University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

EPSCoR announces DDA awards

The North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) has announced the 2013 - 2014 Doctoral Dissertation Assistantship (DDA) awards at the UND.

ND EPSCoR’s DDA awards are designed to increase the completion rate of doctoral students enrolled in the science, engineering, and mathematics disciplines at North Dakota’s research-intensive universities. Because of the close connection of outstanding graduate students and the competitiveness of North Dakota researchers for receiving merit-based grants and contracts in support of science and technology research from federal funding agencies, the DDA awards are expected to have very high impact.

DDA support is available for up to 24 months to enable doctoral students to dedicate their time to dissertation research. Applications are made by the students with supplemental information provided by their advisors, along with endorsement from their graduate program director and department chair.

Six competitive awards were made at UND. The review committee was very impressed by the overall quality of the proposals and noted that funding limitations precluded some otherwise deserving proposals from being awarded.

The 2013 DDA students, their departments, faculty mentors, and the topic of their approved research proposals are as follows:

― Danielle Rastedt, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Roxanne Vaughan, “Identification of dopamine transporter palmitoylation enzymes.”
― Heidi Connahs, Biology, Rebecca Simmons, “Do epigentic mechanisms regulate wing color patterning in butterflies?”
― Richard Cochran, Chemistry, Alena Kubatova and Evguenii Kozliak, “Organic Atmospheric Particulate Matter, the Role of vaporization within Atmospheric Processes.”
― Jiao Chen, Chemistry, Julia Zhao, “Synthesis of Silica Nanowires and Their Applications in Bioanalytical Fields.”
― Ashraf Qadir, Mechanical Engineering, Jeremiah Neubert, “Small Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle (UAV) localization in a GPS denied environment.”
― Cody Rude, Physics and Astrophysics, Wayne Barkhouse, “The Role of Ram Pressure on Infalling Cluster Dwarf Galaxies.”

For additional information concerning ND EPSCoR or the GSRA program, please contact Mark R. Hoffmann, associate vice president for Research Capacity Building and co-project director, ND EPSCoR, Carnegie Hall, room 2, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58201-7093, 701.777.2492, or

-- Cathy Lerud, ND EPSCoR, 777.2511,

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