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Franklin College Multidisciplinary Seed Projects Program funds six research projects

Alan Flurry

The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Multidisciplinary Seed Grant Program has funded two new tracks of collaborative research projects: Rapid Interdisciplinary Proposals (RIP) and Innovation in Interdisciplinary Instruction (I-Cubed). The seed grant program responds to the need for new paradigms that shape future research, life-long learning, public discourse, service, and dynamic entrepreneurship. $50,000 in seed funding from college philanthropic resources was announced today to support the following projects:

On the I-Cubed Track the program awarded funding to Kelly Happe (Women’s Studies and Communication Studies) and Dax Ovid (Physiology and Pharmacology). 

On the RIP Track, the program awarded support to five proposals:

  • Engineering organoids for improved function and maturity. Lead-PI: Nadja Zeltner, (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology). Co-PIs: Lohitash Karumbaiah, (Regenerative Bioscience Center), Martijn van Wagtendonk (Lamar Dodd School of Art), Ramana Pidaparti (College of Engineering), and Maryn Whitmore (Dancer and Teacher at Double Helix STEAM school)
  • Leveraging Data Science for Enhanced Forestry Management: An Integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems, GeoAI Insights, and Immersive Augmented/Virtual Reality Visualizations  – PI Sergio Bernardes (Department of Geography).          Co-PIs: Can Vatandaslar (Warnell School), Fred Maier and Khaled Rasheed (Institute for Artificial Intelligence
  • Pesticide exposure in agriculture: an interdisciplinary, participatory approach – PI: Pablo Lapegna, (Sociology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute) Co-PIs: Jose Cordero (College of Public Health), Jennifer Jo Thompson (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences)
  • The THRIVE Project: Development of a Community-Engaged Communication Curriculum to Reduce (Unnecessary) Black Birth Trauma – PI: Soroya McFarlane (Comm. Studies). Co-PIs: Tamora Callands and Andrea Swartzendruber (College of Public Health)
  • Toward a More Climate-Resilient Georgia – PI: Patricia L. Yager (Marine Sciences). Co-PIs: Anna Harper (Geology), Alfie Vick (College of Environment and Design), Pam Knox (CAES), David Stooksbury (College of Engineering) 

“The College is aggressively enabling a collaborative ecosystem for research and instruction," said Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletics Association Distinguished Professor and Franklin College Associate Dean. "Our new Multidisciplinary See Grant programs are catalysts for innovative team research as well as course instruction. Our breadth and depth of expertise enables pace-setting scholarship and societally-relevant collaborations within the College, University and beyond.”

 An exemplar of the Franklin College's commitment to Global Engagement, the 'Pesticide exposure in agricultural' team will implement the project in rural Argentina, where high pesticide use has generated public concern in small towns across the region.

“I am pleased to see the generous support of our donors mobilized in support of these fascinating and timely projects, which advance our educational mission and generate new knowledge for solutions-oriented implementation that serves the collective good,” said Anna Stenport, University of Georgia Foundation Professor of Arts and Sciences and Dean of the Franklin College. 

Image via The THRIVE Project.

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