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Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards

Application Instructions for Faculty Members

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Who is eligible?

  • Full-time assistant professors within two years of their initial tenure track appointment (Jan. 1, 2018 through Jan. 8, 2020) at the time of application at an ORAU member institution are eligible.

What do you need?

Note: All documents must be in PDF format. There are no general formatting requirements (e.g., font, margins, etc.) other than page lengths stated below. Please ensure you have all documents before proceeding to the ORAU PeerNet intake system.

  1. One-page abbreviated resume
  2. One-page listing publications and/or presentations
  3. Two-page research proposal that should address the following:
    • Research goals and objectives and relevant background
    • Expected research outcomes and relevance
    • Research design and methodology
    • Competence of the applicant to perform the proposed research
    • Available research facilities and resources
    • Budget justification
    • Additional single page of references relating to the proposal (optional)
  4. Nomination letter from your chair or dean


  1. Receive email of support from your ORAU Councilor and link to the PeerNet intake system from your councilor
  2. Gather all documents listed above and ensure they are in PDF format
  3. Go to the PeerNet intake system and complete the required fields in each section (see PeerNet Proposal Collection PI User Guide for step-by-step instructions)
  4. Upload all required documents as directed
  5. Preview and submit

If you have any questions or need assistance with the PeerNet intake system, please send an email to during ORAU business hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., EST. ORAU will be closed on major holidays.

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    Powe awardee researches rocks that formed Earth’s continents billions of years ago

    Suzanne Birner, an assistant professor of geology and earth science at Berea College, is one of 36 junior faculty members from ORAU member institutions to receive the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. She analyzes rocks from the Earth’s upper mantle once they are exposed along tectonic plate boundaries. With careful analyses, she hopes to learn more about volcanic eruptions, particularly those that formed the Earth’s continents billions of years ago.

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  • Qingguo Xu, DPhil, a 2018 winner of the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award

    Powe Award winner researches efficient drug delivery using nanomedicine

    Qingguo Xu, DPhil, a 2018 winner of the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, is using his award to research better methods for drug delivery in the treatment of eye disorders, cancer and other diseases. In collaboration with scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Xu is applying the neutron scattering technique SANS (small-angle neutron scattering) to study the structural change of sclera resulting from the presence or absence of drugs and nanomedicines.

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  • laurent-bellaiche-1.jpg

    Where are they now? Powe Award winner Laurent Bellaiche

    Laurent Bellaiche, Ph.D., who now serves as a Distinguished Professor of physics at the University of Arkansas, has followed a stellar career path since he was a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award winner in 1999. Using the funds received from the Powe Award, Bellaiche conducted research on electronic and optical properties of alloys made of semiconductors. The award funding facilitated the investigation of the effect of alloying in varying and optimizing physical properties.

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Contact us

For more information about the Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards, contact the University Partnerships office at 865.576.6513 or