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Career Award Support

The National Science Foundation’s CAREER award program is one of the most prestigious awards given in support of the early career-development activities of research faculty.

The Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach has been assisting researchers at Vanderbilt for the past decade with connecting their work and expertise to K-12 classrooms in the local area and throughout the country.

We have worked with hundreds of teachers and thousands of students through a variety of student- and teacher-based programs.

In brief, we have developed novel professional development programs in leadership, and in science and technology content.

Most importantly, we have developed an excellent working relationship with Metro Nashville Public Schools and will provide guidance to young faculty and assist with designing and implementing CAREER award proposals.

For more information please email Dr. Jennifer Ufnar (


Dr. Valdastri received an NSF CAREER award in February 2015. His project, “Lifesaving Capsule Robots,” focuses on using robotics, mechatronics and engineering design to further development of intelligent capsule robots that find diseases and treat patients without invasive surgeries.

Dr. Valdastri directs the Engineering Ambassador Network at Vanderbilt, which trains engineering students to sharpen their presentation skills and deliver cutting-edge science to Metro Nashville Public Schools. Through this program, students develop hands-on activities and present their research to local middle school students.

Dr. Valdastri has also hosted several SSMV students in his lab, who have garnered national recognition for their research efforts. The STORM Lab is also working to develop a hands-on robotics-based curriculum for high school students through a partnership with the SSMV.