From the author of a favorite story of my youth, Wolfwalker. Kiondilli is a young woman with very strong ESP, and a chip on her shoulder. Despite her additude and lack of money (caused by her attitude) she lands a job at a very presitigius research institute, trying to develop FTL travel for Humans. In a universe where FTL is expensive to lease being a FTL race would be a great benefit to humans and human muntants.
I guess I won't give anything away, by saying it was a race down to the wire but in the end the good guys win.