Navy Undersea Research Program

The Office of Naval Research (ONR 33) Navy Undersea Research Program (NURP), in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, sponsors science and engineering graduate students pursuing thesis topics in core undersea weaponry technology areas.

To attract more academically trained professionals into weapon/underwater vehicle-related research and thereby increase the knowledge base for undersea weapon and underwater vehicle technologies, ONR has created NURP to sponsor graduate-level research performed in collaboration with experienced personnel at Navy laboratories and University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs).

For each NURP project, three individuals are involved: a student, the student’s academic advisor and a mentor at a Navy laboratory 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 academic calendar year working at the collaborating laboratory via a summer internship; and students must be open to employment at the collaborating laboratory, or any laboratory that performs undersea weapons research, upon completion of their degrees.

Over the duration of the program, more than 70 percent of NURP graduate students have gone on to pursue careers with Navy labs, the wider Department of Defense or defense contracting firms.

Research Concentration Areas

NURP is part of the portfolio of weapon and vehicle technology programs administered by the ONR Weapons and Payloads Division (Code 333). These programs fund basic research projects in the following core undersea weaponry technology areas:

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

Research Challenges and Opportunities

Some examples of focus areas for research are listed below. This list is not all-encompassing. Please reach out to the program officer listed below for further information:

  • Power and energy needs for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs)
  • Corrosion and biofouling prevention for naval ships
  • Multi-agent UUV communication and decision scenarios
  • Improved lidar systems for extended range underwater

Program Contact Information

Name: Maria Medeiros

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 333

Email for Questions: maria.medeiros1@navy.mil


How to Submit

Submit white papers, QUAD charts and full proposals for contracts to this email address: ONR Code 33 Research Submissions

Follow instructions within BAA for submission of grant proposals to grants.gov website.

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