The 2019 New Faculty Seed Grant Program to fund 10 junior faculty projects

Washington State University has awarded 10 New Faculty Seed Grants (NFSG) to encourage the development of research, scholarly, or creative programs. The program supports projects that will significantly contribute to the researcher’s long range goals by kick-starting a more complex project or idea. The seed funding to junior faculty helps build the foundation for their research programs, allowing recipients to gather preliminary data, build collaborations, or establish creative programs. The funding also effectively provides a basis for faculty to seek extramural funding as well as opportunities for professional growth.

The Office of Research, the Office of the President, and the Office of the Provost fund the NFSG program. The 10 proposals selected this year represent the range of scholarly activity taking place at WSU. The total amount of grant funding is $212,524.

Awarded faculty and their projects include:

  • Deirdre Griffin, Department of Crop and Social Sciences, studies the soil health of potato systems in northwest Washington to understand its functioning in agriculture and how to maximize soil services.
  • Deepti Singh, School of the Environment, will analyze the influence of multiple climate factors that govern the extent, severity, and duration of the impacts wildfires have on air quality and water resources.
  • Joe Hedges, Department of Fine Arts, will create and exhibit a new body of innovative intermedia art works that combine oil painting and new media objects, such as flatscreen televisions and tablets.
  • Shenghai Dai, Educational Psychology Program, advances education research on Native American students learning mathematics using large-scale assessment data through implementing advanced data analytic and psychometrics methods and tools.
  • Mona Ghandi, School of Design and Construction, will create a prototype of a lightweight, reconfigurable, adaptive, and smart shelter for emergency housing that can respond to both the physical and mental health of people affected by natural disasters and serve a critical step in long-term recovery.
  • Mirada Bernhardt, Center for Reproductive Biology, will conduct experiments to test a novel activation method in porcine oocytes to determine if embryo development, quality, and health can be improved following somatic cell nuclear transfer.
  • Andy Shu, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, will develop and optimize a novel versatile system based on acoustic technique.
  • Lindsey Miller, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, studies the impact of  methylsulfonylmethane supplementation on metabolic health and markers of inflammation and oxidative status.
  • Rock Mancini, Department of Chemistry, will develop a new type of reaction to generate synthetic-biologic hybrids, enabling the synthesis of many new biomolecule therapeutics.
  • Luciana Hebert, Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH), will conduct a study using data from the National Survey of Family Growth to examine pregnancy intentions, fertility patterns, and contraceptive use behaviors and correlates, to evaluate differences between urban and rural American Indian and Alaskan Native women.

To read full descriptions of these programs, visit

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