Funding Big Ideas

The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute is expanding funding opportunities for university faculty members and graduate students engaging in UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory collaborative research. In 2022, UT-ORII awarded more than $2.3 million in UT-ORNL joint research funding through new UT-ORII seed grants and Science Alliance programs.

If you are a UT faculty member or graduate student, or an ORNL researcher with a big idea for collaboration, check out these opportunities for funding.


The Graduate Advancement, Training and Education (GATE) program supports meritorious, collaborative research between graduate students and ORNL via assistantships and fellowships awarded by individual departments.


The Science Alliance started the PACT program in 2021 to provide support for collaborative research endeavors aimed at securing large extramural funding, such as NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers or NIH RM1 grants.


The Science Alliance started the StART grant program in 2019 to generate new funding for collaborative UT-ORNL teams of scientists and engineers.

UT-ORII Seed Funding

UT-ORII established its seed funding program in 2021 to support new and highly innovative multidisciplinary research projects designed by ORNL-UT research teams.  All UT faculty and ORNL staff members are eligible to apply.