Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards 2024

UM Call for Internal Pre-proposals for Institutional Nomination for
Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards 2024

Summary:  Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) sponsors the annual Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards competition, providing seed funding for research by junior faculty and, catalyzing competitiveness for other funding. Awards are $5K for one year (June 1 to May 31) and require a match of $5K (provided by ORSP). UM may nominate up to 2 full-time assistant professors within two years of their initial tenure track appointment (Jan 1, 2022 through Jan 7, 2024) at time of application.

Projects must be proposed in one of these disciplines:

  • Engineering and Applied Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics/Computer Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Policy, Management, or Education
  • Augmented Reality in the Workplace
  • Supply Chain Innovation

Internal Application documents should be prepared in accordance with ORAU’s Application Instructions for Faculty Members[1], and must include the following, which should be combined into a single PDF for upload to the Info Ready Review Portal: 

1.     A one-page abbreviated resume

2.     A one-page listing of publications and/or presentations

3.     A 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.     If nominated last year, but not selected for an award, you may also include:

a.     A copy of the Summary Comments document provided by ORAU, and
b.    A < 1 page summary of whether/how last year’s reviews are addressed

Internal Review Process

ORSP Research Development will oversee a down-selection review process consistent with our standard procedures for limited submission competitions[2], according to internal review criteria[3] mirroring the criteria listed in the program FAQ[4]. Based on the reviews, the two most compelling applications will be selected for nomination. Only the two selected nominees should then ask their department chair or dean to prepare the required letter of recommendation.

Key Dates (2023-24):
Nov 27:                   Original date of this announcement
Nov or Dec:            ORAU Councilor Easson will receive the 2024 PeerNet competition link from ORAU.

Dec 4:                     Internal applications due to ORSP, via online InfoReady Review Portal[5].
Dec 11:                   ORSP will announce results/nomination status.

                                    UM’s ORAU Council (Dr. Easson) will send nominees:

  • A standard letter of support (confirming your nomination)
  • A link to the PeerNet intake system (portal for submitting your app to ORAU)

Dec 12:                     Nominee or Research Administrator submits SPAN form[6]

Dec 12 – 17:           Nominees make improvements to their applications.
                               Chairs of nominees write letters of recommendation and provide to nominees.
                               Nominees work with ORSP RA Amy Williams on proposal transmittal process.
Dec 18:                    Transmittal submitted by PI.

Dec 21 – Jan 1:      Winter Holidays

Jan 2:                     University reopens

Jan 5:                     Target date for submitting applications to ORAU.

Jan 8, 11am:           Deadline for submitting applications to ORAU via PeerNet

Jun 1:                     Grant period begins (ending May 31, 2025)

Recent UM Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Achievement Awardees:

  • 2021. Ying Hao, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • 2020. Ayla Gafni, Department of Mathematics
  • 2018. Saumen Chakraborty, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 2017. Thái Hoàng Lê, Department of Mathematics
  • 2015. Davita Watkins, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry