Washington State University has awarded nine New Faculty Seed Grants to encourage new junior-level faculty to develop research, scholarly, or creative programs that provide the potential for sustained professional development and extramural support.

The Office of Research and the Office of the Provost provide support for the New Faculty Seed Grant program. The nine proposals selected this year represent the broad range of scholarly activity taking place at WSU, including agricultural sciences, fine arts, education, engineering, health and life sciences, physical science and math, and social sciences. Individual grants are awarded up to a maximum of $25,000. The total amount of grant funding provided to this year’s recipients is $200,000.

Awarded faculty and their projects include:

  • Jenny Zambrano

    School of Biological Sciences

    Zambrano will study patterns of variation in forest ecosystems functioning in response to fragmentation to advance the development of integrative strategies that will detect and assess changes in functional diversity as a result of forest fragmentation.

  • Christopher Dickey

    School of Music

    Dickey will commission, record, and perform works written by women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals, resulting in the addition of new pieces, the discussion of compositions, and the national and international recognition of the works through publications, reviews, recordings, and live performances.

  • Lauren Bruno

    Department of Teaching and Learning

    Bruno will establish content and construct validity of the TASTT, a self-report instrument developed to evaluate teacher’s self-efficacy regarding the use of evidence-based transition practices, and determine what transition-specific professional development are offered to secondary special educators. This work will aid in further development and modification of TASTT, utilize confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses to assess the reliability and validity of the TASTT, and analyze the results of the TASTT to address gaps in the literature and investigate the relationship between variables.

  • Sun Ung Kim

    Department of Engineering and Computer Science

    Kim will develop a novel 3D lithium sulfur battery using 2D and 3D physics-based cell-level research that will provide better performance than current lithium sulfur batteries.

  • Ganapati Bhat

    School of Electrical and Computer Science

    Bhat will address the challenges crucial to improving the adoption of wearable devices that have the potential to transform healthcare. The research will use a ground-up methodology to integrate user and doctor inputs, application specifications, energy harvesting and thermal management to enable robust multi-modal wearable devices that will hopefully lead to widespread adoption of self-sustainable wearable devices that provide accurate early diagnosis and health monitoring.

  • Claire Richards

    College of Nursing

    Richards will partner with Urbanova smart cities initiative, a local energy utility company, and other collaborators to conduct preliminary research characterizing exposure for populations co-existing with power outages, extreme heat, and wildfires in Washington state to guide the analysis and establishment of research priorities and methodologies, which will inform approaches in future studies on preparedness, response activities, and evaluation of exposure of these co-existing hazards in broader geographical areas.

  • Kristen Delevich

    Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

    Delevich will combine pubertal manipulations, pathway-specific neuroanatomical labeling, confocal imaging, and slice electrophysiology to directly compare the effects of age, sex, and pubertal status on dendritic spine pruning and synaptic physiology on two major frontal cortical pyramidal neuron types to identify promising cellular targets for future investigation of adolescent onset psychiatric disease.

  • Liane Moreau

    Department of Chemistry

    Moreau will use a laboratory-based approach to study how environmental remediation with radioactive material contamination with specific environmental factors change the speciation of uranium using a technique called electrochemistry and thorough characterization using X-ray methods to provide design rules that could be used as effective site-specific strategies towards mitigating nuclear contamination.

  • Elizabeth Canning

    Department of Psychology

    Canning will test how mindset messages from instructors to first generation students and Persons Excluded due to Ethnicity or Race (PEERs) enhance the effectiveness of interventions directed at students.

To read full descriptions of these programs, visit the New Faculty Seed Grant Program website.