May 18, 2021
ORISE recently hosted the Experience ORISE Virtual Career Fair, an online recruiting event that spotlighted more than 700 internships, fellowships and research opportunities available through ORISE. More than 2,400 college students, recent graduates, postdocs and faculty attended the three-hour event for the opportunity to chat live with ORISE staff as well as mentors from a variety of federal agencies, such as:
- Department of Energy
- Department of Agriculture
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- National Institutes of Health
- Department of Homeland Security
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Science Foundation
- National Energy Technology Lab (NETL)
- Army Research
- Navy Research
- Air Force Research
- Department of Defense
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Intelligence Community
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
As the largest virtual recruiting activity ever hosted by ORISE, staff members and mentors supporting the event engaged in 1,814 one-on-one conversations. In fact, some of the 25 virtual career fair booths held steady queue lines of 80 or more individuals waiting for the opportunity to talk about ORISE research opportunities. The five most popular booths for online chats were EPA (223), ORISE (203), CDC (168), NETL (125), and FDA (119).
It required 48 ORISE employees and 26 mentors, called hosts, to staff the event, and with this still being the age of COVID-19, each host managed to do so from their own remote locations.
“There are a lot of moving parts that have to be wrangled in order for an online recruiting event of this magnitude to be successful, and I am so incredibly proud of our staff and federal agency partners,” said ORISE Manager Leslie Fox. “As a result of their infectious enthusiasm for STEM research, the students and recent graduates who participated know they are supported and empowered to begin their research journeys with ORISE.”
In addition to live chats, booth visitors browsed agency-specific resources and learned more about the eligibility requirements for specific research, policy, or technical support opportunities. Attendees also checked out the prospects currently offered on Zintellect, ORISE’s internship and fellowship management database, or visited the ORISE website to read about current and former research participants.
“While there are many reasons why someone might apply for an ORISE STEM opportunity, we did see an increase in the number of applications that were either started or completely submitted following this event,” said Fox. “Undoubtedly these virtual career fairs—as well as the efforts of our program staff and sponsors—continue to raise awareness of ORISE and its ability to connect up-and-coming STEM talent with the federal agencies who are ready to invest in their futures.”
The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.
ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.osti.gov.