sign for "UNLV Research & Economic Development"

Faculty Opportunity Awards Fuel Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Thirty-eight faculty will receive a combined $332,270 in seed funding for their research, scholarship, and creative activity.

Since 2012, UNLV’s Faculty Opportunity Awards have increased innovative research, scholarship, and creative activity on campus by supplying faculty with vital seed funding to help them get new projects off the ground, gather data critical to providing “proof of concept,” and develop more competitive proposals to gain further external support.

This year, UNLV dedicated funds to proposals that are interdisciplinary and collaborative in nature, with at least two principal investigators hailing from different colleges or schools on campus.

“By making interdisciplinary work a requirement to obtaining a Faculty Opportunity Award, we are helping UNLV be more competitive for federal research funding,” said Mary Croughan, UNLV vice president for research and economic development. “This new requirement helps our faculty build the kinds of proposals that get the attention of top external funding agencies, who are looking to support creative, interdisciplinary approaches to addressing research questions and solving complex problems.”

Faculty from across campus submitted a total of 41 proposals. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development originally anticipated it would only be able to support $300,000 in Faculty Opportunity Award funding but was able to award approximately $332,270 through 19 awards.

Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Awards

The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research Awards fund up to $20,000 apiece for research that could lead to large federal grant applications.

“Investigating Academic Interactions Through a Genre Approach” ($19,617)

Alain Bengochea, College of Education; Emma Bloomfield, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

“A Rice (Oryza sativa) Mutant With Enhanced Germination Rates: Nutritional and End-Use Quality Comparison to Its Wild-Type” ($19,500)

Christine Bergman, College of Hospitality; Jeffery Shen, College of Sciences

“A Pilot Investigation of Enhanced Infrastructure Resilience Against Flooding Through a Modular Construction Method” ($20,000)

Jin Ouk Choi, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering; Jaewon Lim, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

“Obese Fruit Flies as a Model for Exercise: Construction and Validation of a Drosophila Treadmill and Exercise Metabolism System” ($19,970)

Allen Gibbs, College of Sciences; Sarah Harris, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering

“Knee Pain, Tendon Degeneration, and Limb-Socket Dynamics in Trans-Tibial Amputees” ($19,999)

Kai-Yu Ho, School of Allied Health; David Lee, College of Sciences

“Objective Measurement of Vocal Fatigue in the Hospitality Industry” ($15,277)

Kimberly James, College of Fine Arts; Timothy Self, College of Hospitality

“A Machine Learning-Based System for Enhancing and Facilitating Communication: Support for Aging and Disabilities” ($16,056)

Pushkin Kachroo, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering; Kate Martin, School of Medicine

“Investigating the Effects of Redirecting Virtual Stimuli in a Manned Driving Simulator” ($18,730)

Si Kim, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering; Ashok Singh, College of Hospitality

“Modifying the Spinal Circuitry to Improve Walking and BDNF Expression in Individuals Post-Stroke” ($20,000)

Jing Nong Liang, School of Allied Health; Jefferson Kinney, College of Liberal Arts

“Food App for Tracking and Identifying Dietary Biculturalism in Filipinos in Southern Nevada” ($17,410)

Brendan Morris, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering; Reimund Serafica, School of Nursing

“Functional Dissection of the Zika Genome Reveals a Coding Component Responsible for Microcephaly and Neurodevelopmental Pathology” ($20,000)

Edwin Oh, School of Medicine, Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine; Ai-Sun Tseng, College of Sciences

“Displace or Diffuse? The Effect of Medical and Recreational Marijuana Legalization on Opioid Abuse and Other Substance-Related Crimes” ($19,901)

Seong Park, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs; Jay Shen, School of Community Health Sciences

“An Integrated Machine-Learning Platform for Bacteriophage Genome Annotation” ($19,996)

Philippos Tsourkas, College of Sciences; Sarah Harris, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering

“Electronic Health Record (EHR) Presence and Quality Outcomes: Do Employee Perceptions About Safety Culture Have a Mediating Role?” ($20,000)

Soumya Upadhyay, School of Community Health Sciences; Han-fen Hu, Lee Business School

“Using Deep Learning in Genomic Big Data Analysis for Precision Diagnosis of Osteoporosis” ($20,000)

Qing Wu, School of Community Health Sciences, Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine; Fatma Nasoz, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, The Lincy Institute

“Tailoring Mechanical Implant for Curing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Using CT-Scan-Based Computational Model” ($20,000)

Woosoon Yim, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering; Robert Wang, School of Medicine

Collaborative Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Creative Activity Awards

The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Creative Activity Awards fund up to $10,000 apiece for standalone research endeavors.

“Information Literacy & Writing Skill Development in a Diverse Student Body: Examining and Improving the Curriculum at a Minority-Serving Institution” ($7,500)

Kaitlin Clinnin, College of Liberal Arts; Melissa Bowles-Terry, University Libraries

“From the Tower to the Streets: Exploring an Interdisciplinary Model of Public Policy Research” ($10,000)

Stefani Relles, College of Education; Charles Burmeister, College of Fine Arts

“New Ways of Digitally Representing Scientific Research: Developing a Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Digital Research Repository” ($8,314)

Denise Tillery, College of Liberal Arts; Christopher Adcock, College of Sciences

The college/school distribution of the awards is as follows:

  • College of Education – 2
  • College of Fine Arts – 2
  • College of Liberal Arts – 3
  • College of Sciences – 6
  • Greenspun College of Urban Affairs – 3
  • Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering – 8
  • Lee Business School – 1
  • Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine, Research and Economic Development – 2
  • School of Allied Health Sciences – 2
  • School of Community Health Sciences – 2
  • School of Medicine – 3
  • School of Nursing – 1
  • University Libraries – 1
  • William F. Harrah College of Hospitality – 3

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