13 faculty named Research Development Fellows

Thirteen UNL faculty members have been selected for the 2013-14 Research Development Fellows Program, an initiative to help pre-tenure faculty successfully compete for grants.

The Office of Research and Economic Development established the year-long program in 2009 to provide the practical information and experience pre-tenure faculty need to successfully pursue competitive grant funding. The program helps early career faculty enhance their proposal development skills and prepare a complete proposal.

"This is an investment in the future of both UNL and our early career faculty," said Prem S. Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development. "This program provides the focus, resources and expert advice needed to give participants a competitive advantage as they pursue funding."

The program's primary components are learning activities and expert consultations. Formal and informal learning sessions help fellows plan and write effective grant proposals, build responsible project budgets and understand the proposal review process. Each participant also will have access to expert technical advice from senior faculty colleagues at UNL or at another institution.

Individualized consultations with Office of Research and Economic Development staff provide developmental support and expertise as fellows conceptualize project plans and write grant proposals. The office also sponsors travel for fellows to visit federal program officers in Washington, D.C.

The 13 assistant professors who were selected as research development fellows and their departments are:

- Gina Fe Causin, nutrition and health sciences

- Joseph Dauer, natural resources

- Trenton E. Franz, natural resources

- Carrie C. Heitman, anthropology

- Tomas Helikar, biochemistry

- Alexey Kovalev, physics and astronomy

- Yvonne Lai, mathematics

- Stephen A. Morin, chemistry

- Francisco Munoz-Arriola, biological systems engineering

- Massimiliano Pierobon, computer science and engineering

- Santosh Pitla, biological systems engineering

- Joshua S. Steelman, civil engineering

- Xiaoshan Xu, physics and astronomy

The program begins with a kick-off luncheon Oct. 25 for the new fellows and their administrators. Rich Wilson, assistant professor of plant pathology, will discuss how his participation in the Research Development Fellows Program enhanced development of his research program.

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