Core Values

DEIA & Values

DEIA plays a key role in each of ORNL’s five Core Values: Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. These values guide how we treat one another, work together, and measure success — not only as individuals, but as groups and as an institution. The diagram below highlights some of the connections between DEIA and each value; full value definitions follow.


We pioneer new scientific frontiers and translate discoveries into solutions for national and global challenges.


  • We innovate to address the most pressing and complex questions in energy, fundamental science, and national security.
  • We foster an inclusive, inquisitive, and invigorating environment that is conducive to excellence.
  • We align and harness diverse expertise to achieve results greater than any of us can achieve alone.
  • We pursue continuous learning and improvement so everyone’s work defines or reflects best practices in their fields.
  • Each of us takes pride in our work because big accomplishments stem from countless individual contributions.


We hold ourselves and each other to the highest standards and do the right thing even when no one is watching.


  • We are trustworthy, fair, and respectful in all we do.
  • Everyone is held to the same high standard, regardless of background, role, or seniority.
  • Our conduct reflects the highest standards for every facet of research and operations.
  • When we see behavior that falls short of our organizational codes of conduct, we respectfully speak up without fear of negative consequences.
  • We treat others as we wish to be treated.


We collaborate within and across teams, recognizing we are better together.


  • We believe a strong sense of connection is essential for our best work.
  • We are intentional in developing and nurturing creative teams with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and expertise.
  • We work to ensure that all staff members have a consistent work experience regardless of role or place
    in our organization.
  • We thrive on thoughtful exchanges of ideas that remain respectful even when perspectives differ.
  • We are quick to share credit.


We are accountable for the health, safety and wellbeing of ourselves, our colleagues, and our communities.


  • As individuals and as an organization, our highest priority is to make sure that everyone goes home safely at the end of each day.
  • We conduct ourselves according to well-defined principles for the safe conduct of research.
  • Safety is not limited to physical space; it applies equally to the atmosphere we create and the culture we foster for people of all backgrounds.
  • Everyone has the right and the responsibility to raise concerns when they see conduct that may be unsafe.
  • Safety incidents provide opportunities to learn rather than criticize.


We come together to make the world a better place, stewarding national resources, preparing the next generation, and giving back to our communities.


  • We share our time, expertise, and resources with our communities and professional organizations.
  • We build, maintain, and operate world-leading facilities that enable the broader scientific community to advance discoveries and technical breakthroughs.
  • We are preparing the next generation of talent through education, outreach, mentorship, and collaboration.
  • We believe the most successful leaders are those who nurture and develop others.
  • We are entrusted with the effective use of public funds.