Fellowships are awarded in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. To qualify, candidates must first be nominated by fellow scientists and subsequently 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.
Since the beginning of the program in 1955, 43 Sloan Fellows have earned Nobel Prizes, 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.
The complete list of this year's winners is available online.
University of Arizona faculty members Matthias Morzfeld and Eduardo Rozo are among the 126 researchers awarded 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships, awards granted to distinguished early-career researchers. They are the first Sloan Foundation winners at the UA since 2011, and this is the first time that two UA faculty have been awarded the prize in the same year since 2002.
The fellowships are awarded annually in recognition of individuals who maintain distinguished performance and have the potential to make substantial contributions to their respective fields.
"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."
The fellowships come with $55,000 over the course of two years, to be used to further the research of each recipient.
"I am honored to receive this award," said Morzfeld, an assistant professor of mathematics. "I believe that receiving a Sloan Research Fellowship makes my work and results visible to a broad group of scientists, and the associated research money is a great help to pursue my immediate research goals."
Morzfeld's research focuses on applied and computational mathematics. He regularly collaborates with colleagues in atmospheric sciences and geophysics, and is currently working to develop new algorithms for more accurate weather forecasting.
Rozo, an assistant professor of physics and experimental cosmologist, is interested in the origin and evolution of the universe. In particular, he studies dark energy, the little-understood substance that drives the accelerated expansion of the universe.
"I am delighted and humbled to see that people in my field have found my contributions to our collective enterprise worth recognizing," Rozo said, "and I look forward to the opportunity to continue working toward unraveling the mystery of the dark energy."
"What a great accomplishment for both of these researchers," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, the UA's senior vice president for research. "Being named a Sloan winner is a testament to the great work they are doing and the quality of UA’s research faculty. I congratulate both Matthias and Eduardo for this excellent recognition."