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Oak Ridge Science Semester (ACM/GLCA)


Brenda Tooley

Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is recognized as a leader in scientific and technological research. Located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and managed by the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Batelle, scientists and engineers conduct basic and applied research in a wide variety of fields. As the Department of Energy's largest science and energy laboratory, the ORNL's mission is to advance the nation's energy resources, environmental quality, and scientific knowledge. 

The ACM/GLCA Oak Ridge Science Semester (ORSS) is designed to allow qualified undergraduates to study and conduct research in a prestigious and challenging scientific environment. As members of a research team working at the frontiers of knowledge, students join ongoing investigations in research areas as diverse as astrophysics, cell biology, DNA sequencing, genetic mutagenesis, parallel computing, robotics, toxicology, and much more. Participants in this fall semester program join one of the research groups at ORNL.

The majority of a student's time is spent in research with an advisor specializing in biology, engineering, mathematics, or in the physical sciences. Students also participate in an interdisciplinary seminar designed to broaden their exposure to developments in their major field and related disciplines. Students are expected to contribute significantly to the design and methodological approach of their research activity.

In addition, each student chooses an elective from a variety of advanced courses. The academic program is enriched in informal ways by guest speakers, departmental colloquia, and the special interests and expertise of the ORNL staff. 

Students typically receive significant funding to participate, including a stipend and a housing allowance (both contingent on funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and/or ORNL). 

Prerequisite: strong preparation in area of proposed research (biology, chemistry, economics, geology, mathematics, or physics).
Credits: 4.5.
Period: one semester (Fall).

Program advisor: Professor Tom Clayton. 

Learn more about the Oak Ridge Science Semester.

Click here for more information about the application process, program selection, and more!

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Printed on Tuesday, July 14, 2020