Indiana University

News Release

Monday, September 12, 2011

Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2011

IU Bloomington grants spur larger faculty research projects

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Sept. 12, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington faculty -- both individuals and teams -- are pursuing new scientific initiatives with the support of nearly $1 million in seed funding provided by IU Bloomington's Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR).

The Faculty Research Support Program (FRSP) enables faculty to conduct exploratory research that forms the basis of more ambitious research projects. The specific goals of the FRSP are to support the development, expansion and enhancement of research by IU Bloomington faculty and to improve the faculty's ability to garner external funding for their work. The 2011 FRSP competition received 60 applications. Twenty-one awards will be granted to 30 investigators and more than a dozen collaborators, totaling $867,952.

"The recipients of this year's FRSP awards are an outstanding and wide-ranging group from a dozen different disciplines such as sociology, biology, languages and environmental sciences," said Sarita Soni, vice provost for research at IU Bloomington. "Because OVPR especially aims to encourage collaborative programs, we are particularly pleased that nearly half of the awarded projects feature collaborations. I'm confident that these promising projects will move in innovative directions and will attract external support from funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and others."

"We are extremely pleased to be providing funds to such a diverse group of productive faculty," said Paul Sokol, associate vice provost for research and chair of the FRSP awards committee. "This is just the outcome we hope for when we award support through the FRSP program."

In general, the new research directions yielded by FRSP-funded projects do receive further external funding. Since being awarded his FRSP grant in 2009, for example, evolutionary biologist Michael Lynch, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biology at IU Bloomington, has published his research in leading journals such as Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and has received external awards from the NIH, the NSF and the Department of Defense.

"In 2009, I received a FRSP grant that enabled my lab to make a significant move into a new area of research," Lynch said. "Just 12 months later, the NSF awarded us $1.3 million to further pursue the project in much more detail. The FRSP support was absolute key in enabling my lab to generate the preliminary data necessary for outside funding, and in fact, to do so much more quickly than I had envisioned."

A complete list of funded projects including abstracts is available at The diverse group of funded projects includes:

A complete list of 2011 Faculty Research Support Program funding recipients follows:

For inquiries about the program or to speak with Soni or any of the grant recipients, please contact Donna Carter at

About the Office of the Vice Provost for Research

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington is dedicated to helping faculty develop individual research, scholarly, and creative projects as well as supporting collaborative interdisciplinary research opportunities among faculty, schools, centers, and institutes. For more information, visit

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