In the world of high-level university research, CAREER grants are among the most meaningful honors a young faculty member can receive. They are highly competitive, financially significant and professionally validating.
Likewise, external funding awards like CAREER grants demonstrate the scientific community’s belief in the productivity and further potential of a young researcher to address some of society’s most daunting challenges.
Two Baylor faculty members received CAREER grants in 2018, the first year in which the University received multiple awards. This year, four faculty members were so honored, accelerating Baylor’s quest to achieve R1 status.
“CAREER grants are designed as a kind of rising stars program,” Baylor Provost Nancy Brickhouse, PhD, said. “They provide honorees with multi-year funding for their research, enabling them to support undergraduate and graduate students in their laboratories. There is also a kind of prestige that goes along with a CAREER grant because it signals that an external funding agency has selected them as someone they see as a role model teacher-scholar.”
CAREER grant funds allow recipients to focus on long-term research projects deemed important by the funding agencies. More immediately, external funding delivers a multiplier effect that benefits the faculty and their research.
“At Baylor, the recent increase in the number of CAREER Award winners clearly demonstrates that we are building a strong foundation for future success and sustainability of our research enterprise,” Baylor Vice Provost for Research Kevin Chambliss, PhD, said. “I fully expect the success of this year’s CAREER award winners will increase our ability to recruit top talent and further accelerate our research progress.”
As Baylor moves further into Illuminate, awards like CAREER grants demonstrate a culture of dynamic research that enhances Baylor’s impact and provides students with further opportunities for engaged learning — excellence both in and out of the classroom.
“One of the special things about the NSF awards is they are designed as teacher- scholar awards where contributions to both research and education are essential for the recognition,” Brickhouse said. “Each CAREER grant winner has this in common: a strong inclusion of students in their research programs and their stellar performances in both the classroom and the lab.”