Kovalev earns Early Career Award

Kovalev earns Early Career Award

Alexey Kovalev

Alexey Kovalev, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is among 44 national recipients of an Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The award, part of the department’s Early Career Research Program, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing funding support to exceptional researchers during their crucial early career years, when many do their most formative work.

Kovalev’s research is in the field of theoretical spintronics. Spintronics is the study of the intrinsic spin of an electron and its associated magnetic moment, in addition to its fundamental electronic charge. Kovalev’s project, “Non-Collinear Magnetism and Dynamic Effects in Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Magnets,” was selected by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences for funding.

Under the program, university-based researchers will receive at least $150,000 a year for five years to cover summer salary and research expenses.

“This could not be possible without the support and help of my colleagues in the Department of Physics and Astronomy,” said Kovalev, who also is a member of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience."This is my chance to build my group and to do great science at UNL. Having funding for five years will allow me to work on more challenging, high risk projects, and build a more coherent research program."

To qualify for the award, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track assistant or associate professor at a U.S. academic institution or a full-time employee at a DOE national laboratory, who received a doctorate in the past 10 years. Fields of study include advance scientific computing research; basic energy sciences; biological and environmental research; fusion energy sciences, high-energy physics and nuclear physics.

Of the 44 awardees, 27 were at U.S. universities. Selection was based on peer review by outside scientific experts.

“Supporting talented researchers in their early career years is one key to building and maintaining an effective scientific workforce,” said Patricia Dehmer, acting director of the Office of Science.