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ORAU awards 35 research grants for 2020-2021 academic year to junior faculty at its member universities

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 2020-2021 academic year to enhance their research during the early stages of their careers. Each recipient’s institution 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 769 grants totaling more than $3.8 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $7.6 million. 

“The Powe Awards program benefits our member universities and is always extremely popular, because it provides an opportunity for young faculty members to further their research careers and helps them identify potential funding avenues,” said Ken Tobin, ORAU Vice President, University Partnerships Office. “ORAU is proud to recognize the research and professional growth of these emerging leaders as they support the future of science and technology.”

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 30th 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. He died in 1996.

Recipients of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards for the 2020-2021 academic year are listed below:

2020-2021 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award Winners
Award Recipient Member Institution

Joshua Agar

Lehigh University

Jorge Almodovar

University of Arkansas

Sabreena Anowar

University of Missouri

Alexander Bataller

North Carolina State University

Juan Beltran-Huarac

East Carolina University

Richard Carter

East Tennessee State University

Siu Hung Joshua Chan

Colorado State University

Haihong Che

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Darren Drewry

Ohio State University

Matthew Eddy

University of Florida

Katherine Fornash

Ohio University

Jason Fry

Eastern Kentucky University

Ayla Gafni

University of Mississippi

Fan Ge

College of William and Mary

Ling Hao

George Washington University

Guillaume Hoareau

University of Utah

Krishna Jayant

Purdue University

Yijie Jiang

University of North Texas

Sarah Keane

University of Michigan

Hai Lin

Louisiana State University

Zhenfei Liu

Wayne State University

Davoud Mozhdehi

Syracuse University

Lin Mu

University of Georgia

Debanjan Mukherjee

University of Colorado Boulder

Badri Narayanan

University of Louisville

Zhen Ni

Florida Atlantic University

Amanda Patrick

Mississippi State University

Stephanie Stockar

Ohio State University

Michael Cai Wang

University of South Florida

Yeqing Wang

Mississippi State University

Shuya Wei

University of New Mexico

Ketian Zhang

George Mason University

Qiong Zhang

Clemson University

Shan Zhou

Michigan Technological University

Huiyuan Zhu

Virginia Tech


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About ORAU

ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, provides science, health, and workforce solutions that address national priorities and serve the public interest. Through our specialized teams of experts and access to a consortium of more than 150 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local, and commercial customers to provide innovative scientific and technical solutions and help advance their missions. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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