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Nominations open for Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization

Deadline for submissions is Nov. 29.
The MIT Sea Grant College Program announces that nominations are now open for the Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization. All non-tenured MIT faculty members from any Institute department are eligible. Department heads may submit one nomination every year. The deadline for nominations this year is Nov. 29. The person appointed to the chair will receive $25,000 per year for two years, beginning July 1, 2013.

Endowed by the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, the two-year chair opens the way for promising, non-tenured professors to undertake marine-related research that will further innovative uses of the ocean's resources. There are no restrictions on the area of research, and any aspect of marine use and/or management may be addressed, whether social, political, environmental, economic or technical.

Final selection will be made by a committee — which includes the vice president and associate provost; the dean for research; the dean of engineering; the dean of science; the chairman of the Sea Grant Committee; and the director of the MIT Sea Grant College Program — following review and recommendations from the Sea Grant Faculty Committee. The vice president for research will appoint the new Doherty Professor in February 2013. While serving as the Doherty Assistant or Associate Professor of Ocean Utilization, the incumbent may not hold another MIT-funded chair.

The 2012 award went to Timothy K. Lu, assistant professor of electrical engineering, in support of his project titled "Engineering Hybrid Biological-Electrical Systems for Ocean Engineering." This project focuses on engineering living cells using the tools of synthetic biology and establishing novel interfaces with non-living systems, including electronic ones. Lu's efforts will enhance the construction of hybrid biological-electrical biosensors that can be used as biosensors in the ocean.

Individuals wishing to be nominated should contact his or her department head. For nomination procedures and selection criteria please visit or contact Kathy de Zengotita at

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