RAL Visitor Program

The Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) conducts directed research that contributes to the depth of fundamental scientific understanding, fosters the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on earth, and supports technology transfer efforts that expand the reach of atmospheric science. RAL is organized into five programs: Aviation Applications, National Security Applications (finescale weather, turbulence and diffusion), Hydrometeorology Applications (hydrology, cloud physics), Weather Systems and Assessments Program (prediction systems for renewable energy, surface transportation), and testing and evaluation of numerical weather prediction systems in the Joint Numerical Testbed (JNT). The majority of our work is funded by external sponsors including federal agencies, the private sector, and foreign entities.

As part of our core values we encourage and support collaboration with colleagues within the U.S. and abroad. To further those interactions, we offer a variety of opportunities to visit RAL and work with our staff. With the sponsorship of a host RAL scientist, a request can be made for funding to support a visitor’s travel costs. During a visitor’s stay, RAL may provide administrative and computing support. Other opportunities may exist for visitors to work with our staff on specific projects for a defined period of time (typically no more than 1 year) and be paid salaries that are equivalent to those they receive at their home institutions.

A number of our scientists participate in UCAR’s Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program, which offers summer research internships to undergraduates exploring a career in an atmospheric science or related field.

We provide support for graduate research assistants and post-doctoral scientists by partnering with NCAR’s Advanced Study Program (ASP). The ASP Faculty Fellowship Program provides support for faculty and their students to visit.

Finally, once per year, the Aviation Application Program, accepts applications for the Halaby Fellowship. This award is intended for graduate student researchers interested in the integration of weather into decision support tools for improved safety and efficiency of aviation.  The fellowship covers travel expenses, lodging and salary for up to 3 months.

For information on scientific collaboration and visitor opportunities contact:



Elizabeth Clark

  • Affiliation: University of Washington
  • Sponsor: Andy Wood
  • Program: Hydrometeorology Applications Program (HAP)
  • Date of Visit: June 5-16, 2017

Coming soon.

Upcoming Due Dates for Applications

  • Fall 2018 (~November 1)
  • Spring 2019: (~March 1)

Selection Process

Applications should be concise (~3 paragraphs) and should describe how the visit will help RAL to achieve its mission goals through collaborations on papers and proposals, program development in emerging research areas, and supporting education outreach activities. The committee reviews and ranks each application using these criteria. Priority will be given to visitors who have not visited in the past 2 years. The visitor program strives to foster new collaborations. Every attempt will be made by the committee to award funding for at least one visitor per program with a maximum of 4 visitors for a single program allowed.

General Guidelines

  • Please submit the completed request form electronically to your program’s visitor committee representative noted below.
  • If you would like help preparing a budget for your application before sending it to your representative, please email Visitor Travel Support staff your application and be sure to place an "X" in the expense boxes that you'd like funded.
  • Awards will generally be limited to $3,187 (i.e., $5000 minus NCAR .569 overhead) and cannot be used to cover visitor salary.
  • Funding is available to support visitors follows the Fiscal Year (visitors need to arrive and, in most cases, complete their visit by the end of the Fiscal Year). Visits generally cannot be postponed beyond the end of the FY.  If the visit must be delayed, the RAL host may be asked to re-apply for funding in the following funding cycle.
  • Visits are intended to enhance RAL’s partnerships with other public and private institutions and to further the scientific and technical work conducted at RAL.
  • If project funds are used to cover a portion of a visit cost, the likelihood of receiving a RAL Visitor Fund augmentation could be higher.

RAL Visitor Program Committee

  • Aviation Applications Program (AAP) – James Pinto
  • Hydrometeorology Applications Program (HAP) – Ethan Gutmann
  • Joint Numerical Testbed (JNT) – Tara Jensen
  • National Security Applications Program (NSAP) – Stefano Alessandrini
  • Weather Systems and Assessment Program (WSAP) – Pedro Jimenez

Past Visitors

Elizabeth Clark

  • Affiliation: University of Washington
  • Sponsor: Andy Wood
  • Program: Hydrometeorology Applications Program (HAP)
  • Date of Visit: June 5-16, 2017