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ORAU awards 36 research grants totaling $180,000 to junior faculty at its member universities

MITRE funds five grants totaling $25,000 in new specialty area

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU has awarded competitive research grants totaling $180,000 to 36 junior faculty from its member institutions. Additionally, MITRE has partnered with ORAU to fund five awards. 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 awards recognize faculty members for their work in any of five science and technology disciplines: engineering and applied science; life sciences; mathematics and computer science; physical sciences; and policy, management or education. MITRE’s awards fund work in health disparities and health equity.

“As a research institution, ORAU is proud to recognize and support the research and professional development of the 41 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.”

“MITRE is proud to partner with ORAU to fund five Powe Awards,” said James Cook, MITRE vice president for strategic engagements and partnerships. “Health disparities and health equity are critical issues facing our country, and the Powe Awards program is the perfect mechanism for supporting research in this area.”

The Powe recipients, each of whom is in the first two years of a tenure track position, will receive $5,000 in seed money for the 2022-2023 academic year to enhance their research during the early stages of their careers. Each recipient’s institution matches the Powe 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 840 grants totaling more than $4 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $8 million.

The awards, now in their 32nd 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 2022-2023 academic year are listed below:

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

Cheryl Andam

University at Albany

Ali Bramson

Purdue University

Spencer Bryngelson

Georgia Institute of Technology

Brandon Bukowski

Johns Hopkins University

Joshua Cashaback

University of Delaware

Dongchang Chen

University of New Mexico

Haonan Chen

Colorado State University

Eric Coughlin

Syracuse University

Damilola Darimola

Ohio University

Meenal Datta

University of Notre Dame

Brittany Givens Rassoolkhani

University of Kentucky

Julian Heeck

University of Virginia

Jingjie Hu

North Carolina State University

Yoon Hwa

Arizona State University

Laura Jacox

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Natasha Johnson

University of Toledo

Priya Kumar

Pennsylvania State University

John Martin

University of Cincinnati

Kristen Mink

Idaho State University

Talia Moore

University of Michigan

Bogdan Nica

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Walter Pettus

Indiana University

Ralm Ricarte

Florida A&M University

Nicholas Rolston

Arizona State University

Kasra Sardashti

Clemson University

Manish Shetty

Texas A&M University

Hosop Shin

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Cesar Uribe

Rice University

Shreya Vemuganti

University of Oklahoma

Guanyang Wang

Rutgers University

Wei Wang

University of Tennessee

Andrew Wilson

University of Louisville

Haifan Wu

Wichita State University

Xiaoyong Yuan

Michigan Technological University

Zhengwu Zhang

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Lingling Zhao

University of Alabama in Huntsville

MITRE Award Recipient Member Institution

Xiaolei Huang

University of Memphis

Deborah Jehu

Augusta University

Jillian Scheer

Syracuse University

Mary Stitt

University at Albany

Asha Winfield

Louisiana State University

MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation. Learn more at mitre.org.

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 150 colleges and universities, 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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