Dr. Cayelan Carey and Dr. Madeline Schreiber recently received a Junior Faculty Award from the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. Their project is titled: Rapid elemental fluxes in freshwater systems.
The Junior Faculty Award program provides seed funds for innovative research led by pre-tenure faculty, which supports early-stage projects with the potential to evolve into groundbreaking research programs. It also encourages the formation of collaborative teams that can leverage a broad range of perspectives to bring a fresh approach to formidable problems, such as analyzing the cellular changes caused by brain injury and developing advanced computing methods to guide the synthesis of high-performance materials.
Stefan Duma, the Harry Wyatt Professor of Engineering, is the interim director of the institute, which is known on campus as ICTAS.
“The driving force behind everything we do at ICTAS is our mission to advance Virginia Tech by growing externally funded research at the intersection of engineering and science. One way we do this is through the Junior Faculty Awards,” Duma said. “The awards provide some initial resources for faculty to pursue original ideas and start to cultivate a robust, distinctive research program that will attract the attention of major funding agencies.”
In the process, the awards program also fosters research partnerships between faculty in different disciplines, as well as between junior and senior faculty members: The program guidelines require that each proposal be led by a junior faculty member, with another faculty member — typically a tenured or senior tenure-track faculty member — as a co-principal investigator.
“Collaborating with faculty in complementary research areas and harnessing that synergy, can catapult a young research program to the next level,” Duma said. “It can be challenging for new faculty members to build those partnerships, so we’ve structured the award to facilitate that process.”
Congratulations, Cayelan and Maddie!