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NIMBioS Graduate Awards

Graduate Award recipients.
2019 NIMBioS Graduate Award recipients.

Effective April 2019 and tenable through June 2020, NIMBioS Graduate Awards are of two types and are designed to supplement the funding available for UTK/UTIA graduate students to enhance their research and education. The awards are each $2500, awarded through a competitive process managed by the NIMBioS Leadership Team. The funds may be used for any activities that align with the research or education effort of the awardee, such as supporting travel to meet collaborators, attending a conference, attending a tutorial, carrying out field work, supporting hourly undergraduate assistants, or purchasing supplies for laboratory efforts or computational needs (including software or hardware). Funds will generally (except for an award involving SAL or MMCC) be provided through a transfer to the home unit of the graduate student, and any expenditure of these funds must be consistent with UT policy and follow any additional guidelines established by the department. Funds may not be used to supplement the salary of the graduate student.

Two types of Graduate Awards are available:

  • Type A awards support the research/education of the student in areas that align with the efforts of NIMBioS at the interface of the quantitative and life sciences;
  • Type B awards support the research/education of the student that enhances activities connected with the four NIMBioS-affiliated programs and fosters new collaborations across disciplines beyond just the quantitative and life sciences. Guidelines for eligibility for each program are as follows:
    • Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC). Applicant's research should focus on some aspect of social complexity and both the student and their major professor must commit to attending a monthly DySoC journal club for one semester.
    • Spatial Analysis Lab at NIMBioS (SAL). Funds will provide for the use of SAL facilities and/or expertise to aid the student’s research in spatial analysis related to biodiversity conservation, ecology, or sociology, or a methodological component related to multispectral, hyperspectral, or lidar technology available in SAL. The funds will be applied at the charge rates for SAL expertise.
    • National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER). Applicant's research should be related to the ways in which interdisciplinary team science occurs in a synthesis/research center. The student should have a strong statistical background.
    • Mathematical Modeling Consulting Center (MMCC). Funds will provide consultant time (40 hours in total) from the modeling center to aid in the design or implementation of a mathematical modeling effort, or helping to craft model designs for external funding preparation. This time can be used either collaboratively, helping a student to walk through the steps and learn as they go, or independently, asking the modeling consultant to do the work independently. (Note: this support is for hourly effort and does not guarantee sufficient time to work through the design details and then complete a project; it is therefore highly recommended that students opt for the collaborative model.)

Descriptive flyer

The 2019 NIMBioS Graduate Award recipients are as follows:

Soheil Borhani, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering
Alexander Cope, Genome Science & Technology
Jeff DeSalu, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Jessica Dreyer, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hwayoung Jung, Psychology
Pramir K.C., Microbiology
Jasmine Kreig, The Bredesen Center, Environmental and Climate Sciences
Diane Le Bouille Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Donna K. McCullough, Microbiology
Jacob K. Moutouama, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Ruben A. Ortiz, Sociology
Tyler Poppenwimer, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hari Prasad Regmi, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Jeffrey Hunter Rice, Microbiology
Ryan Douglas Kuster, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology
Katrina Schlum, Genome Science & Technology
Athmanathan Senthilnathan, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Shantanu Shukla, Genome Science & Technology
Cara Sulyok, Mathematics
Taylor Woods, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Find out more about their research in their video interviews.



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NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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