NORA Councils

Statement of Purpose

NORA councils are a national venue for individuals and organizations with common interests in occupational safety and health topics to come together. Councils started the third decade of NORA (2016-2026) by identifying broad occupational safety and health research objectives for the nation. These research objectives built upon advances in knowledge in the last decade, addressed emerging issues, and were based on council member and public input. Councils are spending the remainder of the decade working together to address the agenda through information exchange, collaboration, and enhanced dissemination and implementation of solutions that work.

Although NIOSH is the steward of NORA, it is just one of many partners that make NORA possible. Councils are not an opportunity to give consensus advice to NIOSH, but instead a way to maximize resources towards improved occupational safety and health nationwide. Councils are platforms that help build close partnerships among members and broader collaborations between councils and other organizations. The resulting information sharing and leveraging efforts promotes widespread adoption of improved workplace practices based on research results.

Councils are diverse and dynamic, and are open to anyone with an interest in occupational safety and health. Members benefit by hearing about cutting-edge research findings, learning about evidence-based ways to improve safety and health efforts in their organization, and forming new partnerships. In turn, members share their knowledge and experiences with others and reciprocate partnerships.

Council Meetings

NORA councils meet at least once per year, but some choose to meet more frequently. Most meetings are held virtually, but some are in-person. Meeting agendas are set by the co-chairs (a NIOSH sector or cross-sector program leader and another volunteer), with input from council members. Meetings often include presentations from members or guest speakers, open discussion periods, and/or small group breakout sessions.

Council Accomplishments

NORA councils have achieved a lot since the start of the third decade of NORA in 2016. All 17 councils published research agendas and made strides in information sharing, partnership building, and promoting evidence-based solutions. Learn more in the reports:

NORA Council Evaluation

NIOSH, as steward of NORA, coordinated a process evaluation in 2019 to help councils function as effectively as possible and maximize their contributions towards improved occupational safety and health. Using a council member survey, administrative records, and annual reports, the evaluation sought to understand how well councils were achieving their stated purposes of information sharing, networking, and disseminating/implementing evidence-based solutions, as well as assessing council member satisfaction. The evaluation offered solutions to increasing engagement and fully achieving all three purposes of NORA councils. Learn more in the report, National Occupational Research Agenda Councils: 2019 Evaluation Findings

NORA Sector Councils

NORA Cross-Sector Councils