Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Research Development Office (RDO) within the Office of the Vice President for Research has selected four winners of DEI Team Awards and seven winners of DEI Supplemental Awards. The seed grants are $25,000 each.

The DEI Team Awards are intended to support research teams working with groups of undergraduates to introduce them to research, build community among students and investigators, and enhance retention of students from diverse backgrounds within their fields of study. The DEI Supplemental Awards are designed to supplement externally funded awards by providing additional funding to recruit, retain, and advance UI students who support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in research.

Both awards aimed to recruit students from diverse backgrounds, with a preference for students from traditionally marginalized groups.

“These awards are important contributions to fostering diversity in the University’s research enterprise, said Aaron Kline, director of the Research Development Office. “Diversity is a critical contribution to spurring creativity and innovation that is required to push the boundaries of scientific research. These grants provide paid opportunities for student researchers from diverse backgrounds to build community, pursue their career ambitions, and to develop the skills needed to excel in the next generation workforce all the while making a societal impact.”

Funding for these programs is from the Seeding Excellence Initiative (SEI), a two-year program designed to sustain the continued growth of the campus research enterprise by providing competitive pilot funding in four strategic areas: 1) community engaged research and scholarship, 2) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), 3) early career scholars, and 4) interdisciplinary research.

SEI is made possible through funding to RDO from the public-private partnership (P3) Year 1 funding cycle.

The winners of the 2022 DEI Team Awards are:

  • Ebonee Johnson, Assistant Professor, Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health
  • Brian Lai, Associate Professor, Political Science, CLAS
  • Bob McMurray, F. Wendell Miller Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences, CLAS
  • Christine Shea, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, CLAS

"Professor Shea’s program, which focuses on bilingual research, will broaden the understanding of language science across research methodologies through interactions with Latino communities in Iowa,” said Kline.

“We all recognize the importance of mental health in today’s world, and Professor Johnson’s project will address statewide needs to improve school mental health through development of an evidence-based, culturally-responsive, equity-infused mental health awareness training to recognize and respond to student mental health needs,” said Kline. “I am thrilled that we are able to provide support to these impactful projects and students.”

The winners of the 2021 DEI Supplemental Awards are:

  • Elizabeth Chrischilles, Professor and Head, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health
  • Marie Gaine, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Pharmacy
  • Maurine Neiman, Professor, Biology, CLAS
  • Matthew Potthoff, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, CCOM
  • Jason Radley, Associate Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences, CLAS
  • Yongren Shi, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminology, CLAS
  • Aislinn Williams, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, CCOM

The winners of the DEI awards, and all other pilot funding programs within the Seeding Excellence Initiative, will participate in a P3 symposium to showcase the outcomes associated with this funding mechanism.