Research Leadership Academy: Emerging Themes 2024 cohort and Research Leadership deadline

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 31, 2024) — At the University of Kentucky, inspired by President Eli Capilouto’s focus on how our research mission impacts Kentuckians, we often talk about the importance of meeting the moment:  rising to answer pressing questions and finding solutions for significant challenges facing our Commonwealth.

Toward this common goal, two years ago we created the Research Leadership Academy (RLA), a program supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research. This program promotes a culture of collaboration and innovation to support the research mission of colleges and centers by empowering researchers to tackle emergent research questions. One facet of the RLA is the Emerging Themes for Research Program.

We are pleased to announce a strong cohort of programs within the Emerging Themes for Research Program. Please join us in congratulating the following leaders and their emergent research themes: 

  • Alison Gustafson (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment), Project: Food As Health Alliance
  • Julie Pendergast (College of Arts and Sciences), Project: Circadian and Sleep Health for a Healthy Kentucky (CASH KY)
  • Ilhem Messaoudi Powers (College of Medicine), Project: Consortium for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Kentucky
  • Rebekah Radtke (College of Design), Project: Global x Appalachia
  • Christopher Richards (College of Arts and Sciences), Project: Nanomedicine and Bioelectronics
  • Dmitry Strakovsky (College of Fine Arts), Project: Creative Gateway for Advancing Digital Health

These six project proposals were accepted to the Emerging Themes for Research Program for the term Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2024.

In another facet of the RLA, the Research Leadership Development Program, we are seeking letters of intent for new applicants. This program supports faculty and staff with the potential to lead research projects, special programs, programs aligning with their college’s research priorities and/or lead multidisciplinary cross-college research efforts. Applicants develop a detailed special project, approved by their college Dean and/or Associate Dean for Research; with milestones completed within the one-year RLA program. The proposed project should align with and assist in the implementation of the college’s research strategic plan. If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a letter of intent (LOI) for the Research Leadership Development Program FY25 to the RLA portal by March 15, 2024.

See the RLA website to learn more.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.