Research Leadership Academy Participants Announced

People meeting around a table | alphaspirit

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 7, 2022) — At the University of Kentucky, we often talk about the importance of meeting the moment: rising to answer the most pressing questions and finding solutions for the most significant challenges facing Kentuckians. Our researchers, with their spirit of collaboration and endless drive for innovation, are making that bright future possible. To equip future generations, we must ensure our leaders receive the resources, support and training necessary for nothing less than success. 

To that end, we are pleased to announce the first participants in the University of Kentucky Research Leadership Academy (RLA), supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research. This multi-component program has three independent tracks to accelerate the development of aspirational research leaders. Please join us in congratulating the following leaders. 

Track 1: Research Leadership Career Development

  • Lovoria Williams (College of Nursing), Project: Community Health Worker Institute of Health Equity
  • Alison Gustafson (College of Agriculture, Food and Environment), Project: Emerging Leadership for Addressing Health Disparity and Equity in 2022 
  • Rajeev Darolia (The Graduate School, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration), Project: Expanding Research of Policy Consequence/State Policy Research & Data Showcase 
  • Lindsey Fay (College of Design), Project: A Three-Dimensional Approach for Developing a Research-Based Culture for the College of Design 
  • Molly Blasing (College of Arts and Sciences), Project: Transdisciplinary Research Initiatives for Russian Studies and STEM Fields
  • Kenneth Campbell (College of Medicine), Project: Improve Infrastructure for and Utilization of Biobanks at the University of Kentucky 
  • John Bauer (College of Medicine), Project: Research Strategic Planning for Pediatrics and Perinatology 
  • Xiaohua Douglas Zhang (College of Public Health), Project: Leadership Development for Potentially Becoming the ADR and Establishing a Center 

Track 2:  Complex Programmatic Grant Proposals

  • Seth Himelhoch/Teresa Waters/Ellen Hahn (College of Medicine/ College of Public Health/College of Nursing), Project: Appalachia Tobacco Regulatory Research Team (AppalTRuST) 
  • Darwin Conwell/Lisa Cassis/Nancy Schoenberg/Stephanie White (College of Medicine), Project: UKFIRST: Building Inclusive Excellence through Sustained Transformative Culture Change and Evidence-Based Practices (NIH FIRST)

Track 3:  Emerging Themes in Research and Creative Work

Christopher Waters (College of Medicine), Project: Kentucky Research Alliance for Lung Disease

These 11 project proposals were accepted to the RLA for the first term: July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. See the RLA website to learn more. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.