Information for Existing Sponsors

ORISE promotes hands-on science education experiences at government or corporate research facilities for university students, faculty, and recent graduates, as well as pre-college students and faculty. A facility that selects an ORISE participant is inviting the participant to come for an educational experience. It is not a procurement action… it is not contracting for services… and it is not employment.

The primary purpose of the program is educational, and the participant is the principal beneficiary. Benefits to the sponsor are a secondary by-product of the program.

By sponsoring a program, the agency benefits by helping to prepare a diverse, highly talented, educated, and skilled pool of scientists and engineers to address science, technology and policy issues and to enhance the future scientific and technical workforce to be both knowledgeable and trained in fields of specific interest to sponsoring agency.

ORISE role in Workforce Development

ORISE performs administrative tasks that allow the sponsoring agency/hosting facility to focus on its scientific mission. ORISE executes the essential, behind-the-scenes administrative aspects of the program, such as promoting the program; recruiting applicants; making appointment offers; arranging inbound moves and travel; providing stipend and travel reimbursement payments; designing and implementing enhancement and professional development activities; ensuring appropriate immigration statuses for foreign nationals; planning events; and offering support and guidance to our sponsors, mentors, and participants through the experience, among other things.

Frequently asked questions for existing sponsors

  • Project assignments should be STEM focused and provide the participant with opportunities to receive hands-on experience that complements his/her educational and professional background and helps the participant gain knowledge in areas related to the Sponsor’s mission. The program is not intended to provide workers to augment your organization’s staffing. Therefore, project activities should be appropriate for an education and training program. Participants should not supervise or mentor federal employees or federal contractor staff; have budget, program management or signature authority; carry an official job title; or function in any way as a representative of the federal government.

  • The schedule/pattern of participation is established by the participant and the mentor, and generally coincides with the operating hours of the assigned facility. Mentors should discuss expectations and schedule with their participants prior to the appointment start date. Since the participant is not an employee, no provisions are made for overtime pay.

  • Participants in the ORISE program  are not employees, as such, they are not entitled to annual/personal or medical/sick leave. Programs may choose to implement guidelines and policies for ORISE participants with their agency. Absences are not tracked or regulated by ORISE, therefore all questions and concerns pertaining to absenteeism must be directed to the participant’s mentor or program coordinator. All absences are at the discretion of the mentor and program coordinator.

  • ORISE does not allow awards in the form of monetary compensation. The Sponsor may, however, recognize a participant with non-monetary awards, such as recognition in a group meeting or other forums at your facility.

  • Telecommuting is typically a benefit of employment and is not a benefit for participants in a non-employee research participation program.

  • The participant is required to submit a final report at the end of their appointment. This report should include an abstract of the research accomplished, and will be used by the Sponsor and ORISE to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The final stipend payment is contingent upon receipt of the final report.

  • Mentors should:

    • Develop a training plan for the participant, including the areas of participation in the research project, attendance in meetings, conferences, special courses, etc.
    • Clearly define the activities in which the participant will be involved. Let the participant know your expectations for research progress, professional behavior, compliance, attendance, etc.
    • Assist the participant in getting settled into your facility and becoming a productive member of your facility’s community.
    • Provide the appropriate materials, equipment, safety training, technical and clerical support, and office space for the participant to conduct the project.
    • Provide ongoing technical guidance and advice.
    • Be accessible.
    • Periodically review the status of the participant’s activities and give appropriate feedback.
    • Contact ORISE if a stipend payment needs to be adjusted due to an adjusted schedule, an unpaid absence, or an early termination.
    • Assist in preparation of participant’s renewal request or final reports and make recommendations on extension of appointment.
    • Contact ORISE if a participant demonstrates an inability to function effectively within your research environment.
    • Contact ORISE if a participant does not adhere to the guidelines of the sponsoring agency.
  • Complete an Opportunity Request Form and return it to your ORISE point of contact. ORISE staff will post the opportunity in Zintellect, where you will be able to review completed applications and make selections.

  • Zintellect is a user-friendly profile-based application system; it organizes and lists available opportunities for potential applicants, captures applicant data, and allows each mentor/Sponsor to view applications and manage their viewing experience in the process of identifying new talent.

    You can explore what applicants see in Zintellect by accessing

  • All published reports, journal articles, or professional presentations that are based on the research conducted during the appointment should be reviewed and approved per agency guidelines. Participants should include the following acknowledgment:

    This research was supported in part by an appointment to the Sponsoring Agency administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Sponsoring Agency. ORISE is managed by ORAU under DOE contract number DE-SC0014664. All opinions expressed in this paper are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of Agency Acronym, DOE, or ORAU/ORISE.