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Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards

Powe Awards help ORAU member institutions retain their best young faculty members

Our commitment to enriching the research skills and professional growth of young faculty members at ORAU member institutions is embodied in the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards Program. These competitive research awards provide seed money for junior faculty members that often result in additional funding from other sources. The award amount provided by ORAU is $5,000. The applicant’s institution is required to match the award with at least an additional $5,000. This is a one-year grant (June 1 to May 31).

Eligibility for the Powe Awards is open to full-time assistant professors at ORAU member institutions within two years of their initial tenure track appointment at the time of application. If there is a question about eligibility, your ORAU Councilor makes the final determination. Only two nominations are allowed per institution.

Research projects must fall within one of these five disciplines:

  • Engineering and Applied Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics/Computer Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Policy, Management, or Education

The deadline for 2019 awards has passed. Winners will be announced in spring 2019.

Junior faculty members interested in applying should consult their ORAU Councilor, and visit the frequently asked questions.

2018-19 Powe Award winners

Award Recipient Sponsoring Institution
Alexander Davis Carnegie Mellon University
Ellison Carter Colorado State University
Blair Brettmann Georgia Institute of Technology
Henry La Pierre Georgia Institute of Technology
Mary Elting North Carolina State University
Shu Yang North Carolina State University
Lei Wu Ohio University
Vicky Doan-Nguyen The Ohio State University
Shiyu Zhang The Ohio State University
Rebekah Dawson Penn State University
Janelle Wharry Purdue University
Meng Li Rice University
Adam Norris Southern Methodist University
Minghao Rostami Syracuse University
Liang Du Temple University
Nicholas Sandoval Tulane University
Feng Yan University of Alabama
Lingyan Kong University of Alabama
Kannatassen Appavoo University of Alabama at Birmingham
Chenguang Fan University of Arkansas
Jingjie Wu University of Cincinnati
Rawad Saleh University of Georgia
Sachin Handa University of Louisville
Gregg Duncan University of Maryland
Thang Hoang University of Memphis
Saumen Chakraborty University of Mississippi
Qi An University of Nevada, Reno
Tao Yang University of North Texas
Yihan Shao University of Oklahoma
Filippo Mangolini University of Texas at Austin
Piran Ravichandran Kidambi Vanderbilt University
Qingguo Xu Virginia Commonwealth University
Xianming Bai Virginia Tech
Jordan McCall Washington University in St. Louis
Timothy Dittrich Wayne State University
Aaron Robart  West Virginia University
Qingguo Xu, DPhil, a 2018 winner of the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award

Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards

ORAU’s Powe Awards propel research and spark professional growth for junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. In 2018, competitive Powe research grants totaling $180,000 were awarded to 36 junior faculty members. 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.

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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