The University of Central Florida’s Office of Research has named Saiful Khondaker, professor of nanoscience, physics and electrical engineering, as the new interim assistant vice president for research advancement.

In this role, Khondaker will focus on driving further growth of research development and partnership, critical elements of the UCF research enterprise. This will include expanding the successful NSF CAREER mentoring program to target early career programs of other federal agencies, which will support the increased and earlier success of faculty receiving such prestigious awards. He also will be responsible for ensuring strong collaborative engagement with external entities, such as connecting UCF researchers with research partners in the region.

“Saiful has been a longstanding OR faculty fellow with a strong dedication to faculty support and success,” says Winston Schoenfeld, UCF’s Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation. “Since 2019, he has led the NSF CAREER Award mentoring program, resulting in an impressive fourfold increase in awards to UCF’s early career faculty. I look forward to the continued success of our faculty through his leadership and am pleased to have him oversee our Research Advancement group.”

Academic Excellence

Khondaker received his doctoral degree in semiconductor physics in 1999 from the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge in England. He then worked at the University of Texas at Austin as a postdoctoral fellow and then as an assistant director for UT Austin’s Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology.

He joined UCF in 2005 as a tenure-track assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2010 and full professor in 2017. In 2019, he was appointed as the inaugural Office of Research Faculty Fellow, where he brought a key, faculty perspective to research administration.

In this role, he spearheaded a junior faculty mentoring program aimed at increasing grant success, resulting in the attainment of 34 U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER awards in the last five years.

Khondaker has also contributed strategic planning for research development and the establishment and implementation of UCF’s Seed Funding initiatives. He has led an effort in enhancing the support infrastructure for UCF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs and has served as the nanotechnology M.S. program director at UCF since 2019. Additionally, he’s served on the UCF Faculty Senate and Faculty Excellence Committees.

Research Expertise

Khondaker is the director of the NSF-funded PREM Center for Ultrafast Dynamics and Catalysis in Emerging Materials, and his research focuses on the fabrication of nanoscale electronic devices and their associated electron transport phenomenon.

He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles in high-impact-factor journals with over 10,500 citations and has delivered over 70 invited talks. Khondaker is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award, multiple UCF research incentive awards, the UCF Teaching Incentive Award, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitational Fellowship, and the U.S. Airforce Summer Fellowship.

“I am excited about this opportunity and plan to use it to promote UCF’s faculty research portfolio for increased partnership, funding and visibility,” Khondaker says. “I look forward to working with faculty and other stakeholders in supporting and advancing UCF’s research infrastructures and accelerating significant growth in research enterprise at UCF.”