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Lauren Bryant
IU Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Jeffrey White
Associate Vice Provost

Last modified: Thursday, June 25, 2009

IU Bloomington faculty receive $1 million boost from campus research funding

June 25, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington faculty and faculty teams seeking large grants from external funding agencies are being assisted by more than $1 million in seed funding provided by IU's Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR).

The Faculty Research Support Program (FRSP) enables faculty to conduct research that will form the basis of bigger, more ambitious research projects. The specific goals of the FRSP are to support development, expansion and enhancement of research by faculty at Indiana University Bloomington and to improve the faculty's ability to garner external funding.

"The recipients of this year's FRSP grants are an outstanding and wide-ranging group from a dozen different disciplines, from anthropology to informatics to speech and hearing," said Sarita Soni, IU vice provost for research. "Because OVPR especially aims to encourage collaborative programs, we are particularly pleased that nearly half of these awarded projects feature multidisciplinary collaborations. I'm confident that these promising projects will lead to proposals that will be reviewed well by the major national funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and others."

Previous FRSP awardees Karin James, Linda Smith and Susan Jones, of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, received a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health earlier this year to study the role of developmental changes in how children learn about physical objects. The grant, which also provides support for graduate students, will allow the study to continue for five years.

"We are so pleased that this toddler object recognition study was recently funded by NIH," said Jeffrey White, 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."

A complete list of 2009 FRSP recipients is listed at Selected projects include:

  • Kevin Hunt, Della Cook, Frederika Kaestle, and Michael Muehlenbein, all of the Department of Anthropology, are receiving funding to continue their field research in a dry-habitat chimpanzee population in Africa. The collaborators plan to further their studies of how the chimpanzees' locomotion, posture, foraging, aggression, hunting, kin-selection, genetics and more are altered in an extreme, dry environment.
  • Lesa Hatley Major, assistant professor in the School of Journalism, will use her FRSP funding to study how news media "frame" (include or exclude information) health problems. Major proposes to gain a more accurate understanding of media framing effects by conducting experiments that manipulate the context of online health news stories and then track how audience members view the causes and solutions of health problems.
  • William Snow, a professor in the Department of Physics and at the IU Cyclotron Facility, is developing a highly sensitive neutron spin rotation facility in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research. The facility will conduct extremely sensitive measurements of neutron motion and interactions. Snow will use the FRSP funds he is receiving to purchase equipment. In combination with the already-existing apparatus, Snow says, the FRSP-funded equipment will enable IU "to be in possession of the best instrument in the world to conduct these measurements."

For inquiries about the program or to speak with Soni or any of the grant recipients, please contact Lauren Bryant at 812-855-4152 or

About the Office of the Vice Provost for Research
The Indiana University Office of the Vice Provost for Research is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives, and maximizing the potential of Indiana University faculty across the state to accomplish path breaking work. For more information, visit

2008-2009 Faculty Research Support Program
Joshua Brown, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and John Colbourne, Center for Genomics
Katherine H. Connelly, Computer Science, and Janet Welch, Nursing
Jason M. Gold, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Esfandiar Haghverdi, Informatics
Andrew J. Hanson, Computer Science, and Ji-Ping Sha, Math
Rachael Holt, Speech & Hearing, with Tonya Bergeson-Dana, Otolaryngology & H/N Surgery, and Nancy Nelson Barlow, Speech & Hearing Sciences
Siang L Hong, HPER Kinesiology, with David Pisoni, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Rachael Holt, Speech & Hearing Sciences
Kevin D. Hunt, Anthropology, with Della Cook, Anthropology, Frederika Kaestle, Anthropology, and Michael Muehlenbein, Anthropology
Thomas W. James, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Michael Lynch, Biology
Lesa H. Major, Journalism
Michael P. Muehlenbein, Anthropology
Steven A. Myers, Informatics
David E. Nelson, Biology, and Jim Drummond, Biology
Peter Ortoleva, Chemistry
William A. Pridemore, Criminal Justice, and Tony Grubesic, Geography
William M. Snow, Physics
Suresh Viswanathan, Optometry, and Joseph Bonanno, Optometry
Jeffrey M. Zaleski, Chemistry