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ORAU awards 35 research grants for 2015-2016 academic year to junior faculty at its consortium member universities

Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Awards program awards grants totaling $175,000 to 35 junior faculty at member institutions

May 20, 2015

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU has awarded competitive research grants totaling $175,000 to 35 junior faculty from its member institutions. The annual grants are made through the company’s Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards program that provides funds to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty.

The recipients, each of whom is in the first two years of a tenure track position, will receive $5,000 in “seed money” for the 2015-2016 academic year to enhance their research during the early stages of their career. Each recipient’s institution also matches the ORAU award with an additional $5,000, making the total prize worth $10,000 for each winner. Winners may use the grants to purchase equipment, continue research or travel to professional meetings and conferences.

Since the program’s inception, ORAU has awarded more than 590 grants totaling more than $2.7 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $5.2 million.

“ORAU is delighted to add the 2015 class of 35 innovative early researcher scholars to the long-tradition of excellence exhibited by Powe Awardees,” said Arlene Garrison, ORAU vice president. “The funding will enable broader exploration that is critical to building a highly successful research careers at ORAU member universities.”

The awards recognize faculty members for their work in any of five science and technology disciplines: engineering or applied science; life sciences; mathematics and computer science; physical sciences; and policy, management or education.

The awards, now in their 25th year, are named for Ralph E. Powe, who served as the ORAU councilor from Mississippi State University for 16 years. Powe participated in numerous committees and special projects during his tenure and was elected chair of ORAU’s Council of Sponsoring Institutions prior to his death in 1996.

Recipients of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards for the 2015-2016 academic year are listed below:

2015-16 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award Winners
Award Recipient Sponsoring Institution Discipline
Celalettin Ozdemir Louisiana State University Engineering and Applied Science
Daisuke Minakata Michigan Technological University Engineering and Applied Science
Heng Pan Missouri University of Science and Technology Engineering and Applied Science
Tansel Yucelen Missouri University of Science and Technology Engineering and Applied Science
Allison Beese Penn State University Engineering and Applied Science
M.M. Faruque Hasan Texas A&M University Engineering and Applied Science
Naresh Devineni The City College of New York Engineering and Applied Science
Yu Lei University of Alabama at Huntsville Engineering and Applied Science
Rong Long University of Colorado Boulder Engineering and Applied Science
Steven Jay University of Maryland Engineering and Applied Science
Jian Lin University of Missouri-Columbia Engineering and Applied Science
Jose Cerrato University of New Mexico Engineering and Applied Science
Maik Lang University of Tennessee Engineering and Applied Science
Yuze Sun University of Texas at Arlington Engineering and Applied Science
Yuebing Zheng University of Texas at Austin Engineering and Applied Science
Justin Wilkerson University of Texas at San Antonio Engineering and Applied Science
Elizabeth Vargis Utah State University Engineering and Applied Science
Elizabeth Shadwick College of William and Mary Life Science
Emily Derbyshire Duke University Life Science
Michael Cowley North Carolina State University Life Science
Jeffrey Lewis University of Arkansas Life Science
Jason Gleghorn University of Delaware Life Science
Alex Perkins University of Notre Dame Life Science
Dana Dachman-Soled University of Maryland Math/Computer Science
Yong Ge University of North Carolina at Charlotte Math/Computer Science
Ying Wang University of Oklahoma Math/Computer Science
Katherine Mullaugh College of Charleston Physical Science
Eugene DePrince Florida State University Physical Science
Kenneth Lopata Louisiana State University Physical Science
Michael Szostak Rutgers University Physical Science
Peng Tao Southern Methodist University Physical Science
Yousong Ding University of Florida Physical Science
Davita Watkins University of Mississippi Physical Science
Yujie Sun Utah State University Physical Science
Yizhen Zhai East Carolina University Policy Management and Education

ORAU plans to offer the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards program again for the 2016-2017 academic year. Faculty members at ORAU sponsoring institutions who are within two years of their initial tenure-track appointments as assistant professors are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is January 11, 2016.

For more information on fellowships, awards and grants offered by ORAU, see the list of Faculty and Student Programs.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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