In our ongoing commitment to enhance translational research, innovation, and entrepreneurship within the College of Natural Sciences, the Dean’s office offers the Innovators Seminar Series to showcase exemplary examples of successful innovation and translational research from faculty across the nation.


The CNS Dean’s Office invites UMass faculty to nominate academic faculty whose research discoveries and inventions have produced successful real-world applications. Nominated scientists can be affiliated with UMass Amherst or another institution.  

About the Innovators Seminar Series:  

Any faculty member(s) of CNS may submit a nomination.    
The nominated scientist should be well known in their field for their innovations and of interest to faculty and students from multiple departments.  
We wish speakers to present about both the scientific foundations of their invention and their pathway to successful commercial impact. 
The college will provide up to $2,000 in funding to be used for hosting/travel expenses and speaker honorarium.     

In the 2021-2022 academic year, one speaker will be selected in each the fields of: 

  • life sciences 
  • physical sciences and mathematics, and  
  • earth and sustainability 

The nominating unit will be responsible for coordinating the visit and communicating with the scientist regarding program, travel, accommodationsannouncements and promotion, room reservations, etc.  

Please include the following in your nomination: 

The name, department, web link, and contact information of the proposed speaker. 
Contact information of the faculty member(s) nominating this potential visitor 
Contact information of the person who will be responsible for coordinating the visit. 
Estimated budget and the anticipated semester of the invited speaker’s visit. 
Answers to the following (500 words maximum): 

  • What is the proposed speaker’s primary research and innovation accomplishment? 
  • Why is their work of interest to your group and possibly, the larger STEM community on campus? Who would be interested in hearing this speaker? 
  • What are some professional development reasonfor hosting this scientist/engineer as part of the Innovators Seminar Series (e.g., their reputation for inventorshipinspirational speaker, potential networks, etc.) 

Submit your application as a single pdf document to Amanda Leigh Hawkins:


Proposals are due by September 17, 2021 for visits during 2021-2022. 

Notification and next steps: 

Selected applicants will be notified on or near October 1, 2021 
Invitations to the nominated speaker will be extended by the Dean and the faculty nominator. 
The Dean’s office will publicize the event as part of the Innovators Seminar Series. 

Questions about the series: 

Please contact Mark Tuominen, CNS Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, or Michael Mueller, CNS Director or Research Development.