How to Work With Us - Universities
ONR sponsors a broad spectrum of research to create and improve U.S. Navy and Marine Corps mission capabilities. ONR provides funding for research by a wide variety of academic, commercial and government organizations, including foreign ones. ONR Global, a separate office under ONR, operates at sites around the world and specifically supports efforts by non-U.S. investigators.
University investigators undertake the majority of ONR's basic research efforts. University investigators are typically funded by grants. The process for proposing research and receiving a grant from ONR differs from other government funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation. First and foremost is ONR's mission-oriented focus, which means that ONR funds only research that underlies fundamental Naval needs. Mapping Naval missions to academic disciplines is inexact. Some academic disciplines are not represented, while others play a role in many ONR programs.
As a first step, we encourage principal investigators to learn more about ONR by exploring information presented on this website.
Learn about ONR's research ▪ ONR's science and technology investments are allocated across six integrated research portfolios. These portfolios support naval warfighting domains and offers insight for how researchers can contribute solutions to naval needs. To begin, learn more about the research that ONR is supporting and identify the appropriate program for your project by visiting our Research page.
Find the right ONR program manager(s) ▪ After you review this website for ONR interests, the best starting point for additional information is the ONR program manager who manages research in your area of interest. ONR program managers are experts in their scientific and engineering disciplines and also are well-versed in understanding Naval research needs and operations, as well as the processes that move ONR research into use by the Fleet.
We strongly recommend principal investigators discuss their research idea with a program officer before submitting a formal proposal and take advantage of the informal "white paper" or "planning letter" process widely used at ONR.
Once you have determined the ONR program that funds your research and talked with the respective program manager, you will need to respond to the official proposal request. These official requests come in a variety of forms, but grant proposals are typically submitted in response to Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) and Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). Most ONR grants are submitted in response to the annual Long Range BAA. Each announcement contains specific proposal requirements.
In addition to core funding from ONR's mission-focused departments, a variety of programs are available to university researchers. The ONR Research Directorate, which oversees a broad portfolio of basic and applied research, annually sponsors the following: