WSU awards nine junior faculty with seed funding

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The Office of Research has awarded nine faculty with the 2024 New Faculty Seed Grant. The grant program supports junior faculty in developing research and scholarly or creative programs that lead to sustained professional development and external funding.

The New Faculty Seed Grant program is funded by the Office of Research and the Office of the Provost. For 24 years, these offices have provided seed funding to junior faculty as they build the foundation for their academic programs, allowing them to effectively seek out extramural funding and providing them opportunities for professional growth.

“This institutional investment is crucial funding,” said Kim Christen, associate vice president for Research Advancement and Partnerships. “It provides junior faculty with funding that helps catalyze their research and creative practices at WSU.”

This year, 34 proposals across seven areas of discipline-based emphasis were received. The nine selected proposals represent the range of scholarly activity taking place at WSU. The total amount of grant funding is $200,000.

The 2024 New Faculty Seed Grant recipients are:

  • Scott Jess, School of the Environment, will use radiometric dating methods to study the tectonic history of the region and the Central Cordillera to better understand the major geological process and mitigate the risks it poses to society.
  • Cesar Haas, School of Music, will provide a guest artist residency focused on performances, workshops, and discussion panels that promote dissemination, teaching, and learning of Brazilian music at WSU and middle and high schools in the area free of charge to the community.
  • Jessica Williams-Nguyen, IREACH, will bridge the gap between emerging literature that promotes quantitative methods and tools rooted in Indigenous ways that are nearly universally accepted as gold standards by mapping the existing interdisciplinary and transcultural knowledge on Indigenous-centered quantitative science and assessing the readiness of academic and community stakeholders in applying these methods to real-world quantitative studies.
  • Anya Sheftel, Department of Teaching and Learning, will support the development of an evidence-based career development and self-determination intervention designed to meet the needs of young adults with intellectual and development disabilities enrolled in inclusive postsecondary education programs.
  • Kang Huang, Biological Systems Engineering, will develop a nontoxic, environmentally friendly approach for addressing the biofouling and biofilm issues associated with pipeline interconnects to enhance the safety and efficiency of water distribution and food processing systems.
  • Catherine Jarrett, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, will assess the fitness and vascular health of obese adults from the Spokane community in a real-world setting undergoing medical weight loss.
  • Qingze Guan, Physics and Astronomy, will provide a theoretical investigation on a variety of beyond-mean-field physics in weakly interacting Bose-Einstein condensates, which will inform a comprehensive description of recent pertinent experimental results in literature and benefit not only the cold atom community but other areas of quantum research, including quantum optics and quantum information science.
  • Courtney Kurinec, Sleep and Performance Research Center, will investigate the impact of two commonly experience constraints likely to produce errors in inference-based decision-making: cognitive load from multitasking and time pressure from deadlines. This research will lay the groundwork for future research on real-world consequences and potential interventions.
  • Wei Peng, Strategic Communications, will develop and evaluate an emotional regulation intervention based on small media that can control negative emotions and improve colorectal cancer screening uptake among rural populations.

Read the full description of these projects on the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships website.

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