Chemist Sarah King named 2023 Cottrell Scholar

February 9, 2023

Portrait of Professor Sarah King against a grey background.

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor Sarah King of the Department of Chemistry is among the 25 early career scholars in chemistry, physics, and astronomy to be named recipients of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RSCA) 2023 Cottrell Scholar Awards. RSCA is America's first foundation dedicated wholly to science and will award each scholar $100,000.

“The future of science depends on innovation, diversity, and commitment to student success,” said RCSA President & CEO Daniel Linzer. “These new awardees have been selected as much for their research and teaching excellence as for their potential to become change-makers at their institutions, in science, and society at large.”

Cottrell Scholars are chosen through a rigorous peer-review process of applications from public and private research universities and primarily undergraduate institutions across the United States and Canada. Their award proposals incorporate both research and science education.

Sarah King will use her award toward the project: Directing Energy and Charge Transfer in Molecular Moire Materials. She will investigate the strongly correlated material properties and electronic states that are needed for future energy-efficient electronic devices or quantum information. 

Using advanced spectroscopy and microscopy techniques, she can evaluate the smallest details of materials on the fastest timescales. Her hope is to discover when and why molecular layered materials can display strongly correlated electronic states and how we can tune their properties.

Her project’s educational component will teach communication skills as part of the chemistry curriculum. It aims to increase the self-efficacy and retention of undergraduate students in chemistry, which is critical for increasing the participation of underrepresented students in the sciences.

As her career advances, King and the other Cottrell Scholars become eligible to compete for several additional levels of funding through the Cottrell Plus Awards. Scholars meet each July at the annual Cottrell Scholar Conference to network, exchange ideas, and develop collaborative projects with potential national impact. This year’s event is scheduled for July 19-21 in Tucson, Arizona.

“It’s always an honor to welcome a new class to the Cottrell Scholar family,” said RCSA Senior Program Director Silvia Ronco. “We look forward to seeing the fresh ideas and energy these outstanding researchers, teachers, and mentors bring to the community, and the impact they will have for decades to come.”

This article has been adapted from the RSCA 2023 Cottrell Scholars Award Announcement.

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