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Past Awardees

Academic Year 2019-20 Awardees

Title: Black Feminist Sociology Symposium: A Celebration of Interdisciplinary and Intersectionality Research
PIs: UC Merced Project Team: Whitney Pirtle - Professor, Sociology, Tashelle Wright - Public Health Graduate Student

UC Santa Barbara Project Team: Zakiya Luna - Professor, Sociology, Jasmine Kelekay - Sociology Graduate Student


This symposium will provide a platform to disseminate information and invite luminaries and presenters from across the UC system and beyond, to share their work that intersects with Black Feminist Sociology and to discuss the state of Black Feminist Sociology.


Title: Sustainability and Social Justice: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Learning Community
PIs: Catherine Koehler - Continuing Lecturer and Assistant Director, Merritt Writing Program; Anne Zanzucchi - Associate Teaching Professor, Global Arts, Media, and Writing Studies; IHGG Executive Committee Representative; Mike Dawson - Professor, School of Natural Sciences; Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee on Sustainability

Communicating environmental research among diverse audiences has rhetorical complexities, so this grant will focus on both distinctive and shared communication challenges within research traditions.


Title: Financial Stress, Health and Behavior in California's Central Valley
PIs: Elaine Denny - Professor, Political Science; Irene Yen - Professor, Public Health; and Matthew Zawadzki - Professor, Psychological Sciences


By working in partnership with community organizations and local government, we want to use innovative empirical research to assess what stress-reduction tools work, and whether these approaches translate into improved cognitive, health and self-advocacy outcomes.


Title: Education Research Journal Club and Seminar Series

PIs: Erik Menke - Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Biology; Marcos García-Ojeda - Professor, Quantitative and Systems Biology;  and Jourjina Alkhouri - Gradaduate Student, Graduate Pedagogy Association

This grant will help support a journal club and seminar series to build on recent funding success in chemistry and biology to foster cross-disciplinary partnerships in education research.

Academic Year 2018-19 Awardees

Title: Interdisciplinary Initiatives in Data Science at UC Merced
PI: Ramesh Balasubramaniam - Cognitive & Information Sciences

This grant will help support a consortium of researchers (faculty and students) that will help coordinate data science initiatives across programs to equip faculty and graduate students with the interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise necessary to advance research and applications in computation and data science.  


Title: Mobility of Char in the Soil System
PIs: Asmeret Asefaw Berhe - Environmental Systems; Teamrat Ghezzehei - Environmental Systems; and Francois Blanchette- Applied Mathematics 

This grant will help to support a soil column experiment and periodic meetings. The periodic meetings will be co-facilitated by both Dr. Santos and Dr. Yan, and will aim at communicating research findings and plan the submission of a larger research proposal. 


Title: 3D-Printed Wearable Electronics for Healthcare in Remote Locations: Stimulating a new collaboration with the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley Lab
PIs: Jessica Wang - Biological Engineering and Small-Scale Technologies and Linda Hirst - Physics

This grant seeks to gather an interdisciplinary team of scientists to make remote healthcare sensing a reality. The participants of this team will participate in several activities over the Fall 2018 semester to prepare for this work and develop new expertise and multidisciplinary National Lab collaboration based at UC Merced.

Academic Year 2017-18 Awardees

Title: Interdisciplinary Dialogue Circles
PIs: Neama Alamri (Graduate Student) - Interdisciplinary Humanities and Graduate Student Sholeh Quinn - Interdisciplinary Humanities

This grant will help to support the activities that create a space to share and discuss current work in Interdisciplinary Humanities by graduate students and faculty. The Interdisciplinary Dialogue Circles will consist of a reading scholarship that explores topics such as professionalization, interdisciplinary methodologies, and survival in academia. This group also seeks to explore the issues and specific challenges that underrepresented scholars face in the academy.


Title: Toward an Interdisciplinary Approach on Hmong Studies
PI: Ma Vang - Interdisciplinary Humanities

This grant seeks to expand the work of Hmong Studies Working Group at UC Merced and organize a series of seminars that would bring together Hmong studies scholars to share new research and provide mentorship.  The participants of this working group and seminar facilitators will include members from four UC Merced graduate groups: Interdisciplinary humanities, public health, sociology, and political science. The seminars will be open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in these topics.


Title: Mapping Place Identity and Place Dependency Amid Increasing Visitor Use and Changing Recreational Expectations in Yosemite National Park's Wilderness
PI: Jeffrey Jenkins - Environmental Systems

This grant will support smartphone-based app challenge and four meetings for postdocs, graduate students, faculty and Park professionals. The app would be designed to facilitate citizen collection of voluntary geographic data used to inform and evaluate desired conditions for Wilderness users in Yosemite with the intention of expanding to other congressionally designated Wilderness areas. 

Academic Year 2016-17 Awardees

Title: Mesoamerican Studies Group: Indigeneity, Inequality, and Resistance
PIs: Paul Almeida - Sociology and Arturo Arias - Interdisciplinary Humanities

This grant will help to support a newly-forming Mesoamerican Studies Center (MASC) at UC Merced, which will become a resource for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and the community at large.

Today, more than 90 percent of all Latinos living in the Central Valley of California are Mesoamericans, a high percentage of them of Indigenous origin, and as of Fall 2015, 48 percent of UC Merced undergraduates identified as Latino. It is logical that UC Merced scholars would be uniquely interested in researching and working with the flow and ebb of this critical population, their issues, histories, and cultures.


Title: UCM CS-BIG (Cancer Systems Biology Interest Group) 
PI: Fabian Filipp - Quantitative and Systems Biology

This grant will help to support the activities of the interdisciplinary forum CS-BIG, which focuses on advanced research training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in genomics, biomedicine, and drug targeting in cancer systems biology. The CS-BIG meeting is well established at UC Merced, since its inaugural meeting on 8/1/2012. In the past CS-BIG has hosted 25 seminar speakers and meetings have an average attendance of about 20 researchers including students, researchers, and faculty from all three schools at UC Merced. The goal of CS-BIG is to attract a federally funded training grant supporting research and education in computational cancer and systems biology.


Title: Bimonthly Synthetic Biology and Nanomaterials seminar series for faculty and graduate students
PIs: Anand Bala Subramaniam - Biological Engineering and Small-Scale Technologies

This grant will support a bimonthly 1.5-hour seminar series that draws on faculty and students involved with the NASA MACES Center and the NSF CREST Center, as well as faculty and students from nearby institutions. The seminar series will host speakers from neighboring research-intensive institutions which already have successful programs to enhance the career placement of our students, to help build a culture of research excellence, and to open potential collaborative opportunities.

Academic Year 2015-16 Awardees

Title: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Anthropocene
PI: Michael Dawson - Environmental Systems, Quantitative & Systems Biology


Title: Natural and Cultural Resources Preservation Interdisciplinary Research Group
PI: Nicola Lecari - Interdisciplinary Humanities


Title: Interdisciplinary Workshop on Creating and Testing Mathematical Models to Understand Stem Cell Fate Decisions
PIs: Jennifer Manilay - Quantitative and Systems Biology 
Suzanne Sindi - Applied Mathematics