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University of Virginia UVA Arts & Sciences Default

A&S Faculty Initiatives Awarded Research Seed Funding

Jan 11, 2016 |

The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is awarding $500,000 in research seed funding toward projects from principal investigators in the Departments of Economics, Environmental Sciences, Psychology, and Religious Studies. From last semester’s call, the Dean’s Office received 36 proposals from Arts & Sciences faculty for research projects and center initiatives.

From those, the following were awarded Research Initiative funding:

  • "Costs and Remediation of Groundwater Contamination in India” proposal:  $150,000 in seed funding awarded to Associate Professor Sheetal Sekhri (Economics) to gather preliminary evidence that will be used as a proof of concept in support of planned future funding proposals.
  • “Addressing the Competing Water Needs of Ecosystems and Societies” proposal: $150,000 in seed funding awarded to Professor Paolo D’Odorico (Environmental Sciences), Professor Michael Pace (Environmental Sciences), Professor Deborah Lawrence (Environmental Sciences), Associate Professor Peter Debaere (Economics/Darden School), and Brian Richter (School of Architecture) to incubate a collaborative Water Research Center focusing on global issues of water security. The Water Center proposal is also receiving $100,000 (over two years) from the Darden School of Business.
  • “Epigenetic Changes in Social Behavior” proposal: $150,000 in seed funding awarded to Assistant Professor Jessica Connelly (Psychology) for a collaborative effort to carry out experiments that will generate preliminary results in support of a collaborative NIH R01 proposal and other funding proposals.
  • “Religion, Politics, Conflict” proposal: $50,000 in seed funding awarded to Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies Peter Ochs (Religious Studies), Associate Professor Milton Vickerman (Sociology), and Lecturer Peter Furia (Politics) for the development of a new collaborative research effort aiming to advance scholarship and increase prospects for understanding and reducing religion-related violence.  This proposal also will be partially supported by the Provost.

With assistance from the Physics Department, the Dean’s office was able to partially fund proposals from Physics Professor Olivier Pfister (Quantum Simulation with Light), Associate Professor Xiaochao Zheng (Study of Polarized He-3 Fusion Pellets), and Commonwealth Professor Seung-Hun Lee (Structure and Dynamics of Organic Cations in Solar Cells).

The available funding was limited, but Arts & Sciences Dean Ian Baucom said there were many strong proposals that warrant future consideration.

“It was encouraging to field three dozen proposals of excellent quality. This most recent call for proposals certainly created a greater awareness of the spectrum of compelling A&S research opportunities in need of funding,” Baucom said. “Our hope is to be able to fund more of these research initiatives by taking advantage of other funding streams that may become available and through future Research Seed Fund Calls for Proposals.”