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RCSA Announces 2017 FRED and SEED Awards for Cottrell Scholars

Sara E. Skrabalak, chemistry, Indiana University Bloomington, is the 2017 FRED Award winner, Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) has announced.

Skrabalak will receive a $250,000 award to help support her research into designer metal nanostructures for anti-counterfeit and anti-tamper applications.

FRED – Frontiers in Research Excellence and Discovery – is named in honor of RCSA founder Frederick Gardner Cottrell, a professor at University of California, Berkeley. He invented the electrostatic precipitator, an air- pollution control device that uses the force of an induced electrostatic charge to remove particles from a flowing gas. The second-oldest private foundation in the U.S. and the first devoted wholly to science, RCSA was founded in 1912.

“The FRED awards point to the future by providing funds to initiate high-risk/high-reward projects that will potentially transform a scientific field,” said RCSA Senior Program Director Silvia Ronco.

The Foundation has also announced five winners of its annual SEED Award -- Singular Exceptional Endeavors of Discovery – a $50,000 award supporting the very first instances of exceptionally creative new research or educational activities with potential high impact. The SEED competition this year was open only to physicists and astronomers.

The SEED awardees are:

--  Rainer Grobe and Charles Su, physics, Illinois State University, A Non-Perturbative Approach to Identify Electron-Positron Pairs in Relativistic Interaction Zones;

--  Carsten A. Ullrich, physics, University of Missouri, Femtomagnetism with Time-Dependent Density-Functional Theory: Exchange-Correlation Torques and Exact Benchmarks;

--  Neepa T. Maitra, physics, CUNY - Hunter College, Building a New Paradigm for Coupled Electron-­Ion Dynamics via the Exact-Factorization Approach;

--  Keivan G. Stassun, astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Decoding Autistic Abilities in Visual Sense-Making to Enable Big Data Discovery in Astronomy;

--  Duncan R Lorimer, astronomy, West Virginia University, Simultaneous Radio and X-ray Observations of Fast Radio Bursts.

The FRED and SEED awards are open only to those who have been previously selected as members of the prestigious Cottrell Scholar (CS) program.

“For the past 23 years, the CS program has worked to develop outstanding teacher-scholars who are recognized by their scientific communities for the quality and innovation of their research programs and their academic leadership skills,” RCSA’s Ronco said, adding, “Outstanding candidates are admitted to the ranks of Cottrell Scholars through a stringent peer-review process based on their innovative research proposals and education programs.”

She noted there are currently 394 Cottrell Scholars in America’s research universities and primarily undergraduate institutions.


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