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Professor Jenkins Received NSF CAREER Award

David JenkinsDavid Jenkins, an assistant professor of inorganic chemistry at UT, has been announced a recipient of the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. This marks the third CAREER award inside the Chemistry Department in the past 3 years.

CAREER award is one of “the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Jenkins’ award includes a 5-year $650,000 grant to support his research and educational activities. “Being granted a CAREER award is an awesome feeling and a great honor, and more importantly it provides us the financial stability to keep working on a fantastic project — catalytic aziridination using our macrocyclic tetracarbene catalysts.” Jenkins said.

Funding from this award will be primarily used to support graduate students working on the project and to purchase necessary supplies to move the project forward. “We have completed a lot of preliminary work, but I am confident that we have many more productive years of research on this project.” said Jenkins, “We have scratched (or maybe dented) the surface of this exciting new field in organometallic chemistry.”

In fact, Jenkins’ group has published some great results already. Four graduate students from the group, Alan Cramer, Chris Murdock, Heather Bass and Brianna Hughes, will attend an American Chemical Society meeting this April in New Orleans and give talks during the meeting.

“I encourage all of my group members to attend at least one ACS meeting or more before they finish their PhDs.” Jenkins commented, “Oral communication skills are vital for almost any career that they pursue after their time at UT.”

Besides efforts put into scientific research, Jenkins group is also actively engaged with Central High school through the Pre-Collegiate Scholar Program. As part of the CAREER award, they will continue working closely with the school. The group will partner up with one of their high school teachers to develop new teaching materials for AP chemistry labs that focus on sustainable synthesis.