Skip to main content

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

ORAU 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 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.

“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’s Chief Research and University Partnerships Officer. “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 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 2023-2024 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 875 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 33rd 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 2023-2024 academic year are listed below:

2023-2024 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award Winners
Member Institution ORAU Award Recipient
Arizona State University Soyoung Seo
Berea College Rashmi Shrestha
Duke University Yuansi Chen
Duke University Pardis Emami-Naeini
East Tennessee State University Amanda Frasier
Florida International University Anna Simonsen
George Mason University Quentin Sanders
Georgia Institute of Technology Noura Howell
Georgia Institute of Technology Cristina Riso
Idaho State University Leslie Nickerson
Illinois Institute of Technology Ren Wang
John Hopkins University Thi Vo
Lehigh University Shan Li
Michigan State University Seokhyoung Kim
Portland State University Will Pazner
University of Alabama at Birmingham Fei Xue
University of Cincinnati Chen Gao
University of Delaware Alexandra Bayles
University of Florida Janani Sampath
University of Kentucky Xingsheng Sun
University of Louisville Yash Chitalia
University of Maryland You Zhou
University of Notre Dame Xiaolong Liu
University of Oklahoma Daniel Becker
University of Southern Mississippi Tristan Clemons
University of Texas at San Antonio Richard Anantua
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Manohar Chakrabart
University of Utah Connor Bischak
University of Utah Tianli Feng
University of Virginia Natasha Sheybani
University of Wisconsin - Madison Hantang Qin
Vanderbilt University David Hyde
Virginia Tech Linbo Shao
Wake Forest University Stephen Winter
Washington University in St. Louis Jennifer Wang

ORAU Media Contacts and Information

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).

Media Contacts

Pam BoneeDirector, CommunicationsCell: (865) 603-5142
Wendy WestManager, CommunicationsCell: (865) 207-7953