Nebraska early-career faculty earn NE EPSCoR FIRST Awards

March 26, 2018

Nebraska EPSCoR FIRST Awards winners gain funding, expert reviews

To help Nebraska’s early-career scientists prepare to pursue important large research grants, such as the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, Nebraska EPSCoR conducts annual FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology—Awards.

Each year several dozen CAREER Award aspirants submit pre-proposals to Nebraska EPSCoR’s FIRST Awards competition, with a select group of these applicants meriting FIRST Award “Finalist” status. In late 2017, 13 Finalists were invited to advance, and prepare full proposals patterned after the NSF CAREER Award format; all FIRST Award Finalists gain expert scientific reviews on those submissions. From the Finalists group, FIRST Award Recipients are chosen to receive $25,000 for their further national award submission efforts (an amount which must be matched by each Recipient’s department), in addition to the valuable reviews by members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), engaged by Nebraska EPSCoR.

At Nebraska EPSCoR’s meeting of its State Committee on March 14, the following FIRST Award Recipients were selected:

  • Bai Cui, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Mechanical and Materials Engineering
    High-Temperature Deformation Mechanisms in Dispersion-Strengthened Alloys
  • Lynne Dieckman, Creighton University, Chemistry
    Understanding Protein Interactions that Link DNA Replication and Nucleosome Assembly
  • Peisi Huang, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Physics and Astronomy
    Improving the Understanding of New Physics, from Particle Physics to Cosmology, at the LHC
  • Philippe Malcolm, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Biomechanics
    Dynamic Indirect Calorimetry: Measuring the Time-Profile of Metabolic Cost Within the Stride Cycle Using Robotic Perturbation Experiments
  • Vivien Marmelat, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Biomechanics
    Neural Mechanisms Underlying Sensorimotor Synchronization with Fractal Rhythms
  • Alexandra Seceleanu, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Mathematics
    Homological Algebra for Geometric and Computational Applications”
  • Ruiguo Yang, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Mechanical and Materials Engineering
    Investigation of Cell Junction Mechanics and Mechanotransduction at Single Cell Level

More information about Nebraska EPSCoR’s FIRST Awards program is at, including past Recipients since the program began in 2004. Nebraska EPSCoR conducts this program with funding through NSF RII Track-1 OIA #1557417.