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2018 JDRD Call for Proposals

The Science Alliance was formed to build and enhance relationships between University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) faculty and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists and engineers. To that end, the Science Alliance established the JDRD program 12 years ago to catalyze new collaborations between UT and ORNL researchers with an emphasis on new scientific or engineering areas of research and largely in concert with ORNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) projects.

The Science Alliance is now accepting proposals for the FY18 JDRD program.  The deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. on January 24th, 2018. Funding will be available on or around March 1, 2018.

The FY18 JDRD program is offering funding for two types of collaborations: (1) collaboration with ORNL LDRD projects, and (2) collaboration in areas of strategic common interest:

  1. Collaborations with ORNL LDRD Projects: These projects complement the LDRD program at ORNL. LDRD is a Department of Energy program that encourages DOE laboratories such as ORNL to select a limited number of projects with the potential to position the lab for scientific and technical leadership in future national initiatives. The JDRD projects aim to identify and support complementary areas of UT research.

Please visit this link ( for a list of the ORNL LDRD projects funded in FY18.  The list includes new projects, as well as the projects in their first renewal year. If there is a project on this list that is complementary to your own research and you wish to explore a potential partnership with the PI of that project, please contact him or her to discuss the possibility. If you and the ORNL principal investigator of an awarded LDRD project agree that a partnership is possible, you may apply for Science Alliance funding to support your complementary research with the LDRD investigator.

  1. Collaborations with ORNL Around Strategic Common Interests: In these projects, a UT faculty member partners with ORNL researchers on areas of strategic interest related to one of the following: (i) advanced manufacturing, (ii) neutron science, particularly modeling & simulation, (iii) exascale computing, (iv) big  data management and visualization, (v) complex biological systems (particularly as it relates  to  biomes, ecosystem perturbation and ecosystem engineering), (vi) materials innovation, and (vii) energy science and technology.

For FY18, the Science Alliance will fund up to seven new proposals of up to $50K each (no F&A is charged). Projects will be funded for one year.  Second year funding may be available if the  project  shows  strong promise of receiving new external funding as a result of the collaborative activities, and is deemed meritorious in  the  second  year ‘s  proposal  evaluation process.

A review committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement will review the proposals and make recommendations for funding. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Technical merit of the proposed research
  • Potential for the establishment of a meaningful and sustainable collaboration with ORNL, including joint publications, student mentoring, team development, etc.
  • Likelihood for future external funding
  • Inclusion of graduate and undergraduate students in the research
  • Alignment of the proposed collaboration with the priority areas for FY18 outlined above

All UT faculty members are eligible to apply, including faculty who have had previous ORNL collaborations and/or have existing joint appointments. Preference will be given to junior faculty who do not have a joint appointment and/or are establishing a new collaboration with ORNL scientists.

Awarded projects will be started on or about March 1, 2018 although a later start date is possible.



Complete the form below with the the following:

A. Research Proposal (3 page max, not including references)

  1. Project Summary written for a general audience (150 word max);
  2. Description of the proposed research;
  3. Description of the ORNL project or area of mutual interest with which you will affiliate and how your work relates to the ORNL project, including a discussion of mutual and reciprocal benefits;
  4. Description of all of your prior affiliations, collaborations, and publications with ORNL, and how this project represents a new interaction in a new scientific/engineering area;
  5. Description of expected extended collaborations with your ORNL colleagues, for example, joint faculty opportunities, student mentoring, team development, publications, etc.;
  6. Description of specific funding opportunities that may be targeted for future support inclusive of funding agency, program manager/officer and prior interactions with funder.

B. Appendices

  • Appendix A: One page (see quad chart example template) [PowerPoint Format]
  • Appendix B: A budget* (
  • Appendix C: A letter from the ORNL PI supporting the partnership. Second year funding requests should include an endorsement letter from the ORNL investigator stating the specific impact of the previous year’s partnership and their desire to continue on with the partnership.
  • Appendix D: A one-page bio that includes most recent grants, professional awards, and recent relevant publications of the UT investigators
  • Appendix E (requests for second year funding only): A summary of the research results from Year 1, including a description detailing significant collaboration with ORNL, list of students involved, publications, presentations, and any joint external proposals submitted.


*Allowable costs include graduate and/or undergraduate student support, postdoc support, supplies, and other incidentals needed to support the research.  Academic year salary and/or summer salary (applicable to all colleges) is allowable up to a maximum of $5,000 per year, inclusive of benefits.  For all personnel, appropriate benefits must be included. The JDRD funds cannot be used to pay for accrued benefits earned by individuals prior to their participation in the JDRD project.  Requests for equipment are discouraged and are unlikely to be awarded. No funds may be used for travel except where travel is necessary to meet with ORNL collaborators or external funding agencies and/or program officers.  No F&A should be charged to the project.  Note that, if the project is selected for funding, the funds must be used as requested in your project budget unless prior approval is granted, and unused funds will be reclaimed at the end of the project year.


The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM on January 24th, 2018.  Please contact Betty Carmon at if you have any questions about the application procedure.