Dr. Minghua Zhang

In recognition of the wisdom, energy, and dedication that Dr. Minghua Zhang brought to the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences during his tenure as Dean, Stony Brook Foundation Trustee/SoMAS Dean’s Council member Laurie Landeau and SoMAS Dean’s Council member Robert Maze, through the Laurie Landeau Foundation, LLC, have created the Minghua Zhang Early Career Faculty Innovation Fund.  Through this naming, they also wish to recognize Minghua Zhang’s insight and direction which have led to increased recognition and prominence for SoMAS, increased enrollment, and an increased number of talented faculty – particularly junior faculty – and new interdisciplinary linkages to other University programs.

Funding will enable three to five awards per year in the range of $25,000 to $45,000.  These awards are free of Stony Brook Foundation indirect costs.  However, if any salary item is included in the budget, a Research Foundation payroll fee of 4.8% and allowance for the appropriate Research Foundation fringe benefit rate must be included.

The specific objectives of the fund apply to the junior tenure-track faculty within SoMAS’s Graduate Faculty in the Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and include:

  • supporting the work of those whose fresh and experimental ideas have not yet received support from federal/state funding agencies largely due to an absence of a previous record of funded independent research;
  • supporting the work of those whose work is not typically funded by agencies because of its unique or non-traditional nature and need of proof of concept; and
  • providing the necessary resources to nucleate an innovative research program and leverage their research activity toward its full potential.

The Fund is intended to help eliminate barriers to success and take existing research in promising new directions, or otherwise expand research programs beyond their current scope.  The Minghua Zhang Early Career Faculty Innovation Fund awards will be used to help initiate study of new and potentially revealing research questions, test the feasibility of a novel approach or synthesis, or begin particularly promising translation of theory into practice.  The Minghua Zhang Early Career Faculty Innovation Fund awards are intended to begin a line of research of scope and duration well beyond what is provided by the initial start-up funds.  The Minghua Zhang Early Career Faculty Innovation Fund awards are not intended to replace or supplement start-up packages.

Junior tenure-track faculty members, with an appointment in SoMAS’s Marine or Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Faculty, can apply to the Dean for the Minghua Zhang Early Career Faculty Innovation Funds.  Applications will be judged on their eligibility, originality, intellectual merit, potential impact and potential for enabling external support.  The Dean will make the final selections in consultation with the associate and full professors of the SoMAS Faculty Council.

The application should include:

  • a cover letter, not exceeding two pages, describing the proposed research, its relevance to marine or atmospheric science, and a justification for the support;
  • a proposal, not exceeding five pages, that includes a purpose, methodology, anticipated results, societal benefit, time line, and budget.  Proposals should describe the long-term goals of the project in a manner that illustrates its potential impact within and beyond the immediate field of study.  The proposal should also identify existing barriers to proceeding with the project and describe a specific plan which includes a budget for addressing these barriers.  Expected project duration is one year.
  • a current CV.

The proposal should be submitted to the Dean of SoMAS in electronic format by COB on the first Friday of October.  Awards are expected to be announced by the first Friday of November.

A Stony Brook Foundation account will be established to receive this award.  Faculty members who receive the award are expected to provide a written mid-year progress report; present a written and oral report on their work to Laurie Landeau and Robert Maze at a mutually convenient date after one year and in subsequent years if the project extends past one year; and include the Minghua Zhang Early Career Faculty Innovation Award on their c.v. and any relevant publications funded by this award.  Eligible faculty can receive these awards twice, however, a second year of funding is not guaranteed.

The awardees are listed below:

2017 Winners

Nolwenn Dheilly: Real-time investigation of fish host adaptation to infection by a helminth parasite
Steve Beaupre: Quantifying the photochemical reactivity of refractory marine dissolved organic matter:a novel methodical approach,
Kevin Reed: Quantifying the impact of climate change on recent devastating U. S. hurricanes using a variable-resolution modeling framework,
Anthony Dvarskas: Economic modelling of coastal recreational fishing in Connecticut and New York

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