University Affiliated Research Center

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A University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) is a strategic United States Department of Defense (DoD) research center associated with a university. UARCs are formally established by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)). UARCs were developed to ensure that essential engineering and technology capabilities of particular importance to the DoD are maintained. They have many similarities with Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, including sole source funding under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 2304(c)(3)(B). However, UARCs are allowed to compete for other science and technology work, except when it is prohibited by their contracts.[1]


These nonprofit organizations maintain essential research, development and engineering "core" capabilities; maintain long-term strategic relationships with their DoD sponsors; and operate in the public interest, free from real or perceived conflicts of interest. Collaboration with the educational and research resources available at their universities enhances each UARC’s ability to meet the needs of their sponsors.

University affiliated laboratories have been conducting research and development for the United States Navy since 1942, beginning with the creation of the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins. The most recent UARC, created in 2012, is the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska, which is performing research for the United States Strategic Command.

Occasionally, the creation of UARCs have been controversial. For example, in July 2004 the Navy proposed the University of Hawaii at Mānoa as a UARC. In response, some students and others protested with a six-day sit in at the campus administration building.

List of current centers[edit]

Current UARCs and their sponsors are:[2]






List of former centers[edit]

Former UARCs and their sponsors are:




  1. ^ a b c d e f One of the six originally designated DoD UARCs


  1. ^ "Engagement Guide, Department of Defense University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs)" (PDF). OSD Studies and FFRDC Management Office; Defense Laboratories Office. April 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  2. ^ "Federally Funded Research and Development Centers and University Affiliated Research Centers". United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original on June 28, 2020. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  3. ^ "UARC". Georgia Tech Research Institute. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  4. ^ "NASA Awards Academic Mission Services Contract". NASA. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  5. ^ "About". University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language. Archived from the original on 2018-11-03. Retrieved 2021-01-17.