Fall semester (late August to mid-December)
Program sponsor: Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) & Denison University
Eligibility: Upperclass majors in astronomy, astrophysics, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, geology, mathematics, and physics. The program is primarily designed for seniors, but juniors who give evidence of the capacities demanded at Oak Ridge are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have grade-point averages of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, both overall and in their majors.
Application deadline: March 1
The Oak Ridge Science Semester (ORSS) enables students to join ongoing investigations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in research areas as diverse as astrophysics, cell biology, DNA sequencing, genetic mutagenesis, parallel computing, robotics, toxicology, and much more. In their research, ORSS student participants use the sophisticated resources available at the Laboratory, including supercomputers, state-of-the-art electron microscopes, lasers, and analytical instruments such as a fourier transform mass spectrometer and a scanning tunneling microscope. Participants in this fall semester program join one of the research groups at ORNL, with a scientist from the ORNL staff serving as a mentor. This research experience, using the Laboratory's sophisticated resources, is the core of the program. Students are expected to contribute significantly to the design and methodological approach of their research activity, and often find this the most demanding and rewarding experience of their college careers.