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About OREF

Our Mission: To fund and facilitate outstanding research and mentor researchers to improve the lives of patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

Our Vision: OREF will be the leader in developing and disseminating the evidence needed to improve clinical practices, including treatment and recovery, and ultimately, patient outcomes.

The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization committed to improving lives by supporting excellence in orthopaedic research. OREF is dedicated to being the leader in supporting research that improves function, eliminates pain and restores mobility, and is the premier orthopaedic organization funding research across all specialties.

Impact on Orthopaedics


As the leading grant making resource for new investigators, OREF provides important financial support that helps them build a strong foundation for their research careers. This critical early support enables new investigators to generate the data and outcomes needed to secure larger grants from prestigious funding sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD).

OREF also provides grant funding to established clinicians for whom other funding may be limited due to the area of research being pursued or funding shortfalls.  

In addition to financial support, OREF offers new investigators opportunities to establish mentor relationships with well-respected orthopaedic surgeons and to hone important skills such as those acquired through participation in grant writing workshops.

Foundation Capabilities


OREF’s programs and resources enable it to make significant contributions to the field of orthopaedic research. In addition to funding research, OREF’s strengths lie in its ability to:

  • Leverage the knowledge, experience, passion and resources of the orthopaedic community to support cutting edge research that will lead to improvements in patient care and quality of life.
  • Bring together investigators, surgeons from more than 50 orthopaedic sub specialties, regional societies and industry partners to identify and fund the most important issues in orthopaedics today.
  • Foster the development of new generations of investigators through research-focused educational programs including grant writing workshops, resident research symposia and mentor experiences.
  • Establish a pathway for new investigators to gain the experience needed to secure grant funding from the NIH and other major grant funding resources.
  • Build on a 63-year history of nurturing and encouraging new investigators.

Research Focus


OREF supports new and experienced investigators with grant programs that recognize the unique needs of both the investigator and the field with grants that support agenda- and investigator-driven research. 

Agenda-Driven Research


OREF is uniquely positioned to convene the best minds in orthopaedics to drive research forward. Through its Collaborative Research Agenda, OREF brings together researchers, surgeons, industry partners and other important stakeholders to identify the most important issues in orthopaedics today. This collaboration ensures that research that addresses musculoskeletal injury and disease impacting large portions of the population is funded.

Investigator-Initiated Research


OREF is privileged to support some of the most talented and innovative investigators in orthopaedics. These individuals are passionate about areas of orthopaedic research that may not currently be a priority for other funding sources, but like the agenda-driven research described above, have the potential to significantly improve the lives of patients. An OREF grant enables these investigators to explore promising new treatments and deepen their understanding of musculoskeletal processes. 

All OREF grant recipients have one thing in common: gratitude for the opportunity an OREF grant provides them to dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others through research.