2020-2022 University Research Professors

2020 and 2021 University Research Professors Recognition Ceremony

President Eli Capilouto and Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis recognized the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 University Research Professors in a September 1 event. Twenty-seven professors were honored during the ceremony, which was held at the Gatton Student Center. Click the photos above to see the awardees and see the full ceremony video here

Photos by Ben Corwin in Research Communications. To request high-resolution versions, please email ben.corwin@uky.edu.

2021-2022 University Research Professors

  • Surendranath Suman: Animal and Food Sciences; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Anne-Frances Miller: Chemistry; College of Arts and Sciences
  • Carol Mason: Gender and Women’s Studies; College of Arts and Sciences
  • Maria Cahill: School of Information Science; College of Communication and Information
  • Xin Ma: Educational, School and Counseling Psychology; College of Education      
  • Issam Harik: Civil Engineering; College of Engineering
  • Jonathan McFadden: Art and Visual Studies; College of Fine Arts
  • Christopher R. Bollinger: Economics; Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Christopher Fry: Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition; College of Health Sciences
  • Richard H. Underwood: J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • Thomas E. Curry Jr.: Obstetrics and Gynecology; College of Medicine
  • Yvonne Fondufe-Mittendorf: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry; College of Medicine   
  • Jill Kolesar: Pharmacy Practice and Science; College of Pharmacy                                                              
  • April M. Young: Epidemiology; College of Public Health      

2020-2021 University Research Professors

  • Seth DeBolt, Horticulture, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Amy Murrell Taylor, History, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Renée Fatemi, Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences
  • H. Dan O’Hair, Communication, College of Communication and Information
  • J. Todd Hastings, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Rae Goodwin, Art and Visual Studies, College of Fine Arts
  • Haipeng (Allan) Chen, Marketing, Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Kathryn L. Moore, J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • Susanne Markesbery Arnold, Markey Cancer Center, College of Medicine
  • Linda Van Eldik, Sanders Brown Center on Aging, College of Medicine           
  • Kristin Ashford, College of Nursing
  • Steven G. Van Lanen, Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
  • Erin Abner, Epidemiology, College of Public Health

About the Program

The University Research Professorships were established by the UK Board of Trustees in 1976 to recognize outstanding research achievements. 

The University of Kentucky Strategic Plan (2015 – 2020) for Research has an overall objective to expand our scholarship, creative endeavors and research across the full range of disciplines to focus on the most important challenges of the Commonwealth.  Strategic Initiatives to achieve this overall objective include investing and recognizing areas of scholarly excellence, and recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, staff and students. 

The University Research Professors Program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research, scholarship and creative endeavors at the University of Kentucky.

  • Colleges with less than 275 tenure-track faculty may nominate one University Research Professor per year; colleges with more than 275 tenure-track faculty (currently Arts and Sciences and Medicine) may nominate two per year.
  • Each college will establish (1) a process for soliciting and choosing nominations, and (2) criteria for excellence in research, scholarship and creative endeavors.  College-specific criteria will be reviewed by and kept on file within the Offices of Research.  As a minimum criteria, the nominee must have at least 30% effort in Research activities on their DOE and be performing well above benchmarks in their research, scholarship and creative activities.
  • The award amount will be $10,000 for one year, to be used to further the research, scholarship and creative endeavors of the awardee.  A faculty member may only be recognized once; those who have been named a University Research Professor under the previous program are not eligible.  Faculty receiving this award may use the title “University Research Professor” for as long as they remain faculty at the University of Kentucky.
  • Nominee(s) packets submitted to the Office of Research should contain a full updated CV and a nomination letter from either the Associate Dean for Research or a Department Chair summarizing how the qualifications of the nominee meet the college-specific criteria for excellence.
  • The Office of Research reserves the right for final approval of nominees.  It is likely, depending on the number of faculty within a unit and other factors, that some Colleges may not have a nominee who meets the criteria for excellence within a given year. 

A reception honoring award recipients will take place annually.  In addition, awardees will be announced at an annual Board of Trustees meeting.  Finally, awardees may be given the opportunity to present a short description of their research, scholarship and creative endeavors to the BOT once over the course of the award year, as well as through other vehicles intended to highlight their research accomplishments.

Contact individual college dean's office for college-level-specific program details.

College nominations are due to the Office of the Vice President for Research (vprgrants@uky.edu) by Monday March 7, 2022.

Conditions of Appointment

  • The appointee must not be on leave status for the year of the award.
  • It is expected that the Research Professor will contribute to the research atmosphere on the University campus.
  • It is expected that part of the major research activity will be conducted at the University.
  • The awardee must agree to remain at the University for the year following the award.