Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: Oak Ridge Associated Universities Innovation Partnerships Program FY 2024

Applications due Dec. 12

This is a joint competition for VU and VUMC investigators. All investigators should follow these instructions.


Vanderbilt (VU and VUMC, collaboratively) may submit two applications to the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Innovation Partnerships Program. The Innovation Partnerships Program (formerly Events Sponsorships Grant Program) is being restructured to build stronger relationships between university members and ORAU subject matter experts. Innovation Partnerships grants provide up to $4,000 (indirect costs not allowed) to support an in-person or virtual event that involves participants from more than one ORAU member institution, including students.

Applications should focus on workshops/conferences that highlight Vanderbilt University’s strategic STEM research and education growth areas and where collaborations with other member universities would add value. Such events may include visits to an ORAU institution by a renowned speaker, conferences or workshops with a focused theme, or a technology transfer/business plan competition. ORAU is specifically interested in events that can bring more thought leadership to building a national strategy for STEM education and workforce development.

Grant focus areas and example topics

Applications must be focused on one or more of the following FY 2024 ORAU core focus areas:

  • Climate and EnvironmentExample topics include sustainability, environmental justice, clean energy, resilience to climate hazards, emerging technologies, measurement and impact assessment, diversity and inclusion, policy, and data science and analytics.
  • Health Equity – Example topics include telemedicine, telehealth, health literacy, health communication, behavioral and mental health, health disparities, diversity and inclusion, policy, and data science and analytics.
  • Future of the STEM Workforce Example topics include new ways of teaching and learning (K-16), transformative workforce capacity building and mentoring, diversity and inclusion, policy, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Eligibility requirements

  • The event must occur by Sept. 30, 2024.
  • Application must be focused on one or more of the FY 2024 ORAU core focus areas.
  • An ORAU subject matter expert will serve as a collaborator with the Vanderbilt primary investigator. The collaboration between the university PI and ORAU SME is not required to be in place before applying to the program.

Evaluation criteria

  • Potential impact of the event, including the number of institutions or participants.
  • Participation by more than one ORAU institution is required.
  • Student participation is considered a positive factor.
  • New events are preferred over ongoing or annual events with an established financial model.
  • Preference will be given to events in STEM disciplines.
  • A representative from ORAU must be invited to the event.

Internal application process

Interested faculty should submit the below items in a single file (in PDF format) to by 5 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2023. Submissions should reference the program name in the subject line of the email.

  1. Brief event description (two-page maximum) including:
    1. the date and location of the event
    2. other participating ORAU member institutions
    3. ORAU core focus area
    4. purpose and scope of the event
    5. anticipated outcomes
    6. summary budget
  2. NIH Biosketch or brief CV (5 pages max.)
  3. Letter of support from department chair/center director;
    1. Letter must additionally acknowledge that this grant does not allow indirect costs.** This statement can be used/modified within the letter: “The department recognizes that this grant does not allow indirect costs and will commit to covering any associated indirect costs per applicable school/institutional policy.”

**Process for cost sharing typically coordinated at the departmental/school level and approved by department chair and/or dean. Please consult for further guidance.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to