126 Talented Young Scholars Awarded Sloan Research Fellowships

Awards honor outstanding early-career researchers in eight fields

Feb 23, 2016, 10:00 ET from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers as recipients of the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders. Fellows receive $55,000 to further their research.  A full list of this year's Fellows is available at the Sloan Foundation website at www.sloan.org/sloan-research-fellowships/2016-sloan-research-fellows.

"Getting early-career support can be a make-or-break moment for a young scholar," said Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  "In an increasingly competitive academic environment, it can be difficult to stand out, even when your work is first rate.  The Sloan Research Fellowships have become an unmistakable marker of quality among researchers.  Fellows represent the best-of-the-best among young scientists."

Past Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to notable careers and include such intellectual giants as physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, and game theorist John Nash. Since the beginning of the program in 1955, 43 fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 68 have received the National Medal of Science, and 15 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every winner since 2007. More information on the achievements of former Sloan Research Fellows can be found at www.sloan.org/sloan-research-fellowships

"Alfred P. Sloan was an industrialist who witnessed first-hand how science transformed the automobile industry," says Daniel L. Goroff, Vice President at the Sloan Foundation and Director of the Sloan Research Fellowship program. "He started the Sloan Research Fellowships to make sure the most brilliant young stars in academia continue pursuing research that can transform their fields and eventually improve the quality of our lives."

Drawn from 52 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, the 2016 Sloan Research Fellows represent a diverse variety of research interests. Fellows this year include:

  • An economist who studies what makes rich countries rich and keeps poor countries poor;
  • A chemist who is attempting to craft efficient nanoscale batteries;
  • A molecular biologist who has uncovered how changes in social status can affect primates at the genetic level;
  • A computer scientist who is the co-creator of Hadoop, the data processing system behind Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook;
  • An ocean scientist who is pioneering the deployment of mobile "marine protected areas" that move with the endangered marine species they are designed to protect;
  • A mathematician who is untying the knotty mathematics of black holes;
  • An astronomer who has developed innovative new ways to image extrasolar planets;
  • A neuroscientist who is unveiling the complicated ways in which the bacteria in our bodies affect how our brains work.

Awarded in eight scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics—the Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in close coordination with the scientific community. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate's independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics. www.sloan.org

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SOURCE Alfred P. Sloan Foundation