Army Research Office

ARO in Review 2018

The Army Research Office, founded in 1951 and based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., has more than 100 scientists, engineers and support staff, who manage the Army’s extramural research program.

We drive cutting-edge and disruptive scientific discoveries that will enable crucial future Army technologies and capabilities through high-risk, high pay-off research opportunities.

Our program managers competitively select and fund basic research proposals from educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and private industry to increase fundamental knowledge and understanding in the chemical, life, physical, engineering, materials, mechanical, computing, information, network, mathematical, earth, and social sciences, related to long-term national security needs.

The research we fund is conducted at 250 universities across the country and around the world with more than 1,100 individual researchers.

The results of these research efforts are transitioned to the Army research and development community, industry, or academia for future technological superiority of our Soldiers, Army and nation. Our research represents the most long-range Army view, with system applications often 20-30 years away.

ARO also manages the Small Business Technology Transfer Program and Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minorities Serving Institutions Programs.

Organizational Structure

ARO’s scientific division falls into three directorates – Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Information Sciences.

Physical Sciences

  • Chemical Sciences
  • Life Sciences (including Social Science)
  • Physics

Research in the Physical Sciences is focused on basic research to discover, understand, and exploit physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. This research is of a fundamental nature; however, in the long term, discoveries in this area are expected to lead to revolutionary capabilities in sensing, communications, protection, wound healing, power/energy storage and generation, and materials that extend the performance of Army systems well beyond current limits.

Engineering Sciences

  • Electronics
  • Materials Science
  • Mechanical Sciences

Research in Engineering Sciences is focused on basic research to harness high risk discoveries in electronics, materials science, mechanical sciences and earth sciences.  In the long term, fundamental discoveries in these areas are expected to initiate unprecedented and disruptive capabilities in protection, mobility, sensing, computing, propulsion, networks, manufacturing and sustainment to assure the future technological superiority of our Soldiers and Army.

Information Sciences

  • Computing Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Network Sciences

Research in the Information Sciences is focused on discovering, understanding, and exploiting the mathematical, computational, and algorithmic foundations. Discoveries in this area are expected to lead to capabilities in materials, the information domain, and Soldier performance augmentation, well beyond the limits facing today’s Army.

For information on available ARO funding opportunities, learn more about Broad Agency Announcements.


The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program is a tri-service Department of Defense program that supports research teams whose research efforts intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline. The Army Research Office in North Carolina represents the Army’s portion of the MURI program.

The highly competitive MURI program provides unique opportunities for small teams of experts from diverse research areas to work together to develop disruptive solutions to some of the most promising scientific challenges.

A multidisciplinary team effort can accelerate research progress, hasten the transition of basic research findings to practical applications, and help to train students in science and/or engineering in areas of importance to DOD.

MURIs are typically funded at $1.25 million dollars per year for three years (with an option of two additional years).

The Army Research Office defines new research topics for its portion of the program each year. The research topics generally underpin dual use defense technologies that are critical to national defense and have potential for commercial application.

These research efforts enable profound and significant breakthroughs that unite disparate scientific disciplines and initiate new opportunities for transition to Army applications.

Evaluations of MURI proposals are conducted according to a very careful peer review process.

Symbolism of Crest

Seal of the Army Research Office

The protruding curves represent clouds (the air and sky), the wavy delineation represents water, and the area in between refers to land. The sun, the source of life and fire, emerging from the base and with the rays probing over the fess (earth, sky and sea), alludes to reach and discovery in all physical aspects of the universe.

The color green is symbolic of memory, knowledge, freshness of approach and unity; the color white (silver) of the human spirit, truth, time and enlightenment; the color yellow (gold) of the divine spirit, wisdom and energy.

The lightening is symbolic of inspiration, and grasped by the hand, it symbolizes the human attainment of new ideas and methods and their subsequent successful practical implementation.

Establishment of ARO

  1. The increased Soviet threat and the grave implications of the Soviet’s growing scientific competence to the security of the United States and to the future of the Army cannot be over emphasized.
  2. The progress and capabilities of American science are providing the U.S. Army with opportunities for enhancing its strength and effectiveness as a fighting force, as never before in the Nation’s history. The present organization and personnel ceiling of the Office, Chief of Research and Development (CCRD) do not permit the proper staff supervision of the Army Research program, particularly that of the basic research, nor do they permit a level of effort in basic research comparable to the other services. Adequate supervision and coordination of the research program requires a substantial increase in scientific personnel.
  3. An Army Research Office (ARO) will permit this increased effort in the scientific program and will accomplish principal objectives:
    1. To plan and direct the research program of the Army to insure maximum utilization of the available scientific talent and to insure a dynamic program responsive to the future requirements of the Army.
    2. To foster within the laboratories and arsenals of the Army the best possible atmosphere for the prosecution of research
    3. To provide the civilian scientific community with a point of contact or entry into the Army research community
    4. To encourage and promote scientific training and education and to further civilian scientific activity in areas of interest to the Army

ARO Contact

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 12211
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211

Physical Address
U.S. Army Research Office
800 Park Office Drive
Durham, NC 27703

Main Number – (919) 549-0641 or Toll Free – (844) 668-2016