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About NORA

Partnerships, Research and Practice

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices. Unveiled in 1996, NORA is now entering its third decade (2016-2026) with an enhanced structure. It now consists of ten industry sectors based on major areas of the U.S. economy, and seven health and safety cross-sectors organized according to the major health and safety issues affecting the U.S. working population.

The national agenda is developed and implemented through the NORA Sector and Cross-Sector Councils. Each council develops and maintains an agenda for its sector or cross-sector. The collection of national sector agendas from the second decade was the agenda for the nation for improvements in occupational safety and health through research and partnerships for 2006-2016. The agenda for the third decade are forthcoming.

To create agendas, diverse parties come together in councils and identify critical issues in workplace safety and health. Partners then develop broad strategic objectives for research to address those needs. The following types of information help inform NORA’s priority setting process:

  • The numbers of workers at risk for a particular injury or illness
  • The seriousness of the hazard or issue
  • The probability that new information and approaches will make a difference

Once agendas are in place, councils work on those areas through information sharing, partnerships, and enhancing dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices. As the steward of NORA, NIOSH supports this effort in two main ways. First, NIOSH sector/cross-sector program leaders co-chair the NORA Councils. Second, NIOSH uses the national agenda as a critical input into its own strategic planning process.

Participation in NORA is broad, including stakeholders from universities, large and small businesses, professional societies, government agencies, and worker organizations. Involvement ranges from providing input electronically to volunteering for a council. Send an email to to request more information about ways to participate.

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