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ORAU awards 35 research grants totaling $175,000 to junior faculty at its member universities

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 2021-2022 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 804 grants totaling about $4 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $8 million.

“As a research institution, ORAU is proud to recognize and support the research and professional development of the 35 emerging leaders who are receiving Powe Awards this year,” said Ken Tobin, ORAU vice president for research and university partnerships. “The Powe Award 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 pursue new funding avenues.”

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 31st 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 2021-2022 academic year are listed below:

2021-2022 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award Winners
Award Recipient Member Institution

Cynthia Alcantar

University of Nevada, Reno

Stephanie Andel

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Radhika Barua

Virginia Commonwealth University

Yana Cen

Virginia Commonwealth University

Christopher Cleveland

University of Georgia

Wim Cosyn

Florida International University

Robert Fleming

Arkansas State University

Sara Freeman

Utah State University

Chiarra Ghezzi

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Ying Hao

University of Mississippi

Renita Horton

University of Houston

Hsien-Yuan Hsu

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Po-Chun Hsu

Duke University

Md Mahbubul Islam

Wayne State University

Alexei Kananenka

University of Delaware

Jeeun Kim

Texas A&M University

Mi Li

University of Tennessee

Peng Li

Auburn University

Kyle Luh

University of Colorado Boulder

Yi Mazumdar

Georgia Institute of Technology

Brian Meckes

University of North Texas

Ramon Miranda Quintana

University of Florida

Mulubrhan Mogos

Vanderbilt University

Rebecca Napolitano

Penn State University

David Nichols

University of Virginia

Fatima Rivas

Louisiana State University

Prashant Singh

Mississippi State University

Lawrence Stern

University of South Florida

James Shogren-Harris

University of Alabama

Shuo Sun

University of Colorado Boulder

Andy Thomas

Texas A&M University

Xiaoxue Wang

Ohio State University

Ryan Williams

City College of New York

Ning Zhang

University of Alabama

Xu Zhang

Oklahoma State University

About ORAU

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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