Navy Undersea Research Program (NURP)

The Office of Naval Research's Naval Undersea Research Program (NURP), in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), sponsors science and engineering graduate students pursuing thesis topics in the following undersea weaponry core technology areas:

  • Autonomy
  • Guidance and control
  •  Weapon energy conversion
  • Vehicle technology
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Warheads

The purpose of the program is to attract more academically trained professionals into undersea weapon-related research and development, and thereby increase the "knowledge base" for undersea weapon technology.

For each NURP project, three individuals are involved: a student, the student's academic advisor and a "mentor" at a Navy laboratory or university-affiliated research center, or UARC. Eligible students must be U.S. citizens. Personnel at Navy labs mentor and interact with the students and play an active role in the development of a student's research proposal and its execution. Students are expected to spend some portion of each calendar year working at the collaborating laboratory via a summer internship.

Students must be open to employment at the collaborating laboratory, or any laboratory that performs undersea weapons research, upon completion of their degrees. A statement to this effect must be provided with each student's curriculm vitae.

Inquiries should be directed to the program officer administering NURP, or any of the program officers administering programs in undersea weapons technology. For additional information, review the current Navy Undersea Research Program guidance.

Student Application Process:

  1. Students must apply to the NSF Graduate Fellowship Research Program and receive award of a fellowship. 
  2.  Students who have been notified of the NSF fellowship award can subsequently apply for the Naval Undersea Research Program via NSF’s Graduate Research Internship Program. Student applications will be reviewed and, if selected, students will receive an internship award for the time spent at the naval labs during the summer months. 

Navy Lab Mentor Application Process:

  • To formally pursue funding, the laboratory must submit a separate proposal to the assigned ONR program officer. If accepted, the assigned program officer will directly monitor and evaluate the technical progress of the research projects.
  • ONR provides guidance on submitting contracts and grants proposals for funding. Additional information may be found in the document guidance for preparing white papers and proposals available from the NURP point of contact.

NURP Program Point of Contact

Maria G. Medeiros
Office of Naval Research, Code 333
875 North Randolph Street
Arlington, VA 22203-1995

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