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Nobles Receives National Role Model Award

Robert Nobles


Robert Nobles, associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been nationally recognized for his service as a leader and mentor for campus diversity and research with underserved populations.

Nobles received the 2016 National Role Model Administrator Award in Higher Education from Minority Access Inc. at the 17th annual National Role Models Conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1. He was nominated by Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Taylor Eighmy, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek and UT President Joe DiPietro.

“We are proud that Robert is being honored for the great work he does for our university as well as the nation’s larger research community,” Cheek said.

Nobles serves as co-investigator on a five-year $4.9 million National Institutes of Health award for the Program for Excellence and Equity in Research, teaches courses within the Department of Public Health that focus on the reduction of health disparities, and chairs the UT institutional compliance committee, campus safety committee and Commission for Blacks.

“It was an incredible honor to have been nominated for this national award,” said Nobles. “The work that I perform at UT is based on my desire to help our faculty, staff and students succeed in an environment that is supportive, empathetic, solution oriented and selfless.”

In his current role, he leads efforts and oversees compliance activities related to the responsible conduct of research, research with human subjects and animals, work with biological and radiological hazards, research conflicts of interest, export controls and research misconduct.

“We are so fortunate to have Robert as a senior administrator and leader here at UT,” said Eighmy. “His leadership is invaluable here and in his collaborations with national organizations such as the Federal Demonstration Project and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. We are very proud to have him as a colleague and a leader.”

The Minority Access National Role Model awards identify inspirational leaders in various categories who can inspire others to succeed and increase the pool of scholars and professionals who will find cures for illnesses, solve technological problems and address social disparities.

Previous awardees include former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and politician Ben Carson.