UO researchers awarded grants for interdisciplinary projects

Award recipients

Four interdisciplinary research teams have been awarded seed funding to pursue projects with a high potential to receive external funding.

The recipients of the 2018 Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives awards were announced by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. The program will award up to $50,000 to the following UO research teams:

  • Santiago Jaramillo, biology, and Melissa Baese-Berk, linguistics, for “Neural Mechanisms Underlying Second Language Learning.”
  • Raghuveer Parthasarathy, physics, and Yashar Ahmadian, biology, for “Automated Segmentation of Complex Biological Imaging Datasets.”
  • Elinor Sullivan, human physiology, and Jennifer Ablow, psychology, for “Prenatal Nutrition, Adiposity and Stress: Modifiable Targets for the Biobehavioral Development of the Infant.”
  • Lynn Stephen, anthropology, and Erin Beck, political science, for “Gendered Justice: Addressing Violence Against Women in Guatemala and the U.S.”

Faculty member response to this year’s program was strong. A January 2018 call for proposals generated 20 applications involving several dozen researchers. Proposals were evaluated by a faculty committee and final funding decisions were made by David Conover, vice president for research and innovation.

With such a strong pool of applicants, choosing the recipients of this year’s awards was challenging, Conover said.

The program puts a priority on competitiveness of projects and the likelihood that teams can secure external funds to support projects in the long term. Applicants must clearly and convincingly demonstrate that the proposed project represents a new research direction in an area likely to generate funding.

“Teams are tackling vitally important issues that span an array of different disciplines,” Conover said. “It’s exciting to see so many great ideas emerging from our faculty. We congratulate this year’s recipients and we look forward to seeing what kinds of new discoveries and innovations result from these promising collaborations.”

Past recipients have been successful in follow-on external funding from the National Science Foundation, the Keck Foundation, the Templeton Foundation and the National Security Agency. The program has generated more than $6 million in external funding.