (GRO) offers students the opportunity to get a degree from a leading research university while conducting research at ORNL. This highly flexible program allows for the student and ORNL scientist to maximize research opportunities at ORNL.

About the GRO program

The Graduate Research Program at ORNL (GRO) offers a unique chance to earn a degree from a leading research university, while conducting research at the nation’s largest multiprogram science and technology laboratory. From designing revolutionary materials for energy generation, storage, and use to helping to secure cyberspace, you will have the opportunity to conduct basic or applied research that:

                        • Strengthens the nation’s leadership in key areas of science.
                        • Increases the availability of clean, abundant energy.
                        • Restores and protects the environment.
                        • Contributes to national security.

Program Details

GRO students initially follow course work at their home university, though in some cases they may take specialized courses from other participating universities. The program is designed to be flexible in the time spent doing research at the student’s home university and ORNL, and the program offers a unique graduate experience including:

• Interdisciplinary courses matched to research goals.
• Mentorship from faculty and world-leading research scientists.
• Opportunities to network with other graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
• Access to some of the world’s most advanced scientific and engineering facilities.

The laboratory looks forward to developing new GRO partnerships with doctoral students from all regionally accredited U.S. universities.


  • This program offers flexibility for student to decide:
    • program length
    • starting and ending dates

Eligibility Overview

• Currently enrolled as a full-time graduate student in a doctoral degree program at a regionally accredited U.S. university
• Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale


Pay and Allowances

  • • $4,800 monthly payment

How to Apply

Applicants must identify a potential collaborator at ORNL:

  • Review the research areas at ORNL to determine what best fits your goals. You can see the eight key areas at Identify your areas of interest and key terminology that can be used as you answer application questions or update your resumé.
  • While exploring the research groups at ORNL note any staff members whose research aligns with yours. 
  • Use the people finder to contact these researchers to establish a collaboration.

Once a match has been identified, please contact


Additional Resources

Do you have questions? That’s okay!

For questions about ORNL internships, email
For questions about the application process, email 

Explore ORNL

Did you know that ORNL has been a national leader in science and engineering for 80 years? We represent nearly every scientific discipline—from biology to computing to physics and much more. Explore more about What We Do.


Did you know that the world’s fastest supercomputer is located on the ORNL campus? Or that we can 3D print a car? Check out our facilities on Virtual Tours.


With more than 6,000 staff members, someone is always accomplishing something great at ORNL. Read about our latest research at the News Desk.