Robert Gilliard: Winner of a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering

Robert Gilliard: Winner of a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Robert Gilliard


Robert Gilliard, Jr., Assistant Professor of Chemistry at University of Virginia and 2021-22 MIT MLK Visiting Assistant Professor, is among the 20 innovative early-career scientists and engineers awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The Fellows will each receive $875,000 over five years to pursue their research.

Gilliard, Principal Investigator of the Gilliard Research Laboratory at University of Virginia, and his team will pursue the following:

Redox reactions are critically important in chemical synthesis, from the production of new optoelectronic materials and drugs to advancements in catalysis. Gilliard’s research team seeks to elucidate novel redox processes and bonding using earth-abundant main-group elements, focusing on transformations that are important for next-generation energy production and environmental sustainability.


About the Fellowship

From "Meet the 2021 Class of Packard Fellows for Science and Engineering," Insights, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, 14 October 2021: 

The Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering are among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships, designed to allow maximum flexibility in how the funding is used. Since 1988, this program has supported the blue-sky thinking of scientists and engineers whose research over time has led to new discoveries that improve people’s lives and enhance our understanding of the universe.

Packard Fellows are at the cutting edge of research into crucial issues like COVID-19 and climate change, and have gone on to receive the highest accolades, including Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Physics, the Fields Medal, the Alan T. Waterman Award, the Breakthrough Prize, the Kavli Prize, and elections to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

The Fellowships program was inspired by David Packard’s commitment to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs in the United States. He recognized that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he cofounded, was derived in large measure from research and development in university laboratories. Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded $464 million to support 657 scientists and engineers from 54 national universities.

Packard Fellows also gather at an annual meeting to discuss their research, where conversations have led to collaborations across disciplines.