Five at UW–Madison awarded WUN Seed Grants

Five projects at UW–Madison have been awarded Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Seed Grants, funded through the Division of International Studies, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), and the Graduate School.

“Seed Funding” Project Development Grants are designed to support faculty and academic staff who seek to establish new research linkages via exchanges and jointly sponsored workshops and conferences. Projects must focus on one of the four core WUN research areas (Global Challenges):

  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Understanding Cultures
  • Global Health – (Public Health – non-communicable disease)
  • Globalization of Higher Education and Research

Projects that have been awarded grants are:

1) Research Workshop on Global Research on the Black Male Educational Pipeline: International Perspectives to Inform Local Solutions ($3,500), led by Jerlando F. L. Jackson, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and Director of Wie Lab, and Jonathan Berhanu, Ph.D. student and research associate. WUN partners: University of Leeds and Penn State University

Description: The research workshop, to be held in the summer or fall of 2012 at the University of Leeds, will launch a multi-year project on “The Status of Males in Education and Society At-Large Beyond the Continental Divide.

2) The Pregnancy Atlas Consortium for Global Health ($3,000), led by Joseph Kemnitz, professor in the Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology and Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. WUN Partner: University of Auckland

Description: Seed funds will be used to convene a meeting of the leaders of the Pregnancy Atlas Consortium to be held in Madison during the summer of 2012. This is expected to establish new collaborations, especially between UW-Madison and University of Auckland, but also among the other participating institutions. The Pregnancy Atlas project is linked to a multinational study of healthy human pregnancy, Intergowth-21st.

3) Computational and phylogenetic approaches to understanding language evolution and culture-language interaction ($5,000), led by Gary Lupyan, assistant professor of Department of Psychology; Rick Dalem, University of California-Merced Department of Psychology; Russell Gray, University of Auckland Department of Psychology (WUN partner); Dan Dediu, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Description: This project brings together four complementary approaches to address questions of outstanding interest to the fields of psychology, linguistics, and anthropology. Together, the project team has a high potential of launching a transformative research program aimed at illuminating core aspects of the evolution of human languages, without which, human culture as we know it could not exist.

4) Uncovering the subcortical visual pathways that underlie robust depth perception: understanding the development of visual processing in the normal population and in patients with disrupted sensory input due to binocular dysfunction ($3,500), led by Bas Rokers, assistant professor in Department of Psychology. WUN Partner: University of Auckland

Description: The overarching purpose of this application is to establish and new, long term, collaboration between two emerging researchers at UW-Madison and the University of Auckland, who have identified and discussed the significant potential of combining their work on 3D vision and brain-based visual disorders. Furthermore, the proposed project serves as a starting point of a research program that addresses the WUN global challenge of global health.

5) Adapting to Climate Change: An Innovative Legal Approach to Climate Mitigation ($5,000), led by Stephanie Tai, professor in Law School and Global Legal Studies. WUN Partner: Bristol University

Description: While the focus of climate change has thus far been on mitigation, it is now accepted that adaption is as important, particularly for the present generation. This project seeks to look at an innovative legal approach to climate mitigation, which is projected to amount to over $200 million by 2050.

All of these projects are to be completed by December 31, 2012.

The Worldwide Universities Network is an international alliance of leading higher education institutions. WUN builds on its partners’ commitment to quality and innovation in research and teaching by developing collaborations in interdisciplinary areas of global significance.