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Global Resilience Institute Seed Grant Program expands, with 8 newly funded research teams at Northeastern University

Now in its second year, the Global Resilience Institute (GRI) Seed Grant Program will fund eight new interdisciplinary resilience research projects at Northeastern University. The new teams incorporate a total of 22 faculty researchers and their projects explore a range of resilience-related topics including coastal flooding, the role of the media, crime and community resilience, combating the opioid crisis, and more, with funding from GRI for 1-2 years.

Each project involves collaboration by faculty members from two or more Northeastern colleges. In one, the team analyzing “Inequality and Vulnerability in Pre-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico,” will collaborate with researchers from the National Institute of Energy and Island Sustainability (INESI) of the University of Puerto Rico, to establish a long-term research agenda embedded in the local context. They aim to contribute to the ongoing discussions of Puerto Rico’s energy future by offering a perspective on resilience that incorporates equity and justice and supports a just, climate-adapted energy transition.

“The pool of proposals this year was especially robust in the innovation of their interdisciplinary approaches,” said GRI Executive Director and COO Robin White. “Because they also are tackling some of the ‘wicked problems’ of resilience, it was extremely difficult to narrow the many excellent project proposals to just eight to award.”

The proposals were submitted at the end of January and teams were notified near the end of March. Additionally, GRI has established a “Resilience in Action Stipend,” awarded to teams whose proposals indicate a strong potential to advance practical solutions to a critical resilience challenge, but could benefit by some additional development. The inaugural recipients of the stipend are; Associate Teaching Professor Cordula Robinson (CPS); Assistant Professor Christina Lee (Bouve); Associate Teaching Professor Francesca Grippa (CPS); and Assistant Teaching Professor Earlene Avalon (CPS). The group plans to expand and scale evidence-based efforts to deploy a full-scale strategy against opioids, substance abuse and rising overdose rates. The goal is to prioritize prevention, reduce risk factors, and promote resilient approaches for impacted groups.

Together, these funded initiatives incorporate faculty from all nine colleges at Northeastern.

“The Global Resilience Institute is committed to advancing interdisciplinary research, with the goal of developing and deploying practical and innovative tools and applications that strengthen and prepare our communities, systems and networks to thrive in an increasingly turbulent world,” said GRI Director Stephen Flynn. “I am excited about the projects being funded through our seed grant program, as they each have great potential. These researchers are truly aiming to make a positive contribution to global resilience and we couldn’t be prouder to support them.”

With the addition of this second round of funding, the GRI Seed Grant Program now supports a total of 18 active resilience interdisciplinary projects driven by over 50 faculty researchers in involve over 20 Northeastern graduate students, with one of the inaugural projects already advancing to an external funding phase and another very close.

“The GRI seed grant program is advancing collaborative interdisciplinary research that is unique, impactful and innovative,” said GRI Director for Strategic Research Collaborations Jennie Stephens. “These projects represent an exciting breadth of engaged resilience research.”

As both rounds of seed grant-funded projects progress, the GRI senior leadership team will work with awardees to help position them to successfully compete for major interdisciplinary external grant funding. This includes identifying follow-on sponsors for the research as well as identifying external research collaborators, and providing support for drafting grant proposals.

The 2018 GRI Seed Grant Awardees are:

For more information on the Seed Grant Program, please email GRI@Northeastern.edu or visit the GRI Seed Grant page.