Nebraska EPSCoR's FIRST Award program is designed to help early career faculty to initiate their research programs and compete more effectively for NSF CAREER grants.

Approximately six FIRST Award grants are awarded each year; the awards are limited to $25,000 each and require a one-for-one match. An assistant professor in a tenure-leading position in any of the the colleges or universities in the state is eligible to submit a pre-proposal. The faculty member must be in his or her first four years of initial academic appointment at the time of submittal. Any project that potentially could be supported by a NSF competitive research grant is eligible.

Phase one of the application process involves the submission of a short pre-proposal that will be reviewed by a panel comprised of members of Nebraska's scientific community. Ten or fewer proposals are invited to advance to the final phase: the submission of a full, NSF CAREER-like proposal. Full proposals from these finalists will be evaluated using NSF proposal review criteria by external experts in the field. The Nebraska EPSCoR Committee will select FIRST Award recipients.

Grantees are required to submit a CAREER Award proposal to NSF within the next award period. Check Nebraska EPSCoR's Requests for Proposals page for submission details and to submit a pre-proposal online.

Recent FIRST Award Recipients



  • Dr. Vitaly Alexandrov, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
  • Dr. Hamid Bagheri, Computer Science & Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Shudipto Dishari, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Anna Selmecki, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University
  • Dr. Daizaburo Shizuka, School of Biological Sciences, UNL
  • Dr. Ryan Wong, Biology, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Dr. Alex Zupan, Mathematics, UNL


  • Dr. Joe Louis, Entomology,University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
  • Dr. Massimiliano Pierobon, Computer Science & Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Brian Ricks, Computer Science, University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO)
  • Dr. Rebecca Roston, Biochemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Eric Villa, Chemistry, Creighton University
  • Dr. Qin Zhou, Mechanical & Materials Engineering, UNL


  • Dr. Hernan Garcia-Ruiz, Plant Pathology, UNL;
  • Dr. Yuebin Yu, Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, UNL
  • Dr. Andrew Baruth, Physics, Creighton University
  • Dr. Trenton Franz, Natural Resources, UNL
  • Dr. Amanda Glass, Chemistry, University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK);
  • Dr. Alexey Kovalev, Physics & Astronomy, UNL
  • Dr. Stephen Morin*, Chemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Sangjin Ryu, Mechanical & Materials Engineer


  • Dr. Joshua Darr, Chemistry, University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO)
  • Dr. Ashley Hall, Entomology, UNL; Dr. P. Roxanne Kellar, Biology, UNO
  • Dr. Kenneth Kramer, Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University
  • Dr. Alexander Sinitskii*, Chemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Wenliang Zhang, Mathematics, UNL


  • Dr. Carina Curto, Mathematics, UNL
  • Dr. Carrick Detweiler, Computer Science and Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Dawn Simon, Biology, UNK
  • Dr. Patricia Soto, Physics, Creighton University
  • Dr. Cliff Stains, UNL; Dr. Jian Zhang*, Chemistry, UNL


  • Dr. Xia Hong*, Physics and Astronomy, UNL
  • Dr. Tiffany Kodak, Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Dr. Siu-Kit Lau, School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, UNL
  • Dr. Yusong Li, Civil Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Diego Riveros-Iregui, School of Natural Resources, UNL
  • Dr. Heather York, Biology, Doane College


  • Dr. Sanjukta Bhowmick, Computer Science, UNO
  • Dr. John Gates, Hydrogeology, UNL
  • Dr. Jinsong Huang*, Mechanical Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Shadi Othman, Biological Systems Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Richard Wilson, Plant Pathology, UNL
  • Dr. Yaoqing (Lamar) Yang, Computer & Electronics Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Chi Zhang, Biosciences, UNL


  • Dr.Ming Han, Electrical Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Stephen Hartke, Mathematics, UNL
  • Dr. Christine Kelley, Mathematics, UNL
  • Dr. Rebecca Lai*, Chemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Senem Velipasalar*, Electrical Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Bin Yu, Biological Science, UNL


  • Dr. Chin Li Cheung, Chemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Wonyoung Choe, Chemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Shashank Dravid, Pharmacology, Creighton; Dr. Angela Pannier*, Biological Systems Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Bradley Parsons, Chemistry, Creighton; Dr. Bradley Shadwick, Physics and Astronomy, UNL


  • Dr. Kirill Belashchenko, Physics and Astronomy, UNL
  • Dr. Andrea Holmes*, Chemistry, Doane College
  • Dr. Chunsheng Liu, Computer & Electronics Engineering, UNL


    Dr. Greg Bashford, Biological Systems Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Myra Cohen*, Computer Science and Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Eileen Hebets*, Biological Sciences, UNL; Dr. Lisong Xu, Computer Science and Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Li Tan, Engineering Mechanics, UNL
  • Dr. Mark Wilson, Biochemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Lin Wu, Mechanical Engineering, UNL


  • Dr. Shireen Adenwalla, Physics and Astronomy, UNL
  • Dr. Myra Cohen, Computer Science and Engineering, UNL
  • Dr. Aaron Dominguez*, Physics and Astronomy, UNL
  • Dr. Jaekwon Lee, Biochemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Irakli Loladze, Mathematics, UNL
  • Dr. Robert Powers, Chemistry, UNL
  • Dr. Guangshun Wang, Eppley Institute, UNMC

2004 AWARDEES (formerly Type II awards)

  • Dr. Hai-Feng Guo, Computer Science, UNO
  • Dr. Jiangyu Li, Engineering Mechanics, UNL
  • Dr. Etsuko Moriyama, Biological Sciences, UNL
  • Dr. Julie M. Stone, Biochemistry, UNL - NSF CAREER Award recipient