Interdisciplinary Seed Grants bring researchers together


Interdisciplinary Seed Grants bring researchers together

Seven faculty teams were awarded funds for projects that span 15 colleges, schools and other units at the University of Georgia. When the first Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants were awarded in 2017, 12 faculty teams received funds totaling some $1.37 million. The work enabled by those seed grants supported subsequent applications for external funding that have brought nearly $13 million in new grants to UGA to date.

A total of 72 proposals were submitted for the second round of grants, which is part of the Great Commitments Initiative launched by the president in 2019. They were reviewed by a team of faculty and administrators led by Vice President for Research David Lee and Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum.

Researchers were asked to frame proposals around one or more of UGA’s Great Commitments—Healthier People, A More Secure Future and Stronger Communities—and the projects could include original research, strong public service and outreach components, or both.

Several fellows and affiliates of the institute are part of the research teams that were awarded funding:

“Building a National Center of Excellence for Nature-Based Infrastructure Solutions, led by Brian Bledsoe with OIBR Affiliates Brian Orland (Environment+Design) and Don Nelson (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences). Also on the team is Nate Nibbelink, OIBR Fellow, professor of Spatial Ecology (Warnell) and the Director of the Center for Integrative Research.

“Overcoming Physical Distances with the Virtual Family Room: Virtual and Augmented Reality Communication Platforms for Deployed Military Families,” led by Sun Joo “Grace” Ahn, OIBR Fellow (Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication). Grace is joined by OIBR Fellows Catherine O’Neal (Family and Consumer Science) and Dawn Robinson (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences).

“Creating a Healthier Georgia through Diabetes Prevention” led by Alison Berg with OIBR Affiliate Ellen Evans (College of Education).

“Impact of the School and Surrounding Environment on Implementation of Georgia’s Statewide Childhood Obesity Policy”. Led by Janani Thapa with OIBR Affiliate Jennifer Gay (College of Public Health)

“I am pleased to provide this additional opportunity for UGA faculty to learn from one another and inspire new ways to approach complex problems,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “The Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants program is proving to be an effective means to strengthen our university’s research enterprise and greatly expand our faculty’s impact.”

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