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Solving Big Problems

Mentored by some of the top scientists in their fields, our students pair the research capabilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with the academic resources of the University of Tennessee (UT) to conduct ground-breaking research that changes the way we think about solving big problems.

Interested in helping us change the world? Learn more about our programs below, sign-up for a Q&A webinar, or start your application now.


We offer three doctoral degrees in the following areas:

Energy Science and Engineering (ESE)

  • ESE students focus their research on issues critical to the environment and some of the important ways we interact with it. Areas of study include electric and chemical storage systems, grid storage, mobility, and electric vehicles.

Data Science and Engineering (DSE)

  • DSE students use data to solve national- and global-level problems in manufacturing, health and biological sciences, materials science, national security, transportation science, urban systems science, and environmental and climate science.

Genome Science and Technology (GST)

  • GST students develop a firm foundation in life sciences, learn quantitative analytical techniques, and gain the hands-on skills needed to answer some of the world’s most complex biological questions in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, or systems biology and biotechnology.