Five Ford Research Fellows named for 2008

2008 Ford Research FellowsFive innovative SMU researchers have received the University’s 2008 Ford Research Fellowships. This year’s recipients are Rhonda Blair, Theatre; Marc Christensen, Electrical Engineering; Rajani Sudan, English; Kumar Venkataraman, Finance; and Steven Vik, Biological Sciences.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from Gerald Ford, chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees, the fellowships help the University retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

Read more about this year’s recipients. Right, the new Ford Fellows were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees at its May meeting. Left to right: SMU Trustee Gerald J. Ford and his wife, Kelli; Vik, Blair, Christensen, Sudan and Venkataraman.

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Nominees sought for next Ford Research Fellowships

In 2002, SMU Board of Trustees Chair Gerald J. Ford committed $1,000,000 to faculty research. The gift established the Ford Research Fellowships, which support the work of associate professors and professors currently at SMU. The Office of the Provost now seeks nominations for the next round of Ford Fellowships. Letters of nomination are due in the Provost’s Office by Oct. 10. After evaluation by the University Research Council and final selection by the Provost’s Office, recipients will be announced at the Board of Trustees meeting in December.

Prospective candidates must be nominated by a dean, a chair or the Faculty Senate. Nominees must be associate or full professors; individuals who receive no special research-related funds from the University (such as course reductions, staff support and research funds provided through endowed positions) will be given precedence. The reason for the nomination should be included in the letter, as well as a detailed evaluation of the nominee’s contribution relative to others in the field. If the nominator is unable to provide this evaluation, he or she may request colleagues of the nominee to do so. For more information, contact Associate Provost Ellen Jackofsky at 8-2816.