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 entered its third decade (2016-2026) with an enhanced structure of 17 sectors and cross-sectors. There are 10 industry sectors based on major areas of the U.S. economy. There are also seven health and safety cross-sectors for the major health and safety issues affecting U.S. workers.

The national occupational research 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 agendas sets priorities for research to improve occupational safety and health.

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. NORA Council members come from universities, large and small businesses, professional societies, government agencies, and worker organizations. Send an email to noracoordinator@cdc.gov to request more information about volunteering for a council.

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