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UTSA VPREDKE awards $495,000 in seed grants to 33 UTSA faculty members for collaborative research

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The UTSA Office for Research Support (ORS), part of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise (VPREDKE), awarded its annual seed grants (INTRA, GREAT, Connect, and SALSI) to 33 UTSA faculty members and seven external collaborators to fund innovative ideas. More than $495,000 was given, along with another $325,000 from our research partners, to fund 32 projects from a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from college access to sustainable lighting, from climate politics to biodegradable, 3D-printed implants.

The seed grant programs support the knowledge enterprise by awarding faculty members funding to explore new areas of research. There is a number of considerations which are evaluated and weighted in order to maximize the research investment. Faculty can work out new ideas, create new collaborations, either in a different or complementary field or obtain preliminary data that can be cited in applications for extramural funding, all to enhance the breadth of scholarly and creative activity on campus.

“One of the institution’s key performance indicators, per the Presidential Initiative on Research Excellence, are faculty awards. These seed grants help our faculty spark ideas and initiate or expand their research, which will ultimately lead not only to increased research expenditures but also faculty being recognized for their achievement,” said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA interim vice president for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise.

In addition to the INTRA, GREAT and Connect seed programs, UTSA partners with UT Health San Antonio to fund innovative healthcare-related projects under the San Antonio Life Sciences’ (SALSI) auspices, and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to fund research projects that address great societal challenges.

“Our seed grants have funded not only basic and applied research in the areas of science and engineering but also arts, humanities, and social sciences research projects that adds to the cultural fabric and elevates creative achievement. In the past, we have funded in part a cantata from the Department of Music celebrating the cultures of South Texas, to assisting in bringing a world-class conference of historical linguists from over 40 countries to San Antonio last summer,” explained Jaclyn Shaw, UTSA director for research support, who oversees the programs.

Guan Saw, assistant professor with the Department of Educational Psychology, has been successful with his applications, receiving a GREAT grant this year and an INTRA grant in 2017, for different projects related to STEM education, his research focus.

“As an early career faculty member, I cannot stress how helpful this funding has been, and I highly recommend it particularly to new faculty members to take advantage of these programs,” added Saw.

While seed grants are very impactful, the trend in federal grants awards continues to be larger, now transdisciplinary approaches with a number of faculty collaborating across departments and colleges. These teams and applications can take months to assemble, and the UTSA Office of Research Support team can help faculty members identify researchers outside their departments and colleges for collaboration.

The next funding round of applications for INTRA, GREAT and Connect grants will be posted in December 2018.

INTRA FY 2019 Awardees
September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019

College of Architecture, Planning and Construction
Jae Yong Suk Investigation of Electric Lighting Energy Savings by Daylight Harvesting in Dynamic Sky Condition

John Alexander 
History of Tortona's Piazza del Duomo with Information from Ground-Penetrating Radar

Construction Science
Sandeep Langar 
Knowledge, Perceptions, and Decisions for Resilient Facilities

College of Business Accounting
Jennifer Yin
The Alignment between Stewardship and Valuation Roles of Revenues

Juan Mao
Roles of Audit Firm Networks and Their Consequences in Audit Services: Evidence from US Small Audit Firms

Zhongxia (Shelly) Ye
The Risk Committee Process for US Publicly Traded Firms

Matthew McCarter
Constellation Interdependence, Trust, and Cooperation in Alliance Partnerships: An Experimental Approach

Management Science & Statistics
David Han
Bayesian Design Optimization of a Non-specific Sensor System for Calibration of Analyte Responses, and a New Measure of Analytical Selectivity

Management Science & Statistics
Kefeng Xu
Consumer Reference Dependency, Loss Aversion and Sources of Blame in Service Competition

Management Science & Statistics
Victor De Oliveira
Bayesian Analysis of a Multivariate Density Ratio Model

College of Education and Human Development

Education Leadership
Vanessa Sansone
College access and geography: The Experiences of Rural Youth in Texas 

Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition
Langston Clark
Black Student Athletes and Social Movements: A Pilot Study

Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition
William Land
Optimal Psychophysiological States during Police Officer Use-of-Force Scenarios: A Multiple Case Study Analysis

College of Liberal and Fine Arts Anthropology
Patrick Gallagher 
Social Narratives of Climate Change in the Greater Caribbean: New Ecologies of Arrival and Incorporation

Sara DeTurk
Refugee Advocacy and Coalition Building in the U.S. Southwest

Seok Kang
Going Beyond Just Watching: The Fan Adoption Process of Virtual Reality Sports

Kenneth Walker
Climate Politics on the Border

Political Science & Geography
Boyka Stefanova 
A Blessing in Disguise? The Dual Failure of Gorbachev’s Template for Economic Reform and China’s Model of State Capitalism in Eastern Europe (1985-1989)

David Pillow 
Predictors of Bariatric Surgical Outcomes and the Process of Negotiating a New Self

Paul Romanowich 
Quantifying the association between risky smartphone use and impulsivity

GREAT FY 2019 Awardees
September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019

College of Engineering 

Electrical & Computer Engineering
Lide Duan 
A Full-Stack Solution for NVM-Based Deep Learning Acceleration

Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sara Ahmed
Enhanced stability, protection and control for low-interia power grids

College of Education and Human Development
Educational Psychology
Guan Saw
PreFreshman Engineering Program (PREP) and Student STEM Academic and Motivational Factors

Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition
Eunhee Chung
The Role of Maternal Exercise on Microbiota and Inflammation in Pregnant Dams and Their Offspring

College of Public Policy

Criminal Justice
Megan Augustyn
College Crime Victimization Survey: Examining Traditional and Cybervictimization among College Students at a Hispanic Serving Institution

College of SciencesBiology
Nicole Wicha 
Localizing arithmetic in the developing bilingual brain

Connect FY 2019 Awardees
September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019

Lyle Hood, UTSA COE Mechanical Engineering
Albert Zwiener, Southwest Research Institute
A Biodegradable, 3D-Printed Implantable for Minimally-Invasive Controlled Delivery

Vikram Kapoor, UTSA Civil Engineering
Ronald Green, Southwest Research Institute
Development and Deployment of a New Class of Environmental Tracers

SALSI FY 2019 Innovation Challenge Awardees
June 1, 2018 - May 31, 2019

Jenny Hsieh, UTSA COS Biology
Daniel Lodge, UT Health SA, Pharmacology
Modeling addiction-related interneuron dysfunction in human cerebral organoids

Matthew Wanat, UTSA COS Biology
James Lechleiter, UT Health SA Long School of Medicine
Targeting astrocytes as a novel strategy to reduce cocaine self-administration

SALSI FY 2019 Clusters in Research Excellence Awardees
June 1, 2018 - May 31, 2019

Qian"Guenevere" Chen, UTSA COE Electrical Engineering
Shouhuai Xu, UTSA COS Computer Science
Kathleen Stevens, UT Health SA Long School of Medicine
Azizeh Sowan, UT Health SA Long School of Medicine
Enhancing Safety and Security of Clinical Alarm Systems:  An interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical-Human Analysis

SALSI FY 2019 Pilot Awards for Opioid Epidemic Research Awardees
August 1, 2018 - July 31, 2019

Sandra Morissette, UTSA COLFA Psychology
Jennifer Sharpe Potter, UT Health SA, School of Medicine, Psychiatry
Mindfully Adherent: A Tailored mHealth Intervention to Optimize Medication Adherence for Opioid Use Disorder 

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UTSA College of Education and Human Development

Phone: 210-458-4370