Grants Awarded for Innovations in Teaching and Research

Aug. 10, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to share the grants awarded in late spring through our program to support innovations in teaching and research at Brandeis. $335,000 was awarded to 28 projects selected from proposals totaling over $900,000. The recipients and the titles of their projects are listed below.

Teaching innovation grants focus on innovations in teaching and student assessment, with special preference given to proposals that look at ways of addressing issues of diversity and inclusion, and to team teaching/interdisciplinary course design. Research innovation awards are aimed at early stage research to initiate innovative scholarly inquiry and creative activities that have the potential for significant, sustained impact.  I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the members of the two committees that had the challenge of evaluating all of the proposals submitted.  Teaching Committee: Karen Muncaster (chair), Kerry Chase, Jen Cleary, Susan Dibble, Irina Dubinina, Charles Golden, Tim Hickey, Melissa Kosinski-Collins, and Carol Osler.  Research Committee: Ed Hackett (chair), Gannit Ankori, John Burt, Kathryn Graddy, Sarah Lamb, Cindy Thomas, and John Wardle.

Congratulations to all those funded! 

I hope you will join me at the "Celebration of Scholarly Inquiry" on October 19, and the "Teaching Innovation Showcase" (date TBA), where previous recipients will present their work to date.  Details coming soon.


Lisa M. Lynch


Lisa M. Lynch
Provost and Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy
Brandeis University



Jonathan Anjaria (Anthropology)
From the Field to the Screen: Doing and Communicating Ethnographic Research Through Film

Douglas Bafford (Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program)
A Laboratory for Scholarly Inquiry: Toward a Deeper Integration of First-Year Students within an Interdisciplinary Academic Community via the Writing Curriculum

Robert Carver (IBS)
Enhanced Course Offerings for IBS Data Analytics Specialization

Greg L. Childs (History)
The Colonial Wager: A Game of Slavery, Sovereignty, and Empire

Deborah Garnick, PI (Heller) and co-investigators Wendy Cadge (Sociology), Carole Carlson (Heller), Susan Dibble (Theater Arts), Melissa Kosinski-Collins (Biology), Josh Lederman (English), and Carol Osler (IBS)
Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in College Teaching

Erik Hemdal (GPS)
Software Toolchain HOWTO

Melissa Kosinski-Collins (Biology)
Bringing Inquiry-based Laboratory Design to an Undergraduate Plant Biology Course

Brad Morrison (IBS)
Crisis Management Simulation

Carina Ray, PI (AAAS) and co-investigator David Engerman (History)
Pre-Tenure Faculty Mentorship Program: Faculty Success Program Module

Kim Round, PI (Rabb GPS) and co-investigators Carol Damm (Rabb GPS), Carrie Miller (Rabb GPS), and Kathrin Seidl (GRALL)
Enhancing Student Engagement and Achievement Through Voice and Visual Interaction Using VoiceThread™

R. Pito Salas (Computer Science)
Multi-semester, Multi-cohort Courses

Ellen Wright (Psychology)
I Heard it Through the Grapevine: Using the Internet to Teach Critical Thinking, Fluent Writing, Better Quantitative Skills and Strong Interpersonal Connections


Ilhom Akobirshoev (Lurie Institute, Heller)
Trends, Patterns, Quality, and Costs of Hospital Utilization among Working-age Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Elizabeth Bradfield (English)
The Horsehead’s Return: Gray Seals Rewilding New England

Abby Cooper (History)
Black Freedom Database and Mapping Project

Mugda Deshpande (Blazeman Postdoctoral Fellow for ALS Research)
Modeling ALS Using Patient-derived Stem Cells

Karen Desmond (Music)
Measuring Polyphony: Digitally Mediated Access to the Music of the Middle Ages

Anita Hannig (Anthropology, HSSP)
Desiring Death: An Ethnographic Inquiry into Aid-in-Dying in the United States

Marion Howard (Heller)
Forgotten Voices: Ocean Identity and Heritage of the Raizal People of Colombia’s San Andres Archipelago, Western Caribbean

Tijana Ivanovic (Biochemistry) and Ben Rogers (Physics)
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Unraveling Viral Adaptation

Paul Jankowski (History)
The Winter of 1932-33 and the Fragmentation of the World

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe (Hadassah Brandeis Institute), Sylvia Barak Fishman (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies), Maryam Sharrieff (Multifaith Chaplaincy), Rabbi Aryeh Klapper (Boston Rabbinical Court), and Layah Kranz Lipsker (Boston Agunah Task Force)
Religious Divorce Practices in Boston: Muslim and Jewish Perspectives

Peter Kreiner (Heller)
Spread of Risky Prescribing Behavior in Prescriber Patient-sharing Networks

Yuko Nakajima (Biology)
Outsmarting Smart Bugs: Blocking Immune Evasion by Lyme and Other Pathogens

Chandler Rosenberger (International and Global Studies)
The Roots and Rhetoric of Contemporary Chinese Nationalism

Raphael Schoenle (Economics)
The Paradox of Ambiguity Perception

Steve Van Hooser (Biology)
Testing Dense Electrode Arrays for Studying Neural Networks 

Sabine von Mering (Center for German and European Studies)
An Examination of the German Climate Movement and Germany’s Path to a Socio-Ecological Transformation