NSF CAREER Awards Keep on Coming

Man at table with fossil display
David Gold, assistant professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, whose NSF-funded project is titled “An Evolutionary Framework for the Molecular Fossil Record.”

Quick Summary

  • National Science Foundation support for early-career faculty
  • Recipients are called upon to integrate research and education
  • UC Davis scores a university record 19 awards in 2020-21 cycle
  • 3 more faculty members have earned CAREER awards for 2022


  • Brian Bailey
  • Kyle Crabtree
  • David Gold
  • Marie Heffern
  • Jonathan Herman
  • Seung Sae Hong
  • Fereydoun Hormozdiari
  • Roopali Kukreja
  • Ambarish Kulkarni
  • Xinfan Lin
  • Rebecca Lybrand
  • Scott McCormack
  • Tran Nguyen
  • William Putnam
  • Marina Radulaski
  • Crystal Rogers
  • Nitzan Shabek
  • Zubair Shafiq
  • Laura Starkston
  • Aditya Thakur
  • Jesus Velázquez
  • Andrew Wetzel
  • Da Yang
  • Katerina Ziotopoulou

UC Davis’ academic foundation grew even stronger with a university record 19 assistant professors receiving National Science Foundation CAREER awards in the 2020-21 funding cycle. The five-year grants are especially noteworthy for supporting early-career faculty not only in their research but also in their development as outstanding educators.

The number of NSF CAREER awards coming to UC Davis in the last year and a half rises to 21 with the inclusion of two faculty newcomers with CAREER awards in hand upon joining the university in the second half of 2020. And, in recent weeks, three assistant professors have been named CAREER award recipients for 2021-22.

CAREER is shorthand for the Faculty Early Career Development Program, which describes the awards as the NSF’s most prestigious in support of faculty members beginning their independent careers and “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.”

“Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research,” the program’s description states.

A record 35 UC Davis faculty members submitted CAREER award proposals in 2020 for projects with planned start dates in 2021. The Interdisciplinary Research Support unit of the Office of Research assisted with proposal preparation that yielded a better-than-50 percent success rate.

“The increase in CAREER award recipients illustrates the growing strength and breadth of our research community, especially our early-career faculty,” said Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor for research. “I would like to congratulate the recipients and look forward to seeing their research programs advance.”

UC Davis’ 19 “homegrown” CAREER award recipients are listed below, along with the two newcomers who earned CAREER awards before joining UC Davis during the 2020-21 funding cycle. These 21 listings are followed by three CAREER awards approved for 2022.

Each listing includes the recipient’s department and project description, including educational components such as outreach to K-12 students and the development of new graduate and undergraduate courses.

Click on any of the boxes to learn more about the project.

2022 CAREER awards

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

Primary Category

Secondary Categories